DEAR ABBY: My husband has ice water with every meal. During breakfast and dinner he loudly crunches all of the ice in his glass throughout the meal.
I have asked him not to do it at the dinner table, but he thinks I'm being unreasonable. At breakfast, I usually eat in another room and wear noise reduction headphones.
I'm deaf in one ear and have only about 60 percent hearing in the other. We have been married for more than 30 years and he claims he has "always" done it and it's part of his enjoying his meal.
Am I selfish to ask that he not crunch while I'm sitting next to him? -- HATES THE CRUNCHING IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR HATES THE CRUNCHING: I reviewed your letter with an expert at the House Research Institute in Los Angeles and was told that hypersensitivity to sound can occur as a result of hearing loss. If you haven't discussed this with an ear, nose and throat specialist or an otologist, you should, because your problem may be related to your limited range of hearing.
If you wear a hearing aid, it may be amplifying the noise, which could contribute to your hypersensitivity. Also, because you find your husband's habit irritating, you may think you are hearing more noise than you actually are.
For him to persist in doing something he knows annoys you is not only insensitive, but also rude.
P.S. I'm surprised his dentist hasn't cautioned him about chewing ice because it can chip the enamel on his teeth -- or even cause a tooth to fracture.
DEAR ABBY: I have been reading your and your mother's columns for many years. After hearing about her passing, I want you and your family to know you will be listed in my prayers in the days ahead.
I thought you might be interested to know some of the lessons I have learned from reading your column. They are:
1. Don't blame your server for bad food. Always be polite and send compliments to the chef when applicable.
2. It's your wedding; you don't have to invite "drama mama" and "long-gone dads" unless you want to. And do not ignore Stepmom.
3. It's never too late to change bad habits. Today is a good time to begin making healthy new ones.
4. Kindness is always important. Do it randomly if you must, but do it often. Pennies are a gentle reminder of heaven.
5. Being the other woman is a dead-end job. No matter what he says, the odds are he is never going to leave his wife.
6. Workplace romances are usually doomed. Don't risk it unless you want to find a new job.
7. Counseling is a good thing. Don't suffer for years or in silence. Get some help today.
8. Reconcile and forgive estranged parents if you can. You don't have to be dysfunctional because they are.
9. Pursue that thing you dream of now. You're going to get older anyway. Which would you regret more, doing something or not doing it?
10. You deserve to be loved. Start with yourself, become the best that you can be and live until you die.
P.S. I just thought of one more: Send thank-you notes, and no, it's never too late to do it. -- CYNTHIA B. HOPSON, LEBANON, TENN.
DEAR CYNTHIA: Your letter made me smile. Thank you for sending it. It brightened my day.
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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