DEAR ABBY: I have never received a romantic Valentine, and that's OK with me. With all the sappy movies on TV and the stores blooming in pink and red, we often forget that St. Valentine wasn't the one in love. (He was a Roman priest who married Christian couples and was killed for his trouble.)
My advice to others, particularly singles, is to take a page out of St. Valentine's book and focus not on yourself, but on others. Every year on Feb. 14 I give everyone I encounter a kiddie Valentine, and every year at least one person is delighted. I have been doing this for the last 20 years and my St. Valentine's Days have been happy because of it. It's amazing the difference that focusing on giving rather than receiving can make. (And it works any day of the year.) -- KID AT HEART
DEAR KID: I couldn't agree more with your positive philosophy. Reading your letter lifted my spirits, and I hope it will bring a smile to my readers as it did for me. Thank you for sharing.
DEAR ABBY: I am wondering about the proper way to handle something. I found a dentist I really like and plan to continue seeing for regular cleanings. I asked my dentist to complete an estimate for orthodontic work, and the cost was several thousand dollars. I got a few more estimates and found another company that can do the same work and will charge a lot less.
I plan to go with the least expensive option. However, when I return to the dentist, I'm afraid it will be awkward or that I'll be perceived as rude for not accepting their service bid. Help! -- WHAT'S RIGHT?
DEAR WHAT'S RIGHT?: Talk to the dentist you like and tell him/her you received other estimates for the orthodontic work. Then ask if he/she can match the lower estimate. You may find the dentist is willing to do that. But if not, the dentist will understand that your budget is what dictated your choice to use someone else. That's not rude; it is pennywise.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 57-year-old male, married to a nice enough lady, but I am no longer in love with her. We're more like roommates. It has been like this for 15 years.
I want to leave. In fact, I've planned it. But now I feel like, seven years away from retirement, maybe I could stick it out. The thing is, I don't want to. My kids/grandkids are in another state, and I'd like to move there. Should the promise I made to my wife on our wedding day hold me back? -- TORN IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TORN: I'm sorry the flame of love has fizzled on your part. Does your wife know how you feel? If she doesn't, you're both overdue for a serious talk.
Before tossing aside your long marriage, you should give marriage counseling a try to see if you can rediscover what attracted you to her in the first place. If that doesn't work, a move for you may be in order. But first, a warning: If you leave their mother, the "kids" may not be as glad to see you as you might assume they will be.