DEAR AMY: My brother and I are planning a vacation with our families in the coming months.
My dad's wife got wind of our trip and is asking about where we are staying, etc.
We would love for our dad to come, but his wife drives us crazy. She's so selfish.
I don't really think my dad wants to come along on our vacation (he has had melanoma and is not good in the heat), but she wants to go and is pressing him to come.
If my husband finds out she might be coming along, he is going to have a cow.
How do I nicely tell my dad that we would love for him to come — but not his wife?
— Doting Daughter
DEAR DOTING: You say you believe your father wouldn't even enjoy this vacation, and yet you'd like to invite him to come with you, as long as he leaves his wife at home.
You are concerned enough about your own husband to worry that he might have a cow at the thought of your father's wife coming along, and yet you don't seem to understand that your father is married too.
He might also be concerned about his spouse. Married people don't generally accept family invitations that don't include their spouses.
It isn't necessary for you to invite your father and his wife to come along on this vacation, but you certainly shouldn't invite one and not the other.
DEAR AMY: I belong to an upscale gym with a pool, racquetball and tennis courts, exercise equipment and so forth.
Lately, the gym has begun to offer a karate class for kids.
Mothers who bring their boys to the class have no problem invading the women's locker room.
The boys they bring in are anywhere in age from 4 to 12.
The mothers push through the locker room door with the boys in tow, not looking to see if any of the women inside are undressed, which many are.
If we complain to the mother or ask her to remove the boy, she becomes irate. Some have even refused to leave, saying they have rights because they have a membership to the gym.
We in the locker room have rights too.
The gym's policy is that no boys over the age of 3 should be in the women's locker room. If a mother has a problem with her boy going into the men's locker room untended, there are two other restrooms on the main floor.
We have complained to the management, but so far, nothing has been done except they put a small sign on the locker room door, stating the policy.
What should we do?
DEAR CONCERNED: You are customers, your health club is a business and lately business is tough.
You should speak to management one more time and ask the karate kids to be directed to another changing room. Otherwise, your discomfort over this could cause you to find another health club.
Your health club will have to decide whether it values your business enough to work a little harder to keep it.
DEAR AMY: I like animals. I grew up on a farm and have had all sorts of pets during my lifetime.
I frequent a bar that serves food on the deck during the warm months.
The owner is a nice lady. She has a small dog that has the run of the place.
Some customers pick up the dog and play with it. Some patrons place the dog on the bar and let it walk around.
Now other customers are bringing their dogs too — and they put them on the bar.
This disgusts me. I wonder how they would like it if I put my dog on their kitchen table.
If I say anything, I may hurt the owner's feelings.
— Frank in Illinois
DEAR FRANK: Frame this request nicely, and it shouldn't go badly. Just say, "I enjoy 'Muffin' but don't really want to share my beer with her. Do you think you could ask people not to bring her or other pets onto the bar?"
States have laws about the presence of animals (other than service animals) inside restaurants. Your favorite hangout may be in violation.
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