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Dear Abby 1/5

Man's affair with one sister threatens marriage to other

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Posted: January 4, 2007 4:28 p.m.
Updated: January 19, 2007 5:00 a.m.
DEAR ABBY: A few years ago I had an affair with a woman I met at a local benefit. I'll call her "Desiree." As luck would have it, a few years later, Desiree would become my sister-in-law.
    My wife has always been jealous of her "more attractive" sister. She reminds me of that fact every time we visit. Now Desiree is having money problems, and she's threatening to tell my wife about our "history" if I don't accommodate her needs.
    My marriage is already on thin ice because I ran over my wife's dog and forgot our anniversary in the same week. What should I do? -- BLACKMAILED IN BURBANK
    DEAR BLACKMAILED: If you knuckle under to your sister-in-law's threats, her money problems will be over and you will be paying her off for the duration of your marriage. Be smart. Nip this in the bud by telling your wife everything. It isn't your fault that you met her sister first. You should thank your lucky stars that you wound up marrying the right one.
    DEAR ABBY: I am a young woman who has entered the workforce for the first time. I work at a large company that employs very few women. Abby, I am a very average girl who has never been the center of attention, but here at work it's a different story. Here, I get treated like a supermodel.
    People fawn over me, ask me personal questions, ask me out and just want to be my friend. It's hard to get work done with so many men coming by every day, and it's embarrassing for me.
    I have tried to be cold to some of them to get them to stop coming by, but it doesn't work. How can I discourage random people from coming by just to say "Hi" and have a conversation all the time? They don't start conversations with all the men who sit near me, so why should they start one with me? It's making me want to leave the company and never come back. -- PLAIN JANE IN TEXAS
    DEAR PLAIN JANE: The time has come to have a talk with your supervisor or director of human resources about this. What appears to be "friendliness" is hampering your work performance and could be construed as sexual harassment. Please do not leave the company. Instead, make a formal report about what has been happening. It is up to management to put a stop to this — and if they don't, it should be reported to the local labor board.
    DEAR ABBY: My sister sent out an invitation for a baby shower to be held for her son's wife. The invitation gave the address where the shower was to be held, and at the bottom of the invitation was a handwritten note that read: "To be held at 'Greg's' new home."
    I interpreted the note as a "suggestion" that guests bring a housewarming gift as well as a baby gift. Otherwise, the invitation would have just given the address. Is this a new gimmick now? To try to get as many gifts as people can? I acknowledged the invitation by sending my regrets.
    It just hit me the wrong way. I now keep my distance from the family and do not attend any family functions. I rarely visit or have contact with any of them. I would appreciate your opinion. -- SISTER "LIZZY" IN ARIZONA
    DEAR "LIZZY": I don't know your sister, but if the note at the bottom of the invitation was a bid for an extra gift, it was certainly a veiled one. Because you asked for my opinion, I'll give it to you straight: I think you overreacted.
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