There was finally some letters that deserved attention.
The "real" answers can be found here.
And now we come to The Stupid Games.
DEAR ABBY: My 23-year-old son, "Wayne," who is single, has a 3-year-old son. We didn't learn about the child until he was more than a year old, when Wayne was asked to take a paternity test. Luckily, we have been able to form a good relationship with our grandson's mother and see him often. However, our son has shown no interest. He pays child support, but has little interaction.
Wayne is an only child. I love him, but I never wanted another one. I was never comfortable around or interested in young children except for my own son. Could he have gotten this from me?
Friends and family have commented on Wayne's lack of interest in his son, and I'm tired of making excuses or telling people to mind their own business. Wayne says he feels resentment and doesn't want to be around this child. I have tried to explain that he'll regret it in years to come, but he won't listen.
My husband is appalled that our son would act this way, but he seems to forget that I was the one who did everything with Wayne. I did the Boy Scouts, movies, horses, trips, etc. He did almost nothing with Wayne and his friends. At this point, I don't know what to do and would like some advice. -- MOM IN ILLINOIS
Did you ever think that maybe this is a good thing? Clearly a child does not need a self interested, spoiled person as their father. Maybe, instead of the continued coddling of your idiot son Wayne, you should concentrate more on your "new" daughter. Give her relationship advice, help her find a good role model for your grandchild. Babysit the kid every once in a while so she can go out on a date and find a real man.
Because Wayne is not a real man. Sure, he understands fiscal responsibility(and using the excuse that he's 23 is just a continuation of what's wrong with society). But he doesn't seem to understand social/emotional responsibility. Maybe you screwed up when raising him, who knows and who cares? What's done is done. You probably did the best you could. It might also just be that your son is a jerk, and would have become a jerk without you because there is this this thing called "free will" that absolves you from some mistakes you might have made.
But you are not the issue here. If you feel you missed something, or made a mistake in rearing your son, here's the chance to fix it.
And don't do it out of guilt alleviation. Just because you feel bad that your son Wayne is an uncaring bastard, doesn't mean you have to be mother Theresa and clean up after him.
Also, whenever you have your grandchild, make it clear that your son is not to come around during those times, unless he is going to be positive and constructive around the child ie; taking an actual interest. If you really care about this kid don't just spoil him. Get your husband involved as well, and have some good bonding time.
"But if we do all that, our son might resent us, and think that we never loved him?!"
Make it clear you still love your son if this comes up. Make it also clear that he's a grown adult, and this child needs more attention than he does, and the reason you never did these kinds of things with him is because he had two parents, and his child only seems to have one.
This part goes out to all the single child families: spoiling your kids does nothing to help them later in life. You might want to give in and give them whatever they want. Imagine doing that for an adult. Do you think an adult that always gets their way and doesn't understand responsibility is a winner?
Your children are in training to become people, actual persons that will affect the world. They can still have fun and be silly. Maturity is knowing when to have fun, and when to take action and be responsible.
DEAR ABBY: I come from a troubled family. I am just now realizing that there is more to life than posting bond for family members and getting people out of jail at 3 a.m. I got my GED and started college this year. Although I try to keep them at bay, they call me with one family crisis or another, and it's putting stress on everyone around me.
I'd love to have a positive relationship with my family, but drama seems to follow them everywhere. Should I just let them go and move on with my life, or continue doing the same as always? Must I drop everything I'm doing to jump and run every time the phone rings? -- FAMILY DRAMA IN TEXAS
I understand wanting to have a good relationship with yoru family. Bailing them out of jail doesn't mean that is developing a good relationship. I suggest keeping the relationships phone/email based for about a year, maybe more. If the only time they really want to talk is to get bailed out of a jam, they'll soon realize that you are not an option. If they actually care, they'll still want to talk to you even if they don't help.
Me? If this happens all the time like you say, I'd let them rot in jail. If they haven't learned to stay out of trouble now that you are an adult, then you don't need that kind of stupid in your life.
Screw em. You don't owe them anything. You are not their retirement plan, their parent, or their investment. Start your own close family. They don't even have to be blood related.
