DEAR ABBY: Our daughter gave birth to an adorable little boy three years ago. We love "Connor" dearly, but my husband is obsessed with him. He wants our grandson at our house every weekend from the time we are done working on Friday until Sunday evening or Monday morning.
My husband wants to take Connor everywhere we go. Abby, I love my grandson, but after raising our own children, I'd now like to focus on our lives and maybe have time for myself. If I say anything, my husband becomes furious and tells me I don't love our grandson. Of course I do, but I don't want every spare moment of my life wrapped up in him. Your advice, please? — CONNOR'S G-MA IN VIRGINIA
DEAR G-MA: How does your daughter feel about this arrangement? What about Connor's father and his paternal grandparents? Shouldn't they be getting equal time with the child, too? If your daughter is a single mother, it is unfair for her to expect her parents to baby-sit Connor every weekend.
I agree that your husband's behavior is obsessive. You deserve time for yourself, so TAKE it. If your husband won't cooperate, schedule activities with some of your women friends. Do not allow yourself to be bullied into being an unwilling baby sitter because it isn't healthy for any of you.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 13-year-old girl and I really enjoy drawing. There's a 17-year-old boy in my school, "Christopher," who I am dying to draw. He has a wonderful profile, a fascinating smile, challenging hair that hangs over his eyes in an interesting way, great posture, grace and beautiful hands. Shall I go on?
Every time I see Christopher I want to grab a camera and get some good snapshots to use as a reference for sketching him later. I especially want to capture him in action — running, jumping, fencing or something like that. I also want to do a portrait of him.
How can I get some photos of him without being embarrassed or getting teased? There's one teacher who would definitely tease me if I'm too obvious. — FUTURE FAMOUS ARTIST IN GEORGIA
DEAR ARTIST: Why not try the direct approach? Tell Christopher that you're working on an art project, and ask him if he would mind if you used him as a model. Tell him it wouldn't take up much of his time — but you'd like to snap some reference shots of him running, jumping, a three-quarter picture of his head and shoulders and his profile. He might be flattered at the idea. And if you get teased about it, say, "Dear Abby says, 'Art without passion is mechanical drawing.'"
DEAR ABBY: My daughter is being married on a very limited budget. She is thinking about handing out drink tickets at the reception to limit alcohol consumption. The reason is the cost. I think it sounds tacky, but it's better than a cash bar. What do you think? — BUDGET-CONSCIOUS MAMA IN MISSOURI
DEAR MAMA: Nowhere is it written that alcohol must be consumed at a wedding reception. Many couples offer punch or cider to their guests instead, and that's what I recommend your daughter do.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.