DEAR ABBY: Because of a medical condition, my husband of 30 years can no longer drive a car -- so now he is driving ME nuts. Not only does he tell me how to drive ("You're too far to the right," or "Watch out for that car!" or " I'd go this way," etc.), but he feels it is his responsibility to remotely lock/unlock the car doors, remotely start the car -- anything having to do with the car but drive it. We end up "cancelling" each other out when I try to start the car or lock it.
Please tell me how to solve the dilemma about who should control the functions of the car. -- EXASPERATED IN OHIO
DEAR EXASPERATED: YOU should. However, when a man can no longer drive and his wife must take over, some males regard it as a blow to their masculinity. What your husband is doing is an attempt to reassert himself in his former role, and while it may annoy you, please try harder to understand why he's doing what he's doing and be more tolerant. I know I would.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old woman who lost my beloved mother a few months ago. A sudden illness took her quickly. I made the difficult decision to remove her from life support when there was no longer any hope.
Mom raised me by herself, and we saw each other every day. She was my best friend. I don't know how to go on without someone to love me like she did.
I would like your opinion on an idea I have. There must be a mother somewhere who has lost an adult child and has love to give. I could reciprocate that love. I do not wish to replace my mom -- that would be impossible. She was an amazing woman. I just need someone to care for me that way. I am loved as a wife, niece and friend, but no longer as someone's child. I need to give and receive that kind of unconditional love.
Is this unhealthy? What would be the best way to fulfill my needs? I have tried individual and group therapy. I am financially independent. What are your thoughts? -- DAUGHTER OF AN ANGEL IN ALABAMA
DEAR DAUGHTER: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved mother. I know you are grieving, but what you have in mind could cause you more problems than you already have.
Right now joining a grief support group or talking with a therapist who specializes in the grieving process would be far more helpful for you than immediately trying to fill the hole in your life left by your mother's death. I am concerned that what you are considering could lead to you being cruelly exploited.
The love a mother experiences for her child is not interchangeable or replaceable in the way you are thinking of doing it. The validation you are seeking can be found in volunteer work of all kinds.
DEAR ABBY: Am I alone in feeling insulted that the only time I am invited to "friends'" homes is when they have something to sell? First it was food storage items, then jewelry and clothing, and now it's food supplements that will "change my life."
Some of these invitations come from people who have been to my home for dinners or parties, but have never reciprocated -- until now. Although I would love to be in their homes socially, I have no intention of going for a sales pitch so they can get free stuff, gain points or whatever.
Do I even owe them an RSVP for this kind of invitation? -- SOLICITED IN REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.
DEAR SOLICITED: I understand your feelings, but if you want to continue having a social relationship with these people, then politely RSVP with your regrets. To ignore the invitation would be a breach of good manners.
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