DEAR ABBY: I am in an interracial relationship with a guy whose parents don't support our being together because I'm from a different race and culture than he is. Our countries of origin were antagonistic in the past.
When his parents tell him to break off relations with me, he listens patiently and defends his affection for me. He does not, however, really speak up for me or point out how unfair their prejudice is, given that they've never even met me.
This is my first interracial relationship. My parents don't have a problem with it. Is it too much to ask my boyfriend to speak up the next time his parents lecture him?
- Undefended in the South
DEAR UNDEFENDED: Not knowing your boyfriend, his parents or how they relate to one another, I can't judge whether he should challenge them any further than he is already. I think it would be a mistake for you to try to script him. You didn't mention how long you two have been involved, but if the relationship continues, they may - at some point - mellow.
Wife won't allow him toothpicks at the table
DEAR ABBY: You and your readers may consider my problem trivial, but to me it's really irritating. My wife, who is in her early 60s, has the figure of a 40-year-old. She's a great lover, fabulous cook, wonderful mother to our four children and warms my heart when I see her enter the room.
The problem is, my teeth are spaced rather far apart, and food gets stuck between them. After every meal, I need to use a toothpick, yet she refuses to put toothpicks - even in an attractive container - on the table. She says they will just collect dust and are not pretty. On top of that, she refuses to allow a pill container for my vitamins or heart medicine.
I would never leave her over this, but what can I do with this stubborn but otherwise wonderful woman?
- Pickless in Pennsylvania
DEAR PICKLESS: Your nearly perfect wife may prefer that you pick your teeth somewhere other than at the table, and would like you to take your medications elsewhere as well. Though it would be nice if she were more solicitous, you may have to appreciate her for the other fine qualities you mentioned, because it doesn't appear she's going to budge to accommodate you.
Daughter draws types mom doesn't care for
DEAR ABBY: I have a 39-year-old daughter I'll call "Angela" who attracts unsavory underground types - thieves, druggies, homeless - wherever she lives. My husband and I recently decided to move to Mexico because we are both retired. My husband and son are driving his vehicle, and I am driving my own.
My husband asked me if I wanted to invite Angela to drive with me. I'm afraid if I do, she may decide to stay with us after we arrive, and more of those unsavory types will start coming around. Should I not worry about it? I'm in need of practical advice.
- Retiree in the West
DEAR RETIREE: You are making a new start. My "practical advice" is to follow your better judgment and resist the urge to invite your daughter to accompany you on the journey.