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by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Cringes When Mom Does Happy Dance in Public

DEAR ABBY: After 30 years of marriage I still don't know how to tell my wife she can't cook. I came home tonight to find an expensive piece of meat I had been looking forward to eating reduced to shoe leather.

In our golden years, we will be able to afford to splurge on expensive cuts of meat, etc., only rarely. It is disappointing to have to toss it into the garbage.

I never encouraged my wife to cook, and usually the pressure of work distracts her. But she has been "surprising" me more often with "delicacies" on her days off.

I dread retirement. How can I nicely ask her not to go to the trouble of preparing these disastrous dishes? -- WANTS TO BE TACTFUL

DEAR WANTS: Who has been doing the cooking in your household all these years -- or have the two of you been eating out? Because you can't bring yourself to tell your wife her cooking skills need improvement, allow me to offer an alternative. Sign the two of you up for nighttime cooking classes so she can brush up on her culinary skills and, if necessary, you can take over the role of family chef after you retire. Bon appetit!