DEAR ABBY: Our 21-year-old daughter has been home since March when the pandemic began. She has always been a homebody. Our house is small, and my wife and I no longer can be alone or be physically intimate because our daughter prevents it.
If we hug for an extended period of time, she will make a comment. If we want to watch a movie, she wants to hang out, and we can’t watch it without her. My wife and I need privacy, and we need our adult daughter to cut the cord.
Our marriage really evolved and we grew even closer when “the kid” moved out for college. Now we can’t escape her. I miss my wife and our alone time. What should we do?
— FRUSTRATED IN THE EAST
DEAR FRUSTRATED: This is your home, and your daughter needs to accommodate you, rather than the other way around. What you must do is have an adult conversation with your homebody daughter and explain that you and her mother need time alone. Establish a date night so she knows when to disappear.
I’m assuming that she has a job and friends. If that’s the case, she should be accumulating enough money to live apart from you. If you are not only sheltering her but also supporting her, you will need to create a plan so your daughter can become independent. It may mean contributing to her rent for an agreed-upon period of time, if necessary, so be prepared.
DEAR ABBY: I was wondering if you could give me some advice on tipping. I frequent coffee shops in my area as well as when I travel. The baristas usually are younger women. Usually, there will be a tip jar located next to the cash register.
A typical latte costs $4 to $5, and I leave a dollar in the tip jar. I realize that many servers may be distracted if they’re waiting on other customers, but is it normal for them to never acknowledge someone who is giving them a tip? Is the tip just expected?
Again, I realize there could be distractions, and maybe the baristas don’t notice me tipping them, but it seems like the rule rather than the exception. I think it comes across as lousy customer service. How hard is it to say “thank you”? Is this another example of a generation of poorly raised people?
— SIPPING & TIPPING IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR S & T: It’s not only good manners but also GOOD BUSINESS to thank clients/patrons — just as it’s considered proper etiquette to thank the person who served you. I hesitate to paint an entire generation with the same brush, but the individuals you are dealing with could benefit from a refresher course in courtesy.
DEAR ABBY: I’m 56, disabled and live with my mom, who is 86. I’m really scared of what’s going to happen to me when she passes.
— SCARED IN NEVADA
DEAR SCARED: You should not be in limbo regarding this question because your concern is valid. It’s important that you talk to your mother about your fears and ask her that question. The answer may involve her estate and whether she has a will that provides for you in the event of her death. I am hoping that her answer will put your mind at ease.