Virtual family dinner parties help distant relatives remain ‘together’

DEAR ABBY: Might I share with you a means my husband and I are staying linked? My daughter got here up with the concept. She and her daughter dwell a long way from us. She determined the 4 of us ought to have a digital dinner collectively 3 times per week.

We transfer our eating chairs collectively and place a pill reverse us so we’re seen on the display. They do the identical. We use FaceTime (Skype or an identical app would additionally work) to attach on-line. We set dinner on the desk, say grace collectively and proceed to eat — all of the whereas speaking, joking and laughing as if we had been in one another’s presence.

Abby, I can not let you know how a lot this has alleviated the sentiments of isolation. We sit up for all of it day. We telephone, textual content and e mail at different instances, as nicely, however these dinners collectively are a really particular hour or extra that give us a sense of nonetheless being linked. It is a troublesome time proper now, however that is such a easy factor. I bless my wonderful and great daughter day by day for considering of it.

— Staying Shut

DEAR STAYING CLOSE: For individuals who, due to journey restrictions or monetary constraints, can’t be collectively in particular person, it is a custom that would proceed nicely after the quarantine has lifted. I, too, bless your wonderful and great daughter for arising with the concept and also you for sharing it. Salut and bon appetit!

DEAR ABBY: My spouse and I’ve a couple of dozen nieces and nephews on either side of our household. As every of them has married, we’ve got given them beneficiant presents.

My spouse and I’ve two grownup youngsters. When our daughter was married 10 years in the past, she had a giant reception, with all the most effective of every little thing. Our son selected to elope final 12 months. He had a small ceremony after they returned — simply mother and father and grandparents.

My spouse is now very upset that nobody has acknowledged the marriage with even a card — not to mention a present. Ought to we carry this as much as our households? Is it customary to present presents solely when there’s a conventional ceremony and reception?

— Empty-Handed

DEAR EMPTY-HANDED: I can see why your spouse is upset. As a result of you’ve been so beneficiant with your loved ones members after they had been married, it might have been considerate had they reciprocated along with your son. Nevertheless, the rule of etiquette is that presents are required when somebody accepts a marriage invitation, and your son selected to elope as an alternative of getting one, which can clarify the dearth of response out of your relations.

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law is wigging out as a result of I permit our two cats and our canine lick mixing bowls and dinner plates earlier than I put them within the dishwasher. We now have an lively, wholesome household, with no allergic reactions, continual well being issues or weight problems. Our home is clear, though I would not eat off my flooring. Sneakers are left within the laundry room. We now have by no means even had a case of flu, due to flu pictures, widespread sense and doubtless some luck.

Our dishwasher is ready to do an extended wash with a heated drying cycle. Am I horrible? I miss out on the issue, however she thinks I am liable to poison the children.

— Questioning

DEAR WONDERING: You aren’t going to poison the children, your self or her son, however you might trigger issues to your feline members of the family in the event that they occur to eat any garlic or onions. That stated, you might give your mother-in-law a coronary when you proceed letting her see what you’ve been doing. So, within the curiosity of household concord, when she’s round, minimize it out.

Pricey Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also referred to as Jeanne Phillips, and was based by her mom, Pauline Phillips. Write Pricey Abby at or P.O. Field 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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