Dear Amy: My sister "Carol" was married about 10 years to her high school sweetheart, "Steve." He was very much a part of the family.

About three years ago, he started cheating on Carol and eventually left her. She was devastated. He married the woman he cheated on my sister with, and they have a baby.

My sister "Sarah" and her husband have maintained a close relationship with Steve. Carol is really hurt Sarah and her husband visited Steve at his home, in the same city Carol lives in -- and they didn't even bother to visit her! Sarah even goes so far as to ask Carol, "Hey -- how is Steve doing? How is the baby?"


Amy says: When in-laws become fully integrated into a family, it's hard on everyone when the marriage ends. Hanging out with an "out-law" becomes a delicate dance -- at least initially, when feelings are raw.

A sensitive family member will realize that during a difficult divorce, attention and concern should be lavished onto the aggrieved family member. The in-law friendship should be placed on another burner until the dust settles.

"Steve" sounds like a cad, but your siblings can maintain friendships with whomever they choose. All the same, they shouldn't push this friendship into your sister's face.

"Sarah" and her husband seem to prefer Steve to Carol, however -- and that is a relationship issue they will have to sort out themselves.

Hands off communal food bowl

Dear Amy: Would you please write something in your column about people who stick their fingers into food serving dishes? With all of the diseases and deadly viruses in the world today, you would think that people would know not to serve themselves with their fingers from a communal bowl.

If they read something extremely profound from you, it might do some good.


Amy says: I'm not sure the practice of touching food is much of a health hazard -- as long as people approach the table (and the task) with clean hands. I offer something that might be catchy, but is considerably less than profound:

I don't want to sound overly picky,

But using a spoon isn't tricky.

If you manage to do,

You'll sidestep the flu,

And your digits -- they won't get all sticky.

My apologies to my distant ancestor Emily Dickinson. She deserved better.

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