These two letters made me think about family quiet a bit, obviously. Folks, being an idiot does not absolve you from the events that happen in your life. Maybe you knock up a woman, or knock over a liquor store. The result is similar; actions have consequences, and consequences should have actions.
Instead of spouting off about your rights and freedoms, about how special your circumstances were, about how it wasn't your fault that something fucked up, take responsibility anyway.
You got a girl pregnant? What did you think would happen when you stuck your dick in there? Did you miss biology/the last 100,000 years of human history? If you think you are able to take care of a screaming shit machine for 18 years and actually love and take care of it, then you are ready to have sex. Not just because you got a boner or were "in love". You don't have to fuck everything you love. 120,000 foster children in North America alone should be enough proof that love and biological urges are different.
Sex feels great. Is a few minutes of orgasm really worth 18-24 years of hard labor if you hate kids?
Your kids are not a retirement investment plan. They are not your "get out of jail free" card. They are the metaphorical building blocks to maintaining a bridge from our past to our future. As the old structures decay and fall apart (old age/death) new materials need to take the place so that the WHOLE bridge can be supported, so that ideas and efforts can stretch on into a sustainable culture.
But that's just me. And apparently having this view is not very 'politically correct" because I'm forcing my values on others.
Dear Abby can be read here.
But you're here to read me.
Sorry, this one isn't very snarky. I still have my dogs on a chain. I'll let them off soon, when something really polarizing gets posted.
Then you'll see.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful man for 30 years. Our marriage may not be perfect, but it's quite good.
My dilemma is this: My husband keeps track of every time we have sex and has a personal goal of 100 times a year. In 2013, he informed me that we'd had sex only 76 times, and that was not adequate for him. He was quite upset about it.
Do you think tracking your sex life is normal, and what do you think about a couple married for 30-plus years having sex 76 times in a year? Is that normal? Also, keep in mind that he travels for business and is gone about 60 days a year. -- PRESSURED
The average for married couples between the ages of 50-59 is about once week. 364 days a year (minus sixty for work) means roughly twice a week.
While it is odd that he keeps track of how many times a year, I think maybe it stems from knowing what the average is. Maybe in his mind, he's proving that things are good, that he's still "got it". Unless he's really lousy at it (which after 30 years, thats apparently not the issue), I don't see an issue. If you're bored, or feel truly pressured, why not take control of it and spice things up a bit? Do some role playing, a little domination, make him work for it a little. Tell him that one crazy fantasy you've had for years but never spoken of. Or ask him to "woo" you.
You know, talk about it.
DEAR ABBY: After six years of unsuccessful fertility work, my husband and I were forced to give up. Last summer his sister offered to be a surrogate for us, and we'll use a donor egg since I have none. We have told only a few people.
We're having an embryo transfer next week and thought we'd wait until after the first trimester to "announce." But what is the proper way to do it when it's not actually I who is expecting? And is there etiquette for having a baby shower in this situation?
We're excited and proud of this opportunity, but it takes a lot of explaining for people to understand and not be judgmental. This is the closest we'll ever get to experiencing pregnancy, and I want to enjoy it to the fullest. -- MODERN MOM-TO-BE IN WASHINGTON
Why not treat it like an adoption party? The explanation would be simple: "We're adopting a family members baby, and we're happy about it". People don't need to know the details, and you can share it at your discretion. You can still have all those fun things bio parents have. You are over thinking what other people are going to say. I think you should be more focused on each other, and the new home you are creating, and worry less about the social niceties and opinions of people who if they cared about you, would cram their opinions down their own throats.
DEAR ABBY: My 18-year-old granddaughter is seeing a 30-year-old man. What can I say to let her know he is way too old for her? I don't want her to hate me. -- LOVING GRANDMA IN FLORIDA
Dear Loving Grandma,
If the U.S. government can declare tomatoes as a vegetable, and a woman can marry a dolphin, then trying to rationalize something to a teenager isn't going to work since many teens don't have fully developed frontal lobes. Those aformentioned government officials and dolphin wedders weren't teens, and look how ridiculous those choices are. However, people nowadays rarely marry their boyfriends at 18, no matter what age the other person is. Even if she were dating someone more her age, chances are she'd either dump him or vice versa. Just let this play itself out. She may get hurt in the process, but she won't die. And you can be there to dote on her when she's sobbing into a pillow over how much breaking up sucks. Then you can introduce her to your friends grandson and play matchmaker.
