Dear Annie: My daughter has two kids, ages 9 and 5. My husband and I saw the 5-year-old's report card, and we gave her a dollar. We also saw our 9-year-old grandson's report card, which was excellent, so we gave him $5. He was so excited.
The following week, our daughter returned $4 of the money we had given her son. She told me that both children should receive the same amount. I was devastated that she took a gift away from our grandson. I told her that since he is going into fourth grade, he should be given more than his younger sister.
My husband feels that our daughter's generation is changing things by giving each child the same gift, regardless of the occasion. I know our granddaughter complained when she saw that her brother received more money. She whines about it a lot, although we aren't certain this is why her mother returned the money.
If our grandson stays with us and we take him somewhere, we have to buy something for our granddaughter, even though she is not with us. The same thing holds when the situation is reversed.
Can you give us your take on this? I would feel better knowing your opinion. — New York Grandma
Dear N.Y. Grandma: Parents do not want their children to feel left out or be given the impression that there is favoritism. And you are right, some also cannot deal with a child who whines and cries.
You do not have to give the children the same amount of money if one is older than the other. But we do think it is a good idea to bring home a small souvenir for the sibling who did not get to go on a trip with Grandma and Grandpa. It shows you are thinking of her, and that always is a loving gesture.
Dear Annie: I dated a widower for over five years. We took vacations together, ate out, went to the theater and did many other fun things. I thought we had a good relationship. He came with me to my family get-togethers, although he never asked me to any of his. He also didn't want me to meet his friends or have the people at our church know we were dating.
He recently admitted he has been dating another woman, also a widow like me. I was very hurt, as I had been faithful all those years. He asked if we could be friends, but I never want to talk to him again. We go to the same church, and I've been going elsewhere so I don't have to see him and this other woman, whom he brought to church two weeks after they started dating.
How do I ever trust a male again? — Widow in Minnesota
Dear Minnesota: As a widow, surely you know that men are not all the same. You found a skunk this time around, but consider it a valuable lesson learned. Any man who won't introduce you to his family, friends or fellow church members is hiding something, and it's usually another woman. You can do better.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Concerned Daughter," who worried because her parents bicker all the time. My husband is 87, and I am 76. We do the same thing. It hasn't hurt our relationship at all.
When women my age were younger, many of us never stood up for ourselves or disagreed with our husbands. However, as we got older, we learned we didn't have to agree. Hence the bickering.
I would like to ask "Concerned" if she has a husband, and if so, does she argue with him? Well then, she is bickering, too, but she probably doesn't realize it. And when the two of them retire, she will have a lot more time to do it. Wait and see. — Married 52 Years and Still Bickering in Sayreville, N.J.
Dear Married: For many long-married couples, "bickering" is simply another form of communication and doesn't require fixing.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2005. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.