DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Larry" for a little over a year. During this time he has been in and out of work. Anytime we go anywhere or do anything, he never offers to pay. Even if he has money in his pocket, he'll look the other way when a check arrives. Other times, he insists on "Dutch treat."
Larry says we were raised differently. I say he's cheap. When the holidays come around, I never receive a gift or a card. I am a hardworking woman who is currently holding down two full-time jobs. I don't see why Larry feels he is entitled.
Am I out of line for thinking a man should "treat" a woman? I just don't think Larry is morally correct. -- PAYING DEARLY IN NAPLES, FLA.
DEAR PAYING DEARLY: I agree that you and Larry were raised differently. I also agree that he's cheap. However, the idea that a man should always treat a woman is outdated.
You signed yourself "Paying Dearly." The question is, are you getting what you're paying for -- and is it enough for you? If the answer is no, then scratch Larry.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I were sorting through some old things of mine and came across a wallet containing some pictures of my old high school girlfriend. Normally, I wouldn't think twice about tossing them, but in this case, she was someone I had stayed very close with (platonically) until her untimely death several years ago.
What is the protocol for throwing away things like this, when it's someone you were close to who is now deceased? I'm sure her parents wouldn't want them.
It feels disrespectful to toss them in the trash, but at the same time I don't really feel I need to keep them. My wife doesn't care either way if I keep them or not. -- TO KEEP OR NOT TO KEEP
DEAR TO KEEP OR NOT TO KEEP: Offer the pictures to your former girlfriend's family because they might surprise you and consider them treasures. However, if they're not interested and you can't bring yourself to put them in the trash, put them in the box in which you found them and let your family deal with them after you're gone.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 10 years, together for 15. When we met, he was in a band and we did a lot of socializing, drinking, partying, etc.
Over the years and two children later, I enjoy these activities less as the demands of parenting and full-time careers take top priority. My husband frequently makes the comment, "You used to be fun." I find it incredibly hurtful and have told him so, but he continues to repeat it. Sometimes I'm tempted to lash out and say, "Then go find yourself someone who is!" Is there any other way I can address this? -- "PARTY-POOPER" IN NEW YORK
DEAR "PARTY-POOPER": Yes. The next time your husband says, "You used to be fun," rather than become defensive, ask him to explain what he means. What exactly does he miss? The freedom? Not having the responsibilities of a full-time career and two children? The drinking?
If he misses the carefree woman you used to be, find a sitter and schedule some regular adult time together. If it's something more than that, you may need a marriage counselor.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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