The first one might be controversial. If I ever cheated on my wife (wouldn't happen. I love her too much. That and she has family in the Mexican Mafia), I would hope that I would have decent enough friends to call me on my crap. To paraphrase a book written 3,500 years ago "As iron sharpens iron, so does the countenance of ones friends."
Here's Abby's article: Won't say it like it is
As usual, I'll print my answers, but you can go to Abby's site for hers.
DEAR CRABBY: I manage a group of 15 employees. A few months ago, I hired the wife of an old friend. Until now she has been a great employee, but recently she and a male co-worker have been taking lunches and breaks together in a way that leads me to believe they are flirting or have already crossed the line.
Because we have a small group, I worry about how this will affect my team, who know that she's married. I also feel bad for the husband, who is a very caring and kind man.
As a manager, I don't think I can say anything unless their liaison interferes with their work performance. But I hate to watch this progress and see people end up hurt. What can I do? -- MANAGEMENT DECISION
There are a few options you can go over, such as stating the companies policy on fraternization, and that people having office relationships need to file it with Human Resources. You can make this statement to the group. That way you are acting professionally and observing company policy.
The other side of this is your friendship: are you more friends with her, or with him? Personally, I don't want to be friends with someone who will cheat on their significant other. It makes me feel like they will lie to me, as well. I would suggest finding out for sure, either by playing detective, or suggesting that your friend go have lunch with his wife, and have him show up where she eats as a surprise.
It might not be any of "your business", unless you care about what happens to your friends and their feelings.
If you saw someone stealing from your friend, would you stop them? Why do we think that cheating on someone is none of our business, especially when married people make declarations to the public and their friends and family that they will be loyal?
Food for thought.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend watches the 24-hour news channels and seems to be obsessed with them. It is hurting our relationship and affecting her happiness. She's constantly worried about national and international politics, global warming, the economy, health care, crime, etc. She neglects herself and her family. She seems agitated, anxious and depressed by all the news.
Is this a disease? How can I help her get off this habit? What should I do? -- MISERABLE IN MINNESOTA
I've never really understood what the benefit of watching the news was. I still do it, read various sources, etc. But at the end of the day I have to ask myself "Did my knowledge of what happened make me a better person? Did it help anyone?" More often than not, the answer is "no". Sure, I know an airplane went down after it left Malaysia. Does knowing that bring those people back or supply relief to their families?
Try giving the news perspective, and talk to her about it. Discuss what she is watching, and ask her why it makes her scared. Thoroughly examine the source of her fears. Then give her a little Baz Lurhman: "Don't worry. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as chewing bubblegum while trying to solve a math equation."
It's the same thing as when I dealt with a paranoid schizophrenic (don't know for sure, I'm not a psychologist) who was convinced the government was watching him. I kept asking him why, leading him along the line of logic "Why would they watch him? Was he working on a weird math equation? Did he witness something illegal?" Eventually he thought through his paranoia and realized that even if he was being watched, it would be very boring for the watcher. Then he decided that he would put on shows and act out parts from plays for them, just to "endear them" to him.
If she still acts like a bump on a log, tell her she can either watch the news or be with you. Not both.
DEAR CRABBY: At a wedding, while shaking hands with a friend, I accidentally bumped another friend's wine glass, staining his $180 shirt. The stain is a small one, on the lower portion and not very noticeable. Now the man insists I pay for the shirt.
Is there an etiquette rule on this issue? I feel bad, but not bad enough that I think I should pay for such an expensive shirt. If you have the means to pay for a shirt that expensive, I don't believe you should expect others to replace it. -- CHRIS IN DENVER
Emily Posts guide to etiquette states that you should have the shirt cleaned, or replace it. Treat it like a baseball through a broken window. It may have been an accident, you are sorry, but that window still needs to be fixed.
