DEAR AMY: Our daughter broke up with her first boyfriend in the middle of her senior year in high school. They began dating in her sophomore year. Now they live a 2-1/2-hour plane ride apart and she is a freshman in college. She remains in casual contact with him online but has no desire to resume a romance.
During the time they dated, his mother became "friends" with her on Facebook and continues to comment on her posts and check in on her page. We think this is inappropriate and meddling. We would never "friend" our children's teenage romantic interests unless it was very serious. Our daughter feels it could be viewed as rude to "unfriend" her.
What are your thoughts on this sticky situation? We think it is weird that she is following our daughter on Facebook and commenting on her page.
— Upset Parents
DEAR UPSET: Your daughter has remained in casual contact with her former boyfriend online and his mother is maintaining a casual contact with her on Facebook. Following a Facebook friend's posts is not exactly cyber stalking. Many people maintain contact and friendships with their kids' exes, and despite what you think, this is not necessarily inappropriate or meddling unless the responses or comments are.
If your daughter doesn't want this woman to see her posts, she can "unfriend" her, and if this is seen as rude, does she care?
Otherwise, she can adjust her privacy settings and prevent this mom from seeing her posts without unfriending her. If the mother notices this and sends her a message to ask why, your daughter can simply be honest and say, "It makes me uncomfortable sharing my personal posts with you."
DEAR AMY: My future in-laws have offered to pay for our rehearsal dinner, and I am so grateful! The restaurant we are going to that night has a nut-free kitchen but brings in desserts from outside bakeries that use nuts.
I am severely allergic to nuts and can't be close to nut products without having a reaction. We chose nut-free desserts that I can't eat due to cross-contamination at the bakery, but I can safely be at the table when they are served. My future mother-in-law is demanding that a nut-filled dessert be served (it's her favorite).
My fiance and I have politely tried to explain this issue and have told her we would pay for the dinner ourselves, but she says she is not willing to even attend the dinner "when the bride is being so selfish." Amy, I have been polite and grateful, but I feel it is reasonable to ask not to be around something that could hurt me. How do I fix this? This has become a huge ordeal.
— Allergic Fiancee
DEAR ALLERGIC: You need to do your best to stay out of the hospital on your wedding day.
Your future mother-in-law's statement is extremely rude, but I believe that some people either don't understand the severity of nut allergies, or they deny that these allergies are "real." You and your fiance need to sit down with her for a firm reality check.
You (and he) will say, "I can't have any nuts or be around any nuts at any time. I know you don't like this, but that's the way it is. Do you understand how serious this is?" Wait for her answer. Print out some information for her about your allergy, and ask for her help to keep your celebration safe.
If she won't cooperate, pay for the celebration yourself and invite her to be your guest. If she doesn't attend, understand that this is her choice.
DEAR AMY: The young man who signed his letter "Grateful" wanted to know how to thank his girlfriend's parents for picking up the dinner check. The next time they eat out he should contact the server privately and direct that he will pick up the check. Waitstaff will help.
— Been There
DEAR BEEN THERE: A little dinnertime subterfuge could take care of this nicely. Thank you.
Send questions via e-mail to email@example.com. Amy Dickinson's memoir, The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.