Dear Abby: Longtime boyfriend needs a nudge toward the altar

Posted: July 11, 2012

DEAR ABBY: I have been in an on-again/off-again relationship with a man for 16 years — more on than off. We have two boys together. He recently moved back in, and things are going well.

We're in our 30s, and I'm ready to be more than girlfriend and boyfriend. I'd like to ask this special man in my life to marry me, but I'm not sure if a woman should ever propose marriage to a man. Should I go ahead and do it, or just be patient?

— Longing for More in Texas

DEAR LONGING FOR MORE: By all means, ask him to formalize your relationship. After 16 years and two children, you deserve to know where the relationship is going. And when you do, mention that you'd like him to go to the altar willingly — before the boys are big enough to hog-tie and drag him there to make an "honest woman" of their mother.

DEAR ABBY: I have been a vegetarian and anti-fur advocate for many years, and most of my friends and family know it.

What would be the proper response when someone gives me an item with real animal fur or genuine leather? While I appreciate that someone has bought me a gift, I'm horrified and heartbroken seeing what's inside the box when I open it.

Is it acceptable for me to use this as an opportunity to educate the person on the horrors of fur fashions?

— Veggie in New York

DEAR VEGGIE: No, it isn't. Good manners dictate that you graciously thank the giver and then, if you wish, give the gift a respectful, private burial or regift it to a carnivore. n

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