So, once you shell out the money and fix the material things, ask yourself if you want to be friends with someone who values objects more than relationships? Or who would want to be friends with a person who does not care for the possessions of others.
Maybe you shouldn't be friends with this person if the both of you are more concerned with material things.
What is clear is that you have shown that this friend has more money than you, and it bothers you.
Going back to that window: does it matter if its a window in a mansion or a hovel? You broke the window. Sorry doesn't stop a draft.
"But it's not a window, it's a shirt." You broke something that wasn't yours. Fix it or replace it. Whiner.
Once again, I have different answers than Abby. Anyone got a problem with that?
DEAR ABBY: My 83-year-old mother has decided she wants to die. She says she's miserable, but I think she's causing her own misery. She has medications to address her physical ailments -- none of which are critical. My siblings live in other states. Mom feels it's a "burden" for them to travel to see her, and she refuses to travel.
Mom is in assisted living and is now refusing to bathe, trying not to eat, and doesn't want to talk to anyone or have visitors. She's obviously depressed, but refuses counseling. If she continues being uncooperative, I'm afraid she'll have to go to a nursing home where they might let her starve herself to death.
One sister says I should force Mom to do fun things, but I don't know what she wants. We used to go out to eat, but she no longer wants to do that. I have tried to honor Mom's wishes, but I'm at a loss about what to do for her. Do you have any suggestions? -- ALMOST AT WITS' END
Since the current generation is so fixated on their individual rights and freedoms, perhaps you should take them at their word. Since no one is allowed to dictate how someone lives their life, gay or straight, religious or atheist, pro/anti abortion, you have no ground to stop your mother from killing herself.
But, if you are like myself and do not believe in the garbage of moral relativity, then perhaps a little reverse psychology is in order. Tell her that if she truly does not want to live, then maybe she should spend her last days enjoying life instead of being in misery and hungry all the time. Force her on a goodby tour, and plan on having her do "just one more thing" that you know she'll like. Even help her come up with her own. Have her tell off someone who always bugged her. What has she got to lose? That should be the go to: "what have you got to lose. You're going to die anyway. Why not do this..."
In the end, though, it is her choice.
DEAR ABBY: I dated my ex for six years, but we broke up recently. The problem is, we signed a lease on our apartment that won't be up until next year. He still lives here, and I don't have the heart to kick him out. Financially, our living together makes sense, and I'd rather live with him than with a stranger.
Abby, this living arrangement has made it tough to get over him. Our breakup was amicable -- somewhat -- and we remain civil to each other. I have no desire to get back together with him. I just find it hard because I'm not sure how to survive this weird situation I'm in. Is it a good idea to keep living together? -- REMAINING CIVIL IN CANADA
Dear Remaining Civil,
Yeah. So very Canadian. I had something like this happen to me. Financially it was the best thing. In the long run? Bite the bullet: get out, get out now. The money you lose will be worth it. If you truly are stuck, make every minute be outside the apartment unless you need to sleep or shower. And I can not stress this enough: DO NOT HANG OUT! When you break up, you should cut off almost all contact for at least six months. This isn't being a bitch, this is allowing your brain and body chemistry to re-adapt and be able to make choices and decisions that do not involve another person. Sure, some people may say that this is not the mature way of doing things. Maturity is knowing when to be responsible. You have a responsibility to your own mental health.
DEAR ABBY: My new husband's family informed him they were coming to visit us for seven to 10 days. This was eight relatives, and I was not asked whether this was convenient or not. They were so noisy that our neighbors finally asked, "When are they leaving?"
How can I prevent this from happening again in the future without offending anyone? My husband said after they had left, "You don't handle chaos and confusion well, do you?" -- NEEDS TO BE CONSULTED IN GEORGIA
Are you running a B&B or a hotel? Tell him the next time he thinks it's okay for eight people to stay for ten days, that you are going to slash his beer budget and charge for clean towels and meals.
