DEAR ABBY: My wife and I will be celebrating our 54th wedding anniversary this year, and I have had the same gripe for half a century. What on God's green earth makes women think that holidays are only for them? Let's take last year, for example:
On Valentine's Day, I gave my wife a lovely silver and gold choker with matching bracelet and earrings. I would have loved to have seen a bottle of champagne in the bedroom, or received an invitation to go out for dinner. Neither happened.
Three months before our anniversary, I planned a weekend at a first-class resort, and for her birthday, we went on a two-week cruise. This was all booked and paid for in advance. On our anniversaries, I am lucky to get a card from her.
Abby, we live in an affluent community, and I see many wives making a fuss over their husbands. But every time I mention my feelings, my wife tells me that holidays are for wives. The topper was when she said, "I go to bed with you; what else do you want?" Her favorite is, "You have everything; I don't know what to get for you."
I could go on for days, but this is enough for one letter. Thanks for listening. -- HURT HUSBAND
DEAR HURT HUSBAND: Your wife should be ashamed of herself. Although most of us of a certain age have most of the material things we need, everyone likes to be remembered on special occasions.
Actions speak louder than words. Show her this column, and tell her that gift-giving should be a two-way street.
DEAR ABBY: My son "George" was 17, and his girlfriend, "Lulu," was 18 when she announced that she was pregnant with George's child. When I told him, "The first thing we'll do is have some blood tests done to be sure that's true," George insisted that he would accept the baby as his own whether it was his or not. Hearing that, his father and I agreed to accept the child as our grandchild.
Well, Lulu had the baby and everything seemed to be fine until they broke up seven months later. Lulu refused to let George, me or anyone in the family see the baby. I was so upset I called our family lawyer, who informed me that there's nothing we can do about it because Lulu didn't put George's name on the birth certificate.
The problem is, George and Lulu are back together again. When I head the news, I informed my son that Lulu was not to come near me, and I wouldn't accept the baby as my grandchild until the blood tests were taken. George told his father that he thinks I'm being immature, and I should learn to take things as they come. How can I make him see that I can't accept Lulu treating my heart like a yo-yo? Please help me. -- TORN IN TUSCALOOSA
DEAR TORN: Although I don't blame you for being hurt, you will get nowhere if you take a hard-line stance. Lulu and George are both very young, and Lulu must have been furious at him to take out her wrath on the entire family.
Swallow your anger and try to make a friend of Lulu. Tell her that you were very hurt by what she did, but you'd like to put the episode behind you. She needs a mature and steady influence in her life, and if you provide it, you could reap a loving, rewarding dividend.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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