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Publication: Dear Abby
Mother Living In Servitude Suffers For Uncertain Future

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               ABBY - April 30, 2008 
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MOTHER LIVING IN SERVITUDE SUFFERS FOR UNCERTAIN FUTURE

ABBY: My mother needs help, but will not listen to my 
brother or me. She has always respected your advice, and 
she needs it desperately now.

Mama is a retired nurse. A little over a year ago, she moved 
from Florida to Virginia to live with her boyfriend, "Rudy." 
Rudy is extremely wealthy. He owns three homes and commercial 
real estate. However, he suffers from mental illness. Mama 
has told us that Rudy is bipolar. He also has no respect for 
women. He orders her around, and she must answer "Yes, sir" 
or "No, sir." Even though this man has millions, he and Mama 
are living in one room above a barn.

Rudy's wife died several years ago. He has two sons, neither 
of whom speak to him. Mama says she moved from her lovely 
home to live with him because she's "looking at the big 
picture." Because Rudy is wealthy, she wants us to benefit 
from what he has, even if she doesn't.

My brother and I can't bear her living like this. Their room 
has limited plumbing and -- to put it politely -- it smells. 
There is also evidence of rodents. Please, Abby, how can we 
make Mama see what she's doing to herself and to us? We love 
her. We don't want her to sacrifice her last years for our 
future financial comfort. 
-- HURTING FOR MOM

HURTING: Please forgive me if this seems harsh. Your mother
is living in squalor with a rich man who treats her like an 
employee, and she thinks it will somehow benefit YOU? She is
seriously misguided. Because your mother and Rudy are both 
adults, and presumably not a danger to themselves or to 
others, it could take a crowbar to separate them.

However, if you want your mother out of there, talk to his 
sons about what's going on and your feelings about it. I'll 
bet they'll not only start speaking to their father, she'll 
be out of there in a jiffy.

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ABBY: I have an etiquette question. Is it impolite to ask a 
member of the royal family for an autograph? 
-- FAN IN DE BARY, FLA.

FAN: My experts tell me that to approach a royal in such a 
fashion would be highly inappropriate, and no one does it. 
However, in recent years, some upper lips may have become 
less stiffened. Therefore, it might be all right to ask a 
young prince --- but don't ask an old queen.



ABBY: I'm 16 and have a stepsister, "Emily," who is also 16. 
We have become good friends, which is lucky because we share 
a room every other weekend when I am at my father's.

Something really bothers me. I refer to Emily as my sister. 
However, she calls me her STEPsister. I have told her it 
hurts my feelings, and asked if we couldn't just consider 
each other as sisters. She says she thinks of me as a close 
friend, but isn't comfortable calling me "sister" because 
technically we're not.

I have always wanted a sister. How can I get Emily to 
consider me hers? 
-- RELATED IN FORT WAYNE, IND.

RELATED: As close as you feel to Emily, and as much as you 
want a sister, you can't force another person into it. I 
have known unrelated girlfriends to refer to each other as 
"sisters." However, for whatever reason, it is important to 
Emily to maintain some distance and make the distinction 
that you're not blood-related.

Frankly, it's her loss. Don't push her; continue to love 
her, and perhaps one day she'll realize how fortunate she 
is to have someone as sweet as you in her life. 





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ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as 
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline 
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box  
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 
____________________________________________________________


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