DEAR ABBY: My husband has a long, bushy, ugly beard, and although I don't like it, I realize he's entitled to wear his facial hair any way he likes it. The problem is, when he eats, his beard gets into his plate and in the food, which I find nauseating.
- Too Much Hair in Texas
DEAR TOO MUCH HAIR: If your husband's beard is so long it drags his food off his plate, the first thing you should do is suggest that he sit up straighter when he's eating. However, if he's unwilling - or unable - to do that, perhaps he would consider using one hand to hold his beard aside when he's about to take a forkful, or using hair clips to keep it away from his food.
Readers, if you have suggestions to help this grossed-out Texas wife, I'd love to see them.
Love = puppet
DEAR ABBY: My mother is a smart, independent woman - until she gets a boyfriend. She has been dating ever since Dad died in 1994.
Every relationship starts out well; the guy seems nice. Then he moves into her house and things change. Mom stops thinking for herself and turns into a brainless, spineless puppet. It causes conflict between us because she thinks I'm selfish and trying to sabotage her relationship.
She has had her current boyfriend for two years. I'm 37, disabled and require some help from Mom. So do my grandparents and a family friend Mom takes care of to supplement her income. The boyfriend is pushing Mom to spend three to four months of the year with him in Arizona, leaving those of us who need her without help.
None of these men ever help her out financially. Should I say nothing and let her disappear? What happens to the people who depend on her?
- Just Her Daughter in Colorado
DEAR JUST: What happens to the adults who depend on your mother is, they arrange for outside assistance during the time she's in Arizona. And if this is the first time in years that she will have taken a break, you should all wish her well.
Too much talking
DEAR ABBY: One of my co-workers constantly interrupts when I'm having a conversation with other people. It doesn't seem to matter who I am speaking with or what the subject is. She'll interrupt in the middle of the conversation, and everyone must stop and look at her or acknowledge her.
We are in a professional environment, and I feel her behavior is extremely discourteous. The subjects she discusses are things like the sandwiches her husband bought the day before, what they had for dinner that night or whatever is trending at the moment. She never discusses work-related issues.
This happens every day and it's disruptive. Would you kindly share some ideas on how to deal with her interruptions?
- Bothered Office Guy
DEAR OFFICE GUY: Obviously, your co-worker was never taught that interrupting while others are talking is rude. Because it bothers you, the next time she does it, tell her it's distracting when she breaks into your conversations and to please stop. If she persists, and other co-workers feel as you do about it, bring it to the attention of your supervisor or HR and let that person handle it.