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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Abigail Van Buren

Dear Abby: Duping me with lies is granddaughter’s idea of a funny joke

DEAR ABBY: I generally have an excellent relationship with my 14-year-old granddaughter. However, she thinks it’s funny to tell me outrageous lies with a straight face to see if she can get me to believe them. She laughs when I am unsure of whether she is telling the truth.

Once she told me her family was going to Hawaii for a month (she lives with her father rather than with my daughter, so I’m not privy to his plans). Another time, she jerked her arms around and said she has “tics.” When I asked what she was talking about, she announced she had Tourette’s syndrome.

Both were untrue. I had epilepsy as a teenager, so I’m especially sensitive about a grandchild developing a neurological condition at the age I was. It felt like a cruel thing for her to do to me, and I was not amused. When I told her I didn’t like it, she giggled and said, “Oh, Grandma!”

I had arranged for her to do weekly yard work for me, but now I’m having second thoughts about having her around that often if she’s going to purposely upset me like that. I sent a text to her mother telling her about it, but received no response indicating she would talk to her daughter about it or have her apologize. What should I do? — HUMORLESS IN IOWA

DEAR HUMORLESS: Try this: Tell your granddaughter you have bought tickets to a Taylor Swift or Harry Styles concert and ask if she would like to go with you. Then, when she reacts, start laughing.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a woman in my late 30s. I live in the Midwest, where towns can be conservative, and residents tend to be judgmental. For as long as I can remember, I have always found people of both sexes to be attractive. I don’t act on it because I am married to a straight man I love and plan to stay with for as long as he’ll have me.

During the last year, I admitted to him that I am bisexual. He said he has wondered, but loves me regardless. Do I need to disclose this information to family? I have no intention of telling my co-workers, as they are mostly female and I don’t want to create awkwardness.

I recently bought a T-shirt that says “Why Not Both?” and I would love to wear it. But I’m concerned about being judged or not taken seriously when, and if, I get asked about my shirt. What do you think? Am I making it a bigger deal than it needs to be? If I wear the shirt around family, should I tell them the truth if they ask? — BI IN INDIANA

DEAR BI: Wear that shirt only when you are ready to come out because, once you put it on, you are sure to be asked about it. Being bisexual does not mean that a person is attracted to every person they encounter. As a married woman, you have made your choice about the gender of your partner and will (presumably) remain faithful. Should you divorce, your next partner may be a woman — or another man. (Who knows?) I see no reason to disclose your bisexuality to your family unless you are ready to make it common knowledge.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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