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Condolences to friend better late than never

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DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of four years, ‘‘Joey,’’ is a kind and loving person. Recently the father of one of his close childhood friends died. We live a plane ride away, and Joey could not get time off work to attend the services.

I assumed Joey called his friend and family to extend his sympathies. I found out he had not reached out to them and I know the friend was deeply hurt.

At this point, what can Joey do to make things right? — Smoothing it Over In San Antonio

Dear Smoothing: Joey may not have reached out because he didn’t know what to do, which would have been to call and extend his condolences or send a card or handwritten note. He may have procrastinated because he was afraid he’d say the wrong thing.

The way to fix this would be for Joey to pick up the phone, apologize to his friend for not calling sooner, and confess that he knows he was wrong for not doing so. All he needs to say after that is that he’s sorry for his friend’s loss. Then he should be quiet and listen.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law allows her 2-year-old daughter to run around naked. The child’s mom tells her to say, “Look at these buns!” and laughs.

We feel this is inappropriate and dangerous. How can we get through to her that it’s not right? -- Concerned Grandma in EauClaire, Wis.

Dear Grandma: While I don’t think that allowing a child to run around nude at home is dangerous, I do agree that encouraging a child to run naked and say, “Look at these buns!” is unwise. While this may be amusing at 2, it is setting a pattern that will attract the wrong attention when she is 4, 5 or 6.

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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