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Fri, Feb. 28

Dear Abby | Sisters puzzle over response to parents’ secret bankruptcy

Dear Abby: My sister and I recently found out (through the internet) that my mother and stepfather have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A few months ago, Mom approached my sister (who’s an attorney) asking about the effects of bankruptcy “for a friend.”

My sister and I are now struggling with this information because my mom and stepdad promote a direct sales business where they advertise their multiple cars and lavish lifestyle as a result of the business profits. Should we let them know that we know about the bankruptcy and, if so, how should we handle this situation? Thanks for your advice. – Struggling Sisters

Dear Struggling: You and your sister the attorney should go to your mother and stepdad and tell them the cat’s out of the bag. They may need help extricating themselves from the company they have been promoting. Many people have been caught up in shady direct sales schemes and wound up with garages filled with product they couldn’t sell. Whether your mother and stepdad are victims or perpetrators remains to be seen.

Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have a joint membership at our local gym. Today the gym owner asked him if I was his mother. It upset me to the point of tears. I don’t look any older than he does. We are not the same race. He is fit; I’m not, but we are both in our early 30s.

Why do people ask rude questions when a simple check of paperwork would satisfy their curiosity? I feel I should say something to her like, “Mind your own business.” How do I get over this because I still would like to attend her gym? – Working Out in the Midwest

Dear Working Out: That gym owner ain’t no rocket scientist. She could have lost TWO clients by asking that ill-advised question. Because you would like to continue patronizing the establishment, refrain from telling her to mind her own business.

P.S. It’s possible that she was hitting on your fella, so ask HIM what he hoped to accomplish by repeating something so hurtful.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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