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Blood is thicker than water, but …

Dear Annie: I recently had a conversation with my mother. She mentioned that she and Grandma are not speaking again. She reminisced about how poorly she has been treated by her mother, even as a child.

She then mentioned how her mother donates blood frequently, saying she is a universal donor, meaning O-negative. Annie, if my grandmother is O-negative, it’s genetically impossible for her to be my mother’s biological mom, because Mom is AB-negative.

Family relations with that side of the family are very fragile, and I am fairly confident that my grandmother would never tell anyone the truth about the situation. I don’t have contacts with relatives on that side of the family because Grandma prohibited it. Should I tell my mother? Should I confront my grandmother? How do I start a search looking for the answers on my own?

— R.

Dear R.: While it is not common for an O-negative parent to have an AB-negative child, it is not impossible. A lot depends on your grandfather’s blood type and other factors. Everyone involved would have to agree to be tested to know more. We realize you don’t much care for Grandma, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t biologically related to you. Bring this up to your mother only if you believe it would be helpful to her and not simply rub salt in her wounds.

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Dear Annie: My boyfriend, “Keith,” has worked at a retail business for 30 years. He has been friends with a female co-worker for a while. “Marla” calls Keith on his cellphone every day, even though he will be at work within a short time. At work, they talk constantly. If he doesn’t work on a specific day, she calls him multiple times at home.

I have no problem with their friendship, except that Keith keeps most of this information from me. When I ask him directly about talking to Marla, he denies it, even though I have cellphone records as proof. If it is only a friendship, why is he so secretive? There also have been several occasions where we had plans but Keith made up excuses for being late while he waited for Marla’s phone call.

Keith doesn’t understand my frustration of having to wait so that he can talk to his “friend.” And because he has limited minutes on his cell plan, he spends most of them with her, and I get fewer.

Am I simply jealous, or should I be concerned about their interactions?

— Tired of Being Second

Dear Tired: Keith needs to be transparent in his dealings with Marla. The secrecy and frequency of the contact make it suspicious, and his excuses are a way to maintain the relationship with her at the expense of the one he has with you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a flirtation, an affair or nothing. He needs to take your feelings into consideration and treat your relationship with more respect, instead of creating friction because he likes the attention from Marla. It’s unfair to all of you.

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Dear Annie: “Too Good of a Cook” said she’d like to have some help with the grocery bills and cooking when her eight grown children and numerous grandchildren visit. This is what we did:

Six couples were invited to spend the weekend at a friend’s mountain cabin. The host specified that each couple would be responsible for cooking one meal for everyone and should bring all of the groceries required for that meal. It worked out great, and it was fun to sample everyone else’s cooking. We shared the cooking cleanup and grocery expense. That way, the host could also enjoy the festivities and didn’t have to spend a fortune on groceries and all of his time in the kitchen preparing meals.

— Co-Op Kitchen

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Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

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