Dear Abby: My sister often plans vacations for us. The thing is … I don’t enjoy traveling with her.

DEAR ABBY: I have an ongoing dilemma with my sister. She often plans vacations for us to take together and springs them on me out of the blue. She then pressures me to say yes and becomes impatient when I tell her I need time to think about it.

The thing is, she isn’t a great travel companion and I don’t enjoy going on vacation with her. I have taken trips with her before. She is finicky and picky, and she often expects me to front the money for expenses. I have limited vacation time, and I’d rather spend it with my significant other and friends who are better travel buddies.

I can’t be honest about this with her because she is extremely sensitive and would take it poorly. On the other hand, I feel guilty dodging all her requests for vacations. She doesn’t have close friends because her attitude tends to repel others. I want to do the right thing, but I don’t want to feel used or guilted. How would you handle this? — PUT UPON IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR PUT UPON: I would handle this by telling her no and following it up with why — that although you love her as a sister, you do not enjoy having plans sprung on you and demanding an instant answer, fronting the money for expenses and spending time with someone who is finicky and picky. It’s the truth, and it may be the wake-up call she needs. Above all, remember that the truth will set you free.



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Siblings sell lemonade for RAGBRAI | Mason City & North Iowa


Addi makes her first sale. She plans to spend her profits on tickets to Adventureland.

Rae Burnette

Sitting on the sidewalk west of East Park on Wednesday was a little lemonade stand run by Addi and Gus.

Addi and Gus each have their own half of the stand to learn about sales firsthand. They began by finding a place to set up that was on the RAGBRAI route, at their aunt’s house. Each made their own poster promoting lemonade. Addi also had peanut butter and honey sandwiches for sale, while Gus sold his own snacks. 

Each sat in their chair, one pitcher on each end. Their first customer of the day was a city worker, who helped Addi earn her first dollar. The two were excited for the day, both to see thousands of bicycles ride by and to earn some cash.

When asked why they were out selling lemonade, Gus replied, “to make money.” His mother laughed, and when asked what he was making money for, Gus replied again, “to buy toys.” Gus said he wanted to spend his earnings on a radio controlled car, and Addi wanted to buy a Nintendo Switch. Their mother, on the other hand, had said the two were raising money to buy tickets to Adventureland for vacation, an idea they’d forgotten about in their quest to sell lemonade.

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Addi and Gus sell lemonade to RAGBRAI riders as they pass through downtown Mason City on Wednesday.

Rae Burnette

Rae Burnette is a GA and Crime & Courts Reporter at the Globe Gazette. You can reach her by phone at 641.421.0523 or at [email protected]

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