When a woman liv­ing by her­self should lie DEAR ABBY

Austin American-Statesman - - AUSTIN360BETS -

Dear Abby:

I am a 27-yearold woman who lives alone in a house I own. Some­times strangers come to the house for var­i­ous rea­sons — plumbers, elec­tri­cians, etc.

One ques­tion I am fre­quently asked is, “Do you live alone?” I just don’t know how to an­swer that ques­tion with­out feel­ing like some­one might take ad­van­tage of me. Can you help me and other sin­gle women by pro­vid­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse? — Cau­tious Bach­e­lorette,

Huntsville, Ala.

Dear Bach­e­lorette: Gladly. Your gut in­stincts are on tar­get. I ran your ques­tion by my lo­cal po­lice depart­ment. Al­though I do not usu­ally ad­vise read­ers to lie, this is the ex­cep­tion that proves the rule. If you are asked whether you live alone, re­ply: “No, I do not live alone. My boyfriend (brother, nephew, etc.) lives here too. Why do you ask?”

Dear Abby:

My par­ents are in their 60s and healthy. Dad has al­ways been fru­gal. But ever since his re­tire­ment, sav­ing a buck seems to be the only thing that makes him happy. Mom and Dad are com­fort­ably well off, but all they seem to think about is sav­ing money.

My sib­ling and I are do­ing well enough that we don’t need to rely on in­her­i­tance money. We would rather see them en­joy life than hold onto that money for us. Is Dad bored, or does he need a hobby?

It has reached the point where it’s em­bar­rass­ing to go any­where with them be­cause Dad be­rates wait­ers at res­tau- rants and ar­gues with store clerks over prices. When we’re shop­ping, he “dis­ap­pears” un­til ev­ery­thing is paid for. When I tell him I didn’t ex­pect him to pay, he gets de­fen­sive and de­nies he was hid­ing. What do you make of this?

— Pulling My Hair Out

Dear Pulling: I make of it that your par­ents are healthy, re­tired with less money at their dis­posal than — per­haps — they had counted on, and ex­pect to live a long time. That may be what is driv­ing your al­ready fru­gal fa­ther’s be­hav­ior.

Many re­tirees to­day are do­ing with far less be­cause of the fi­nan­cial turmoil dur­ing the past few years. Some have had to post­pone their re­tire­ment en­tirely.

Be­cause your fa­ther is ar­gu­ing with servers over the price of food — which is not their fault be­cause they don’t set the prices on the menu — take him to less ex­pen­sive restau­rants. And if his be­hav­ior when you’re shop­ping em­bar­rasses you, find other ways to spend time with him. Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Dear Abby ap­pears on Sun­day, Mon­day, Wed­nes­day and Fri­day. E-mail Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com.

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