DEAR ABBY: I have a good job, a nice house, a great family and great friends -- but I'm miserable.
I hate my job, but instead of quitting, I call in sick. It has put me in danger of getting fired. I lie to my husband about the work I miss, and since I handle the finances, he doesn't realize what an impact it has. I feel like a horrible person, but I'm afraid to quit and go somewhere else. I have no other skills, and I wouldn't be able to make the same money elsewhere.
I'm also afraid my husband will find out and be furious. I feel I'm putting my family in financial jeopardy and risking everything because I can't show up for work. I'm not sure what's wrong with me. I just wake up some mornings and can't face going in, so I hide out in our house and pretend that I go to work. I feel lazy and worthless. I think I may be depressed, but some weeks or months I feel fine. What should I do? -- GOING CRAZY IN ARIZONA
DEAR GOING: May I offer a couple of suggestions? Your mood swings may be chemical. Make an appointment with your physician, explain what's going on and get a referral to a psychotherapist. Once that's done, pick up the phone and find the nearest school that offers career counseling. You may have more marketable skills than you give yourself credit for.
Please don't put it off. Hiding from your husband will only make this worse. The longer you hide it, the more upset he will be when he learns what has been happening.
DEAR ABBY: For years you have printed letters from grandparents complaining that they don't receive thank-you notes. Well, I have a question: Do these people send thank-you notes to their grandchildren for gifts they've received from them?
I'm an active senior with 25 grandchildren. No matter how small the gift, I always write them a thank-you note. Each child in a family gets his own. This year, I received a pencil, a hand-drawn picture, and some 99-cent earrings, among other things. They all merited a note.
The children love getting their own thank-you note. And as soon as children can print "Thank you" they should be encouraged to send their own.
As my grandchildren have grown up, they have developed good manners, and I always hear from them no matter where they are. -- OHIO GRANNY
DEAR GRANNY: I commend you for setting such a wonderful example for your grandchildren. One of the secrets of writing an effective thank-you is to do it immediately after receiving the gift, while the reaction is spontaneous.
DEAR ABBY: My co-workers and I are having a disagreement and hope you can set the record straight. One of the women here was recently married. On the big day her maid of honor showed up at the ceremony falling-down drunk and caused a disruption.
Is the bride obligated to send her a thank-you note for the gift? I say "yes" as you would thank anyone for a gift. My co-workers disagree. They say her rude and outrageous behavior should be grounds for no thank-you note. Your response will settle our dispute. -- "MARILYN" IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR "MARILYN": I agree with you. Two wrongs don't make a right. The woman should be thanked for her gift.
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