DEAR ABBY: I am a 31-year-old woman who has been in many relationships since high school. No engagements, however, although four of the men mentioned they wanted to marry me. I lived with three of them.
I’m a former model, have almost completed my second master’s degree and hold a steady government job. I don’t understand why I feel so depressed just because no one has ever wanted to marry me. I have wanted kids my entire life and thought I would have three before I was 30. Now I cry every day thinking how I may never be in a relationship with anyone who will love me enough to marry me, or have kids with me because marriage never happened.
I have a college fund set up for my “future” children and have done everything in my life to prepare to be a mom. I paid off my student loans early, got a car that was perfect for car seats and a dog that’s a good breed for kids. I just don’t know where to turn next. — YEARNS TO BE WIFE/MOM
DEAR YEARNS: You seem to be a nice, accomplished woman with traditional values. Could it be possible that you are so focused on getting married that you have chased away your suitors? From what you have written, you may have put the cart before the horse. Allow a relationship to play out naturally before focusing on a rush to the altar.
Although you yearn for marriage before maternity, it’s important you don’t forget there may be other options. Marriage isn’t in the cards for everyone. Some single women focus on their careers and/or adopt children who need loving homes. You could be one of them if you expand your horizons. (c) DEAR ABBY
I feel her pain, but you can’t tell someone you’ve just started going out with that you want to have his babies. Unless you’re trying to stage a breakup, in which case it’s perfect.
I’d advise her to separate her romantic desires from her maternal ones. Like Dear Abby said, she can have kids via adoption or fostering. And becoming an adoptive and/or foster mom might help her become less desperate for romance. (We can hope.) The problem with romance is that you can’t focus on the end goal when you’re first getting to know someone. So if I were she, I’d focus on having kids separately from finding someone to marry.
DEAR ABBY: I have two sons and a daughter. My younger son will be getting married in a few months. While he and his sister used to have a close relationship, they have been estranged since their father’s death a year ago. I have reason to suspect that he won’t invite his sister to attend the wedding.
I intend to have a heart-to-heart talk about this with my son and find out what his intentions are. I regard an invitation as not only proper etiquette, but also an opportunity to extend a peace offering.
Would you please advise me on the best way to approach him about it and, specifically, what words to use? I’m worried that if an invitation isn’t extended, their relationship may become impossible to repair. I should mention that while they are both good-hearted people, they are also stubborn. — HEARTBROKEN MOM
DEAR MOM: Whatever happened between your son and daughter must have been a doozie to have caused a yearlong estrangement. If you wish to approach your son, do so in the context of your concern that if she isn’t invited to his wedding, you fear the estrangement could become permanent. But after that, please recognize that this is his wedding, and it is his and his fiancee’s prerogative to decide who should celebrate with them.
Change a few details there, and my mom could’ve written this about me and my sister, who got married a few weeks ago. I didn’t attend.
From the other side of this issue, I think the mom should butt out. This weird motherhood fantasy of all their kids getting along is ridiculous. Life doesn’t work that way, not too often, I’d guess.
There could be a valid reason for the estrangement. With the death of their dad, one of them might’ve swooped in and claimed an inherited item that they both knew was promised to the other sibling, for example. For the mom to be all patronizing in her attempts at reconciliation is belittling to the wronged sibling (assuming there is one).
I know I’m sick of being told to forgive my sister for violently assaulting me on several occasions. “Oh, she’s a better person now. Oh, what do you mean, she never apologized? Oh, can’t bygones be bygones?” [Eyeroll.]
I’m not a parent, but I can’t understand why mothers can’t just accept it if their kids don’t want to interact.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I want to address the greeting of “Hi there/Hey there” that people often say to me.
I am not a location, and I truly prefer that people call me by my name, if they know it. If they don’t, I’d prefer if they just said “Hi.”
I have thought about telling them in a polite way what I prefer, but there is more to deal with in life than this particular pet peeve. Am I being too persnickety?
GENTLE READER: Yes. True, you are not a location, but Miss Manners is hesitant to point out that you are, in fact, there.
Logic is probably not the issue here. You are a “you,” but you probably would not like “Hey, you” any better.
Miss Manners suspects that it is really the tone with which this is said, not the greeting itself, that is proving irksome. As you point out, there are far more egregious things you could be called, and this one is probably not worth the fight — as it is likely that if they do not know your name, you will not be seeing them again. Or that they will learn it if you do.
If you want to have fun, however, to make your point, Miss Manners will allow a confused look and quick circle around yourself to see what is “there,” followed by a temperate, “Oh, me? I wasn’t sure to whom you were talking. If you say ‘Mrs. Bertram,’ I’ll know you mean me.” (c) MISS MANNERS
Yikes! I can’t tell you guys how many emails I’ve sent with the subject like of “Hi there!”. I think I’d categorize this as a pet peeve of the letter writer’s. What’s weird is that I always obey people’s pet peeves until they become my pet peeves. Go figure. Many, many years ago when I was still in contact with my sister, she hated LOL. Hated it. So I started typing HA HA HA HAHA!, and now, I’m still typing it. And Sonya hates “Oh my God!” for religious reasons, so now I’m always saying, “Oh my goodness!” My mentor hates flatulence jokes (and no, he won’t pull my finger–I’ve tried asking him), so now I’m starting to think that flatulence jokes are crude, too. I’m too impressionable, but there’s not much I can do about it, and I guess it’s not a huge deal.
Miss Manners suspects that it is really the tone with which this is said, not the greeting itself, that is proving irksome.
I kind of sense that it’s about the casual attitude of the speaker. “Hey, yo, what up dawg?” sounds less formal than, “Hello, Mrs. Bertram. Fancy seeing you out and about on this fine day. Would you care for tea?” (Oh my gosh, did I just go British? [Makes scandalized face.])
Miss Manners will allow a confused look and quick circle around yourself to see what is “there,” followed by a temperate, “Oh, me?”
Oh, come on, that’s a bit hostile. Whenever my dad asks me what’s up, I point upward, but he knows I’m just joking.
I just broke wind. Oh, good! I still like flatulence. That’s a relief! (In more ways than one.)