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Annie’s Mailbox: Stay out of siblings’ loan to dad

Dear Annie: Last year, my siblings loaned my father a decent sum of money, and Dad has yet to pay them back. I was not in a position to help then, but since that time, knowing my father has had financial issues (notably as a result of his poor decisions), I have helped in smaller ways, mostly by buying food for him.

Recently, Dad started dating a woman and has talked about various vacations they have taken and trips they are planning. My siblings don’t live around here and are not as close to Dad, so they have no idea where the money is going. Although I don’t want to get in the middle, I think they have a right to know that Dad could be paying them back in some small measure rather than using the money for vacations with his girlfriend. I sure would want to know. – F.

Dear F.: Are you sure Dad is paying for these excursions? It’s quite possible the new girlfriend is paying for these trips. You can ask him why, if he has money to spare, he’s not giving it to your siblings, and yes, you can mention to your siblings that Dad went on a trip or two. But we don’t recommend you chastise Dad or rile up your siblings. They may be delighted that he’s getting out and enjoying his life, and the money might not be that important to them. Or they may have loaned him the money without expecting repayment. Any argument about those loans should be between your siblings and their father.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Just Saying,” the diabetic woman who wants to bring her own food into a restaurant. She should understand that the owners are not being rude by not allowing it. It is a health code violation.

There is nearly always an item on the menu that someone with diabetes could eat or ask to have prepared in a way that wouldn’t violate their diet. Those items might not be the person’s first choice, but they are adequate compensation for the ability to share a table with her friends, and next time, they can go to a place of her choosing. – Common Sense