"My home is your home" has a caveat. A home is run by people in a relationship. A relationship does not work without communication. Doing something without the other person being made aware is not communication, and therefore not a relationship. Tell him "If you love me, you will talk to me, to make sure that I'm taken care of, in our home. Our family first."
Or make him sleep on the couch if it happens again.
Here's another one of my responses to Dear Abby. Her answers can be found here
If you readers would like me to include Abby's responses, let me know!
DEAR CRABBY: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brownnoser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people have complained to me about her attitude. Should I address her comments during her next employee evaluation, or would it be better to speak to her privately? -- THE BOSS IN LAKELAND, FLA.
Are you brown nosing? Should it matter? Who signs your paychecks? Who signs their paychecks?You go to work (even jobs you love) to fulfill a role. That role is not to be everybody's BFF. Personally, I would address it directly and in front of my own boss, “What's wrong with trying to anticipate my boss' needs? That's part of why he hired us. I'm not here to be your friend, I'm here to get a job done, same as you. I suggest you do it instead of complaining about other people doing their job”.
The other option is to manipulate this person. Here are a few ways to do that:
Ask them genuinely if everything is okay. Really ask them. Even if they don't tell you, or do tell you, tell them that you are available if they need to talk. This will engender feelings of emotional obligation in them.
Another way is to ask them to do you a favor. Stand beside them (standing in front suggest confrontation) and say “I need your help.” People don't like the guilt of not helping.
Ask to borrow something of theirs. It's the Benjamin Franklin Effect (here)
That should do it. Or you could just do your job and quit worrying about what others say.
DEAR CRABBY: I would like to ask your readers -- especially women -- what is the one thing they feel is "make or break" in a relationship. A few months ago I divorced a man who was so disrespectful I don't think anyone in the world can match him.
As it turns out, I did myself a huge favor. Everything else -- trust, compromise and honesty -- is important in a relationship, but if there is no respect, it falls apart. That is what happened to me.
Abby, am I correct about respect being the most important aspect of a partnership? -- DESERVING IN SALT LAKE CITY
I'd say communication is most important. Respect is something that is earned, and actions speak louder than words. If you openly talk to someone, share their feelings and thoughts, express yourself succinctly, then respect will fall into place. Especially if they say one thing and do the other. But it is not the cornerstone that everything else is built on. Love is. And love is a language, expressed differently. So did I solve your bet? Because this didn't seem like a real question to be asked to solve a current problem.
DEAR CRABBY: My wife and I spent a lot of money flying to our grandnephew's bar mitzvah. We stayed in a hotel and spent the weekend celebrating with the family.
During the last event, a Sunday brunch, my wife was approached by her penny-pinching sister -- the grandmother -- who asked her to co-sponsor the brunch. My wife, who is naive regarding financial matters, agreed without consulting me.
A few days later, we received an email with an amount that is far more than I want to pay. Had I known in advance, we would have skipped the brunch. How should we proceed? -- ON THE HOOK IN AUSTIN
Dear On the Hook:
There's no such thing as a free lunch...er Brunch. Pony up the cash if you have it, then have a real good talk to your wife about trust and communication. Couples fight over money. It happens. This would be the starter to a big fight. Forgive her, tell her you can both solve this problem, but explain to her how it made you feel.
Give her a scenario: Tell her that she worked really hard and got paid a $1000. Then tell her that you promised $1000 to a friend of yours if the Cubs won the superbowl, and that your just going to give him the money she earned without talking to her about it. You'll just withdraw it all from the account. You gave your word you'd pay him so you can't back out. It's both of your money, right?
When you are married, it's no longer your money. It belongs to both of you. That doesn't mean she can go spend money without talking with you first, or vice-cersa. You can't turn around and buy something expensive (even if you can afford it) without talking to her. You are united by the bonds of marriage, two people that share a life.
If you can't afford to pay for the brunch, explain to the relative you will pay what you can. Ask your wife if she would like to help resolve the issue by getting a part time job. That might sound insulting, but think of it as a team building exercise. Then when you can, get her something nice and tell her you're proud of her.
