04/19/2006DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Quinn," and I have been married for two years. We're college sweethearts who re-found each other. Our marriage is solid and romantic. We were both married before -- to the worst life has to offer -- so we truly appreciate each other. Quinn is extremely good-looking, and I'm no slouch, either. We have been told many times what a striking couple we are.
Quinn came into this marriage with grown children. He has five daughters, three of whom make a point of saying, each time we see them, how "Mrs. Smith really has the hots for Dad," or, "Miss Johnson wants Dad so bad she can't get over him," or, "We ran into our old high school teacher, and she only wanted to talk about Dad and how hot he was." Another daughter tells us how all her friends (21 to 23) want to date him!
This has become redundant and tiring, and I don't believe any of it is true. I think they say it only to make me uncomfortable and, frankly, I feel it's rude. What's the best way to handle this? -- THE NEW WIFE
DEAR NEW WIFE: Do it with humor. If Quinn was my husband, I'd smile, put my arms around him and say, "Let 'em eat their hearts out, girls, 'cause he's mine, all mine!" Then I'd add, "And by the way, we're thinking of starting a family." Since they can dish it out, let's see how well the "girls" can take it.
DEAR ABBY: I work for a large drugstore chain as a clerk. There is no special training required to be a clerk in a drugstore except to learn to operate a cash register. I earn $7 an hour, and the job is mostly physical (running shipments, etc.).
While I like my job, I am puzzled by the number of people who ask me for medical advice, especially senior citizens. I do not work in the pharmacy part of the store, but people often approach me and ask me and my co-workers all sorts of medical questions -- as if we had to attend medical school to work here. I always try to be helpful, but as I have no medical training, I'm usually of no help at all.
It distresses me that there are people who would take the advice of a clerk in a drugstore over that of their own doctor. Recently, an elderly gentleman asked me to take the catheter out of his arm and insert it correctly, as it had been incorrectly inserted at the hospital and he was bleeding. I was horrified. I told him he should go back to the hospital and have them re-insert it properly. He said he had not asked for my opinion and accused me of not wanting to help him! He then asked the pharmacist the same question and got the same response from him.
This scenario is not uncommon. It happens every day. Please tell your readers that just because someone works in a drugstore, it does NOT mean he or she has had any medical training. -- "KITTY" IN CLEVELAND
DEAR "KITTY": I'm printing your letter and hope it will help, but please don't bank on it. The people you are describing appear to be confused and not completely on track. Your problem may be something that simply goes with the territory, and my advice is to continue directing customers who are in need of medical intervention to get help from someone who is qualified to give it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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