She loves na­ture while he loves TV

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINMENT - Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P. O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: My hus­band of 12 years and I have few com­mon in­ter­ests. I am earthy, na­ture- lov­ing, peo­ple- lov­ing and crave a ru­ral life­style. He’s an in­tro­vert, loves ev­ery­thing Western, en­joys his down­time and watches a lot of tele­vi­sion. He dis­likes an­i­mals and is a sports fa­natic.

I don’t crit­i­cize his in­ter­ests. I al­low him his hob­bies. My prob­lem is, our dreams of the fu­ture can’t be com­bined. My off- the- grid homestead and his 70- inch TV don’t ex­actly fit.

It’s de­press­ing that we don’t ap­pre­ci­ate each other’s in­ter­ests, and do­ing all of our hob­bies sep­a­rately is lonely. How can I ex­pe­ri­ence my dreams when they are not my hus­band’s dreams?

Hip­pie Jane in Provo, Utah

Dear Hip­pie Jane: Try do­ing that by re­mem­ber­ing what you had in com­mon with your hus­band 13 years ago. Is the core of your re­la­tion­ship still a good one?

Cou­ples don’t have to be joined at the hip 24/ 7. Can’t each of you en­joy your hob­bies and in­ter­ests sep­a­rately? Many cou­ples do.

How­ever, if the an­swer is that you have grown in­creas­ingly apart in the last 12 years, the only way you can each ex­pe­ri­ence your dreams may be to do it alone or­with other like- minded peo­ple.

Dear Abby: I am deathly afraid of snakes! My daugh­ter, who lives in Canada, re­cently in­formed me that her fam­ily had ac­quired one through a teacher atmy grand­sons’ school. Of course, the three boys are thrilled.

My prob­lem is, we are go­ing to visit my daugh­ter and her fam­ily in a few weeks. I am ter­ri­fied to the point of los­ing sleep and break­ing down cry­ing just think­ing about it.

What should I do? I want to see my fam­ily, but there is no house big enough for me AND a snake. Please help.

Ter­ri­fied in Cy­press, Texas

Dear Ter­ri­fied: If you were plan­ning to stay at your daugh­ter’s, scale back your plans and re­serve a room at a nearby ho­tel or mo­tel. This will give you eight or 10 hours a day nowhere near the rep­tile.

If your daugh­ter is un­aware of your pho­bia, put her on no­tice that the snake is to be con­fined to its cage in a room with a firmly closed door while you are in the house — and fur­ther, you do not wish to make its ac­quain­tance.

Talk to your doc­tor be­fore you go and ask for enough anti- anx­i­ety med­i­ca­tion to calm your nerves while you are there. Then go and have a good time.

Dear Abby: We took my wealthy daugh­ter, hus­band and their four chil­dren to din­ner at a very nice restau­rant. We in­sisted on pay­ing. In fact, we even re­stricted what we or­dered so they could each have an ex­pen­sive dish that they only picked at.

When it was over and it was ob­vi­ous that they weren’t tak­ing home any left­overs, I started to mo­tion to our wait­ress to ask for take- home boxes somy wife and I could take all of their un­eaten food. My wife shot me the “don’t you dare!” look, so all of it wound up in a dump­ster. Need­less to say, it be­came an is­sue.

Was I wrong to want to take home their un­eaten meals?

Peeved in Penn­syl­va­nia

Dear Peeved: Not as far as I’m con­cerned. Be­cause your daugh­ter and her fam­ily didn’t like what they or­dered— and you were foot­ing the bill— there was no breach of eti­quette in ask­ing for a box for the left­overs.

It’s de­press­ing that we don’t ap­pre­ci­ate each other’s in­ter­ests.

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