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9:31 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Dear Abby | Dad disapproves of toking in backyard at kids’ party

Dear Abby: My wife and I know a couple whose daughter has been our daughter’s playmate since they were 3 months old. They are pleasant and welcoming. We all get along well and have gone to dinner, ball games and musicals together. However, when we go to their home for a gathering, the father will slip off with a few of his old friends and smoke pot on the back porch while the kids are playing inside. It’s their home, and marijuana is legal in our state.

Their daughter’s fourth birthday party took place last weekend, and once again, with numerous children running around, they slipped out for a toke before the cake was served. This may seem prudish, but I don’t want my daughter in a situation where she might be exposed to this, or think that we think smoking marijuana is perfectly normal.

I enjoy spending time with this family, but I don’t think I want to visit their home if this is what I can expect. What should we do? – Mystified in Massachusetts

Dear Mystified: Because you prefer your little girl not be exposed to the kind of behavior you have observed in this couple’s home, call a halt to her going there to play. Invite the other child to your home instead. If your friends ask why, explain it just as you explained it to me.

As parents, it’s your job to protect her from influences you feel are not healthy or appropriate for her. Because pot is legal in your state, this will be something you may have to revisit again in the future.

Dear Abby: “Fred” and I have been in a relationship for 10 years. During that time he has broken up with me six times. It’s always over something trivial, and it’s always my job to smooth things over and get us back together.

When we are together we have a good time, but I never know when the next breakup will happen. I love Fred, and he claims to love me. What’s your opinion of a man who constantly does this? – Perplexed Widow in Florida

Dear Perplexed: Fred may love you, but his definition of love and yours are different. He may be afraid of intimacy or not want to marry you – which is why he breaks up with you when he feels you are getting too close.

If all you want is a good time, this may be enough for you.