DEAR ABBY: My husband gets aggravated with romantic commercials on television -- the ones where men do sweet things for their wives, like putting jewelry on them while they sleep, or pulling out that special gift at the dinner table. He says the commercials try to make men feel guilty because they aren't like the ones portrayed.
I have tried telling him that men are, indeed, this way, but I couldn't think of any examples other than my brother and my father, who are very romantic.
There are more than two men who excel at romance, aren't there? Don't most men know how to sweep a woman off her feet? -- KELLY IN AUSTIN
DEAR KELLY: Although I haven't taken a poll, I'm guessing that a majority of men know how to sweep a woman off her feet -- which is why the species has survived. However, your husband has a point. Gifts are not the only way to make someone special feel loved.
Commercials are created in order to manipulate the public into buying, and if the amount of consumer debt being carried by U.S. households is any indication, that strategy has been extremely successful.
While diamonds may be "a girl's best friend," most women know that a life partner who gives them attention, affection, praise and assistance when they need it is a jewel more precious than any stone could ever be.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Russell," and I have been together almost five years. He recently started school to become a plumber. The problem is, Russell has dyslexia and is struggling in school. When I try to help him with his homework, he becomes defensive. He knows he needs tutoring, but hasn't put forth any effort into seeking help.
There's a test he needs to pass before his next class starts in May. He has already failed it once. How can I help him? -- DESPERATE GIRLFRIEND
DEAR DESPERATE: Different people have different learning styles. Some people learn from books while others learn more easily by watching how things are done.
Encourage Russell to check at his school to see if anyone there could refer him to a tutor specializing in learning disorders. He could also check to see if any of the local plumbing companies offer an apprenticeship program that will provide him with on-the-job training rather than classwork.
DEAR ABBY: Will you please advise me on how to tell our computer friends not to send "junk" e-mail? My husband and I are annoyed with all the chain letters, jokes, cartoons, opinion letters, cutesy pictures, etc. we are receiving. I don't bother to read them, but deleting them is time-consuming.
Why do people assume we're interested when we never asked for this kind of stuff? All it does is fill up our mailboxes.
I stopped passing along this form of entertainment years ago, but people still keep sending the rubbish, even when I politely ask them to stop. Changing my e-mail address won't help. I want to correspond with friends, and do not want to hurt their feelings. I just want to eliminate the trash. Any suggestions on what we can say or do to stop the junk? -- OVERFLOWING IN TRAVERSE CITY, MICH.
DEAR OVERFLOWING: Maybe you're being too polite. You need to be firm and specific. Reply to an unwanted e-mail by telling the sender that you aren't interested in this kind of "entertainment." Eventually, your friends will get the message.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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