That's all folks. Complaints? Compliments? Ambivalence? Let me know.
Dear Abby's responses can be read here: mundane
DEAR CRABBY: I have been in a long-distance relationship with "Victor" for several years. Recently I began to suspect he was cheating. What raised my suspicion was that I suddenly couldn't reach him on the weekends. Usually we would Skype -- Sunday night for me, Monday morning for him.
Last February when I visited him, I snooped in his phone -- spare me the condemnation. I found an email he had written to an old girlfriend in which he suggested they plan their "next" rendezvous.
I plan on dumping him, but I don't know how to go about it. I've always been bad at dumping people. Should I write him a letter and confess that I snooped? My first inclination is to disconnect completely and say nothing.
I'm afraid to confront him because he is obviously a good liar. I'm afraid if I do, he'll make me doubt the evidence ... trust me, he's that good! -- CHEATED ON IN L.A.
Dear Cheated On,
Why is it so hart to dump him, huh? Unless you are the kind of slimy person who feels they deserve to be with someone they can't trust. In a way it's a form of security: you don't trust him, and that justifies snooping on him and catching him, proving you were right all along to not trust. Why not marry him, that way you'll definately always be right AND a martyr.
Change your phone number, block him on facebook and all other social media, and call him from a random phone to tell him that you are done. It's not that hard, is it? If you're still planning on seeing him after reading this, just try to think of all the veneareal diseases festering in his cheating mouth.
Also, go to therepy and work on your self confidence.
DEAR CRABBY: I don't know if you have addressed the issue of women and breast augmentation from the standpoint of noticing the work done, but I am trying to find a way to say "I noticed" without being crude or tacky.
My wife works with a woman who recently had augmentation surgery, and we agree that the doctor did a very nice job. According to my wife, the woman is not shy about discussing her surgery. I have known her for years, and we're on friendly terms. We talk often and exchange hugs.
How would I go about complimenting her on her new look? I don't want to say the wrong thing. Or should I just say nothing? -- ENJOYS THE VIEW IN PHOENIX
DEAR ENJOYS THE VIEW,
If your wife is so comfortable with you checking this woman out, then get your wife to comliment her while you're around. If Hooty McBoob looks to you while your wife is complimenting her, sound in. Then buy a really nice couch to sleep on.
Save compliments for your wife, and tell her how beautiful she is. You'll find it makes things better than telling a mutual friend that you think she's attractive.
DEAR CRABBY: Every time I talk to anyone, my husband says I give too many details. While I understand that men are different from women, he often bugs me when I talk to female friends or my mother-in-law. I don't know what to do, because we women love to talk and share details. Please reassure me that I'm not an oddity. -- TALKIN' UP A STORM
DEAR TALKIN' UP A STORM
Maybe instead of talking to your friends and mother-in-law, you should talk to your husband about boundaries -yours and his. Clearly you are making him uncomfortable, and he is retaliating by “bugging” you. This is actually a problem of trust you both seem to be having. He can't trust you to respect his boundaries, so he can't trust you to be left alone.
Maybe the next time you start sharing details with a friend, take one step outside your own amusement and think “Would I want someone I don't really know talking about my personal life?”
Sure, to you it's cute the way he only has one testicle. Is that really something you should share with your friends?
Everyone knows the concept of the advice column. I'm just clinging to Abby's coattails and trying to get attention. Also, I hate some of the advice that's given, and sometimes I get into really long and involved trolling arguments. So I've decided to put that energy here, instead.
First up (and by no means the best) is taken from April 13th, 2014 edition of Dear Abby.
I'll post the letters and my response, not Abby's (Abigail Van Buren).
Here we go!
DEAR ABBY: I'm in a tricky situation. My boyfriend of four years, "Ian," and I took a break from our relationship for two months because he was scared he'd miss out on the single life. We started hanging out again soon after, and everything fell into place.
We were talking recently, and he mentioned that he's planning to move across the country to San Francisco to be near his family. He made it plain he wants to live on the West Coast "forever." I am close to my family -- closer than Ian is to his.
