Her boyfriend's always copycatting around
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Caleb," and I have been dating for three years. I'm sure he'll propose within the next few months. I'm having a problem with this because Caleb's best friend, "A.J.," will be proposing to his girlfriend in the next month. They should be able to enjoy their time and let all their friends know.
Caleb has always followed A.J.'s lead. When A.J. buys his girlfriend jewelry, I get jewelry. It makes me feel like an afterthought and that the gifts are not sincere.
If Caleb does propose close to the time that A.J. does, I'm going to say no. I don't want a copycat engagement so my boyfriend can keep up with his best friend. Please advise.
- Coming in Second in New York
DEAR COMING IN SECOND: You appear to be frustrated because your boyfriend has a recessive personality and is a follower. It is unlikely that he is going to change. Frankly, Caleb doesn't appear to be mature enough to be making decisions with lifelong consequences. You might be much happier with someone who is his own man.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is an only son. His mother lives an hour from us. I love her dearly, but when she calls to let us know she's coming to visit on any given Saturday, she won't give us a time of her arrival. She says she "doesn't want to be bound by time" because she runs a lot of errands while she's here.
She doesn't appear to notice the inconvenience to me and my active family, who are bound to our house the entire day, waiting for her to show up. My husband brushes it off, but it frustrates me. How should I handle this in a kindly manner?
- Still Waiting in Texas
DEAR STILL WAITING: The next time your mother-in-law calls, ask her when she plans to be at your house because you have errands to run, too. When she says she doesn't want to be bound by time, ask her to call you on your cellphone and let you know when she's done with her errands and you'll meet her at the house. That way, none of you is tied down or inconvenienced.