DEAR ABBY: Most of us appreciate the joy of a new parent showing off snapshots for the first few months of a child's life. But enough, already!
My co-worker's first child will be 1 year old next week. Every single week he walks around the office, fresh pictures in hand, stopping at desks up and down the room.
We understand his pride, but our forced grins are getting old. Can you, maybe, send a message to new parents out there to let it rest after the first few months? How about posting a Web site that people can visit at their leisure? I don't want to be cruel, but I don't want to be trapped into dutifully "oooing" and "aaahhing," either. Help! -- BABY O.D. IN LONG BEACH
DEAR BABY O.D.: I'm sure many readers will sympathize, truly sympathize, with your plight. The weekly "show and tell" can be hard to take after a while. That's why you and your co-workers should suggest to the proud papa that he start assembling a photo album that will eventually become a treasured family keepsake in years to come. Assure him that you'd be glad to review it -- quarterly. Or, in self-defense, parents and pet owners could begin flashing pictures of their own little ones for him to admire every time he comes by with his new batch of snapshots. (After a while, he'd get the message.)
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are both retired. We have been married less than a year.
When we were selling our individual dwellings and jointly purchasing one together, we discussed at length what we would use in furnishing the new residence. We mutually decided that most of my furniture and accessories were in better shape than those coming from his 12 years living as a widower in a furnished condo. He assured me that nothing he possessed had sentimental value. There were, however, many personal items belonging to his deceased wife.
He consulted me about each item -- should this be sold at a yard sale? Should that be given to charity? What about her hobby things? I tried to be fair in my assessment of their possible use in our new life together. The old Remington typewriter was sold to an antique dealer. The lace-making materials were given to the local recreation center.
Now, every time we get into an argument, he "reminds" me that there is very little in this house that is his. Then he goes on to say I "made" him dispose of things that meant a lot to him. What recourse do I have in silencing these unfair and untrue statements that serve only to inflame and cause smoldering resentment? -- GALLED IN GOODYEAR, ARIZ.
DEAR GALLED: Look at your husband and say: "I thought the decision to get rid of those things was mutual. I'm sorry you are sorry. If you're having regrets, consider this: You gave up those 'things,' but now you have ME -- and I love you."
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: "It has been said that man is the only animal who laughs, the only one who weeps, the only one who prays, the only one who walks fully erect, the only one who makes fires, the only one who can invent, the only one with a written language, the only one who is proud, the only one who can make progress, the only one who guides his own destiny, the only one who is penitent, and the only one who needs to be." -- DAVID ELTON TRUEBLOOD
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