We're both 24, and while we're not going to get engaged anytime soon, I'm not sure what to do. We love each other, but the geography is causing so many issues. Please advise. -- NEW YORK GIRL
Dear NEW YORK GIRL,
Break up. I know that's hard, and that television and movies have told you that love conquers all, but lets be realistic. Distance is like wind to a fire. If your love is the flame of a candle the wind of distance will blow it out. If your love is a campfire (which it apparently isn't because lets be honest, he dumped you to get laid/be independent), it will make the love stronger.
Only one of you seems to be in this relationship, and he's with you because it makes him feel good at the moment. You're 24 and this is not the end of your life, it's the beginning. The tricky thing about "true love" is that if it's meant to be it won't matter if there are 2 miles, or 2,000 miles between you. More important than true love is to "love true". If he truly loved you, you would be part of his plans.
DEAR ABBY: This "issue" with my wife may seem trivial, but it's making me crazy. I like to cook; she doesn't. When I cook it's an expression of love, and our family sits down together to enjoy the meal. We don't watch TV and we don't answer the phone. Sounds ideal, wouldn't you say?
The problem is, after I put the food on the table, my wife gets up and starts pulling other food from the fridge to microwave. Or she'll start making a salad.
These last-minute additions make me furious. She knows it, but won't stop. Either she "doesn't want the leftover to go bad" or she thinks something is "missing" from the table.
I say she should prepare these additions while I'm making dinner so everything will be on the table at the same time, or else forget it. What do you think? -- STEAMING IN THE KITCHEN IN TEXAS
Wow. Lame. If she really cared about what she eats, and you like to cook, why don't either of you talk beforehand about what she wants? There seems to be a greater issue here.
The point is if she doesn't like what you cook, then she could ask or be polite about making something else. She's being rude and disrespecting of your feelings. By saying things like "There's something missing from the table" she's basically insinuating that you are incompetent, and this stems from her own feelings of inadequacy . It's passive-aggressive B.S. Just because it worked for Gandhi doesn't mean it works in a marriage.
If addressed she might turn it around so that its about you not respecting her feelings, or saying that "If you really cared you would make me something I like." I would be tempted to be passive-aggressive as well, and make food for everyone except her.
But that isn't love. You said your cooking is an expression of love. I get that, I really do. If you love someone, and want to do something for them, wouldn't you do something they like? You don't make a pecan pie for someone who's allergic to nuts.
Sit down and talk to your wife. Communication seems to be missing from the table. Genuinely ask her if she feels loved. Just by asking you'll probably get a full and clear answer about what needs to be done. Just make her favorite meal first. With a salad.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter goes to a preschool in a church where we are not members. Pastor "Joe" is very involved with the classes, often chatting with the parents and calling them by their first names.
I have seen him around town various times, but I'm never sure how to address him. I feel strange calling him "Pastor" since he isn't my minister. On the other hand, calling him "Joe" doesn't quite seem right either.
How should a man of the cloth be greeted on the street? -- FEELING AWKWARD IN JAMESTOWN, N.Y.
Have you thought about calling him "Mr."? Or asking what he likes to be called? Who cares if he's a minister? I'm sure Emily Posts guide to etiquette would tell you to call him "mister" first and allow him to correct you. You said it: he's not your pastor. I've come across doctors that tried to correct me when I called them "mister".
"It's Doctor Bojangles."
"You're not my doctor, Mr. Bojangles."
Some might find that disrespectful. I don't care about respect so much as I care about manners. Respect is much deeper. To respect someone is to have confidence in them and to acknowledge them as a person. Saying "I respect you." means you think they are a good person with something good inside of them. Manners is holding a door open or saying please.
So here's your options: If you respect him, ask him what he likes to be called. If he's just some guy, call him Mr. Or call him Mr. on the street and Pastor in the preschool.
Judas' Advice Column
This is where I take a Dear Abby column, and add my own brand of advice. I started by calling it Dear Crabby, but that's taken and JERKASS seems more fun.