DEAR ABBY: Our son-in-law, "Brody," has a very different lifestyle than ours and the one in which we raised our daughter. I pointed it out to her while they were dating, and she was not pleased. I decided to say no more and try to accept him as best as possible, although I admit my husband has been better at it than I have.
One thing that continues to bother us is that whenever we invite them out for dinner, Brody will order the most expensive thing on the menu. He also has a couple of drinks, upgrades his salad and orders dessert. By the time he's done, the cost of his meal is double that of everyone else's.
Although we can afford it, we feel this is bad manners. I'm not sure if he's trying to take advantage of us or if he just thinks he is entitled. Our daughter thinks he's wonderful and doesn't seem to mind that he does this. I worry that it may reflect badly on her when they are out with others. Is this acceptable? Do we grin and bear it? Or should we say something and, if so, what do we say?
- Paying Dearly in Montana
DEAR PAYING: If you bring the subject up, I can almost guarantee that what you say will not be well received. What your son-in-law is doing is "acceptable" in light of the fact that you say you can afford it. If you couldn't, I assume those dinner invitations would be few and far between, and you would have had to explain the reason to your daughter. When they dine out with contemporaries, presumably the bill is split between the couples. If that isn't the case, it probably wouldn't happen twice because the other couple would likely request separate checks.
Life after layoff
DEAR ABBY: A colleague of mine was let go a few days ago and it shocked us all. I imagine it was even more shocking to her. She seemed to have a good deal of responsibility outside of her normal role, and from what we saw, she was excellent at her job.
We weren't close friends outside of work, but we would text each other now and again and I consider her someone I would like to keep in touch with. Would it be inappropriate to text her and offer my condolences?
- Etiquette Advice in California
DEAR ETIQUETTE: You are entitled to a personal life outside the office. I don't think it would be inappropriate to reach out to her on your own time. As long as you don't discuss it at work, it is your business and no one else's.