DEAR ABBY: My 25-year-old son, "Mark," lives at home, has a full-time job and dates a girl, "Julia," who is a minister's daughter.
Julia is in pre-med and Mark thinks she's wonderful and smart. Abby, when she's here, she holes up in his room and never comes out. She's as quiet as a mouse. I am boisterous, and I get the feeling I turn her off.
The last time she stayed over was before an out-of-state interview Mark was driving her to. She never even said hello or goodbye. He made her breakfast in bed, and they sat there laughing and eating with the door shut.
I want my son to move out. I do not want this girl sleeping over or staying under my roof anymore. I don't like her. What should I do?
- Mama in Ohio
DEAR MAMA: You are dealing with two issues. Your son is seriously involved with a girl who either never learned basic manners or who may be pathologically shy. You and your husband should talk privately with Mark and find out exactly what her problem is. You also need to establish some ground rules for when she visits, so you don't feel shut out under your own roof.
Adult "children" live with their parents for various reasons. Some can't afford to live independently; others are trying to save money to buy a home of their own. I don't know Mark's reason, and neither will you if you don't address this with him.
It may be time for him to move. But what concerns me about what has been going on is the lack of respect. Nothing will change unless you and your husband insist upon it.
DEAR ABBY: Is it acceptable for one adult to correct another's English unless asked to do so?
My sister does it frequently, and I want to know if it's rude so I don't make the same blunder.
-Grammar Fiend in New Orleans
DEAR GRAMMAR FIEND: It isn't rude if it is done tactfully, in private and in the spirit of being helpful. If it's done as a form of one-upmanship, it is obnoxious.