DEAR ABBY: I have a young adult neighbor who is a talented mechanic. He builds model autos and tries them out up and down our street. His latest is a three-wheel motorcycle, which he drives in the wrong direction, without a helmet. He also revs its motor constantly. I’m worried our street will become a hangout for more motorcycle enthusiasts.
I’m also concerned that if I ask him to stop, he’ll get angry. I approached him once and reminded him of safety issues, but at that time he wasn’t racing his motor. It’s worse now because the noise is distracting, and he repeatedly passes my home. What would be a good neighborly response to this? — IRRITATED IN MISSOURI
DEAR IRRITATED: Ask your other neighbors if they, too, are bothered by the noise. If the answer is yes, then approach the young man as a group and explain that, while his mechanical abilities are admirable, the noise when he revs his engine is distracting, and it would be appreciated if he didn’t do it in the area of your homes.
If this doesn’t remedy the problem, check the noise ordinances in your community to see if he is violating any of them. (The answer could be as simple as the young man installing a muffler on his bike.)
DEAR ABBY: I lost 15 years of my daughter’s life when her mother left the state we were living in without my knowledge. We had a boy and girl during our 15 years of marriage and had agreed to joint custody. We weren’t supposed to move more than 50 miles from each other so the kids would be close to both of us.
Once my daughter turned 10, I didn’t see her again until she was 25. When I finally located her, I realized they had moved down South. When we reunited, I learned that some of my relatives knew where my daughter was, and said nothing.
I recently went through a bout with cancer. Because my son thought I was going to die, he decided to clear his conscience. He admitted that at age 13, he told my ex to go ahead and leave the state so I couldn’t have a relationship with my daughter. I love both my kids equally, but now I feel betrayed by my son. Any suggestions? — SAD DAD IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR DAD: So your spouse used advice from her 13-year-old son to take your daughter and disappear, and even though some of your relatives knew you were searching for your child, they kept mum? I have heard of dysfunctional families, but yours takes the cake.
Was your son’s motive for telling his mother to leave while he stayed behind with you because of sibling rivalry? Although he was immature at the time, from my perspective, I agree it was a betrayal. Getting past this may involve many months of counseling and the help of a licensed family therapist. If that’s what you want, start now.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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