Man finds love close to home in arms of his former stepmom

DEAR ABBY: Say there's this guy who's about 30, who has a stepmother who is younger than he is. (She's 27.) They have a warm, happy, close, loving friendship &

nothing abnormal or unusual.

Then the father dies, having had no children with her. Is it wrong for the guy to develop a romantic interest in her? And what about her? Would it be wrong for her to take up with her former stepson?

I have never experienced a deeper, more romantic kind of love than I have with my former stepmom. Dad had himself a prize catch. She's built, pretty, understanding and a great cook &

and the way we've been going, we might be married sometime soon.

I just can't decide if it's right or wrong. What do you think?


DEAR SMITTEN: What you have in mind is unusual but not unheard of. You are not her biological son, so there is no reason why you could not marry if you wish. In fact, it could work out very well since your feelings for each other evolved from an already-established friendship. I say, go for it &

but be prepared for some teasing.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I received a wedding invitation from my nephew's son, whom we have never gotten to know very well. Included in the invitation was a deposit slip to a bank savings account "in lieu of gifts"!

We later learned that everyone on the guest list received a deposit slip, even the grandmother. Is this proper? This is the first time we have ever heard of this, and frankly, we were rather insulted.


DEAR PUZZLED: Please waste no more time feeling offended. The family who issued the wedding invitation is obviously grossly ignorant about the basic rules of etiquette. According to "Emily Post's Etiquette" (17th Edition), when issuing wedding invitations, "any mention of gifts or listing of gift registries is unacceptable."

I am sure you dealt with the solicitation you received as you would any other. Just be glad they didn't have your bank account number, or you would have found enclosed with your invitation a notice stating that your account had already been debited $125 to cover the cost of your dinner.

DEAR ABBY: I recently found a bottle of antidepressants in my parents' medicine cabinet, prescribed for my mother. I want to ask her why she has them, but I am afraid she might get angry. Is it rude to ask? If my mom does have depression, I would want to do everything I could to keep her happy. Should I ask her, or just forget about the pills?


DEAR CONCERNED: If you ask your mother about the antidepressants, you had better be prepared to tell her why you were in her medicine cabinet. Indeed, she might feel invaded. Personally, I think you should refrain from asking. Obviously, your mother does have depression or the meds would not have been prescribed for her. However, I do like your idea of doing all you can to keep her happy.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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