DEAR ABBY: I'm a 43-year-old single mom with three young boys. I am also a veteran and getting ready to go back to school. I have been dating a gentleman for two months now, and we get along great. He's three years older than I am and good with my kids and family.
I like him a lot and we seem to have a lot in common -- more than most. I really want him to kiss me, but I don't want to seem pushy. He's a real gentleman. We have gone from hugs to holding hands while sitting on the couch watching television. I don't mind taking things slow, but ...
How do I find out if he wants to kiss me or not? Sometimes it seems like it, but then he seems afraid to. How do I let him know it's OK? Sorry I seem like a teenager. -- CONFUSED IN IDAHO
DEAR CONFUSED: This man isn't taking things slow. Glaciers have been known to move faster. Two months is a very long time to wait for a first kiss.
The next time you find yourself sitting on the couch and holding hands with him, you have my permission to turn to him and say, "I'd love it if you kissed me." If that doesn't do the trick, then face it -- his feelings for you are only brotherly.
DEAR ABBY: You have written about children in grocery stores before. Would you please address the risk to children by allowing them to stand in grocery shopping carts? I see it all too often, and I don't think the parents/grandparents realize that if the child falls out and lands on his or her head, neck or back, the child could end up paralyzed or dead. The adult must be the rule setter and protect the child. But too often it's the child setting the limits, and the results can be tragic. -- CONCERNED SHOPPER IN NEW YORK
DEAR CONCERNED SHOPPER: I'm glad to oblige. Many markets equip their shopping carts with seat belts to secure tiny passengers and avoid this problem. That way, any liability that might stem from a child falling would lie directly where it belongs, with the adult who should have been using common sense.
DEAR ABBY: My oldest friend owes me a lot of money. I loaned it to her when she was being evicted. She has now come into some money and is going on a cruise.
I asked her to repay me before the trip. She said she "needs the cruise for her mental health." I am shocked and very angry. When I lost my temper and told her off, she accused me of being "greedy and money-obsessed."
Abby, I helped her when she needed it! What should I do? -- FURIOUS IN SAN FRANCISCO
DEAR FURIOUS: When your "friend" returns from her sea cruise, see if you can get her to agree to a repayment plan for the sake of your mental -- and financial -- health. However, if she refuses, you may have to write off the loan as tuition in the school of experience. Your mistake was not getting the terms of the loan in writing.
DEAR ABBY: I have two sons who will graduate from college on the same day. My wife and I would like to attend both ceremonies, but for obvious reasons, we cannot. How do I resolve this dilemma? -- FATHER IN TEXAS
DEAR FATHER: Divide and conquer. You attend one graduation and your wife the other. To decide which one, you and the Mrs. should draw straws.
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