DEAR ABBY: I'm in my early 20s, happily married and financially secure. My husband and I have been discussing having children. My problem is my sister has been trying to start a family for three years, to no avail because she has infertility issues.
These issues run in our family, and there is a 75 percent chance that I will have the same problem. Should I talk to my sister about my trying to get pregnant, or wait until I'm pregnant and break the news to her then? Since I may have the same problem she's having, I don't want to discuss something with her that may never happen. Any thoughts? -- DON'T WANT TO HURT HER
DEAR DON'T WANT TO HURT HER: "Springing" news that you are pregnant would be more of a jolt to her than hearing that you're trying. I see no reason to keep this a secret from your sister. Because problems conceiving run in your family, talking about it might be helpful to both of you. If you do become pregnant, she may want to consult your doctor. If it doesn't happen, the two of you can emotionally support each other.
DEAR ABBY: After 20 years of marriage, I am now again in the dating world -- and wow, have things ever changed! What happened to the days when men would open doors, kiss your cheek, or try to impress you by sending flowers, complimenting you and chasing you to go out with them? Nowadays, the guys expect me to impress them, call them first, etc.
What are your thoughts on this? I have been on numerous dates, and out of all of them only one man acted like an old-school gentleman. Unfortunately, he was only 30. I'm in my mid-40s.
I'm not super-rich, but I have a stable job, good benefits and two well-behaved boys. What's wrong with me? -- NEW TO THE DATING WORLD
DEAR NEW: Nothing is "wrong" with you. In fact, if men still chased you, complimented you and didn't expect to drag you to bed in the late '80s and early '90s, you were lucky! Old-fashioned romance started dying out in the late 1960s and early '70s. As women became more aggressive, men became more passive.
If you like the way the 30-year-old man treats you, please don't let the age difference get in the way. Grab him, because his kind is now a rarity.
DEAR ABBY: On Feb. 5 you referred to someone as a "controlling, slave-driving witch." A lot of people in the Wiccan community, practitioners of Wicca, use the term "witch" with positive connotations. There are several slur words that I heard growing up that I would never dream of using these days because of how society has changed. Please help to spread the word.
It took years of fighting the system, but we are now recognized by the VA and included on headstones with other religious symbols.
And by the way, in our religion, the word "warlock" is an insult that means "oath breaker." "Witch" is a gender-neutral name. -- PROUD MALE WITCH AND VETERAN
DEAR PROUD MALE WITCH AND VETERAN: I hope that you and other members of the Wiccan religion will forgive my lapse, which was made out of ignorance. I used the term "witch" as a substitute for the word I wanted to use because my editors told me that referring to a woman in that way is not acceptable in family newspapers.
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.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.