DEAR ABBY: I just had to write after reading the letter from the lady who signed herself, "Tired of All This Misbehaving."
I am 80, and I found her remarks offensive. When I was retired by my employer, I couldn't manage on my Social Security check. I tried to find another job, but no one wanted to hire me at my age.
A male acquaintance retired soon after, and realized that he, too, didn't have the funds to keep his apartment. I had a five-bedroom townhouse, and thought of renting out some rooms. However, a lawyer friend told me that if I advertised for roomers I would have to rent to anyone who had the money; I could not pick and choose. I was afraid to do that because I would continue to live there, too.
So I invited this man, who was a trusted neighbor, to share my home and expenses. This way we both could live in comfort, and it would cost us less money. We go shopping and attend church together. We also visit friends who are now in nursing homes. We have never slept together or had sex.
I know of other seniors who have similar arrangements so they can live decently and not go broke in the bargain. Recently, another senior male has joined us. We share expenses and household chores so it's easier on all of us. We get along like a family of sisters and brothers. Marrying just so outsiders won't criticize one's living arrangement is not always the right thing to do.
Please print this, Abby. I want people to know that it isn't always "living in sin" or "shacking up" as that lady thinks. –- AN ABBY FAN IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR FAN: I'm please to print your letter. As I said to the woman whose letter prompted yours, "Seniors who live together choose to do so for a variety of reasons, which are usually well thought out." People should not judge others.
DEAR ABBY: My fiancee is having financial problems. I want to help her, but she insists that I shouldn't because she'll be mad at me. I really want to help her. I don't like to see her struggle, and I have the money to do it -– plus, we're being married soon, so what's the big deal? What should I do? –- IN LOVE IN FLORIDA
DEAR IN LOVE: Don't force your help on your fiancee after she has refused it. This could be an important learning experience for her, and it's a chance for you to see her level of ingenuity and perseverance. I respect her stance and for not taking the easy way out. For the time being, be patient and keep your checkbook closed.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend whose husband tries to scare his 2-year-old child by jumping out of closets, from behind trees, etc.
I have seen the child tremble, cry and turn pale. The man thinks it is a "fun time" with his child.
What do you think of his behavior? He will see your answer. -– CONCERNED IN PHOENIX
DEAR CONCERNED: I hope you'll make sure he sees it. There is nothing "fun" about traumatizing a child. The father is sadistic, and he should consult with a psychotherapist to understand why he gets pleasure out of his child's pain, and to learn firsthand how damaging his "scare tactics" are.
If he refuses to stop, he should be reported to Children's Protective Services.
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