Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

April 12, 2013

Prisoner regretting his past has trouble seeing the future

(Continued)

— DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband, the father of our two children, was retired from the Air Force. He passed away 18 years ago. He had a full military funeral, with draped flag and all. His wife at the time was presented with the flag, which was proper. They had no children.

When she passes on, would it be proper for her family to give the flag to his biological children? After all, they were with him — as was I — throughout his entire 22-year military career. When my daughter mentioned it to his wife, she got angry. — C. IN TEXAS

DEAR C.: Your former husband’s wife was entitled to whatever property was left after his demise. The flag is hers to bestow — or not. I don’t know how your daughter’s request was phrased, but the woman may have been offended by the way the question was asked. I can’t think of any other reason she would become angry.

DEAR ABBY: I am writing regarding a letter you printed Jan. 26 from “Wants to Be Polite.” I appreciate the person’s sentiments because I, too, want to use good manners and a “You’re welcome” or “Have a nice day” is a pleasing reply to hear.

What I do NOT like is a “No problem” reply to a “Thank you.” It does not seem like a sincere response to me. In fact, it sounds like I was expected to be a problem and just happened not to be one. Any thoughts on this? — ARKANSAS LADY

DEAR ARKANSAS LADY: You may not like hearing it, but you had better get used to it. While “You’re welcome” may be more gracious, saying “No problem” reflects a generational shift in the vernacular. And while it may seem jarring, it is intended to be a polite response, so accept it graciously.

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