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Abby

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I raised two children -- a son who is a successful doctor and a daughter who is a multipost-grad botanist. We are 72 now, in moderately failing health and very successful ourselves.

Our children were raised properly. We gave them all they would ever need to succeed and be happy. However, neither one is particularly interested in a loving relationship with us. Holidays together are strained.

Frankly, I'm quite sick of both of them. They are inconsiderate, insensitive and standoffish. We make no demands on either of them and never impose ourselves in any way. They never invite us to anything. We want to move away and disappear. What do you think? -- ENOUGH ALREADY, IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR ENOUGH: People can disappear without physically moving away, as your children have already demonstrated. Have you tried asking them why they are so distant? Unless you do, nothing will change. Because holidays are strained, celebrate with those who appreciate you and whose company you enjoy.

DEAR ABBY: I invited a couple out for the husband's 60th birthday. We sat at the "chef's table" (in the front of the kitchen) and had amazing food and service. We all agreed it was a perfect evening.

I paid the bill and left a 25 percent tip on a $400 bill (for three people). The couple then proceeded to hand cash to the staff in spite of the fact that I had told them I had already tipped 25 percent, and they acknowledged that they knew it.

It was never my intention that they pay anything, and I was embarrassed. I felt like creeping out of the restaurant and never going back. Am I wrong to feel this way? Why wasn't my gift enough? -- EMBARRASSED IN FLORIDA

DEAR EMBARRASSED: Your gift WAS enough, and obviously the birthday celebration was a success. Your guests were so impressed that they shared their pleasure with the staff. What they did was no reflection on you, and you should not allow it to discourage you from going back. In fact, I'm sure the establishment will welcome you with open arms.

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DEAR ABBY: My sixth-grade grandson is in a 2 1/2-hour social studies class. He told me that during that time the teacher texts at least six times. I think this deprives the students of valuable instructional time. My daughter hasn't spoken to the principal about it -- yet. I wonder when this concern will be expressed by other parents and discussed in your column. -- TIME TO LEARN IN TEXAS

DEAR TIME TO LEARN: Has your daughter discussed this with the parents of the other students? If she hasn't, she should, because they may not be aware of what the teacher is doing. If they find it as concerning as you and your daughter do, they should approach the principal as a group.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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