DEAR ABBY: Last year for Thanksgiving, I made a special effort to get the entire family together for the traditional meal. All 13 of us met at my mother's home and everyone was to bring a dish or two to share.
One of my brothers has two college-age daughters. Both are vegan, and he insisted that all the dishes we brought be vegan! I did it, but I resented it because I felt that two out of 13 people should not decide the menu. If they wanted vegan dishes, they should bring something for themselves, while the rest of us brought what we wanted.
My brother and nieces are now asking what we're doing this year for Thanksgiving. Frankly, I don't want to go through that again. Am I wrong in thinking everyone should not bend over backward for the vegan meal? I don't mind some of the menu accommodating them, but I don't think the whole dinner should be altered. -- TURKEY EATER IN TEXAS
DEAR TURKEY EATER: Neither do I. And the response you should give your brother (and his daughters) is that you'll be serving a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year, so they can either bring something they will enjoy or make other plans.
DEAR ABBY: I read your column every day and find it interesting and useful. Many of the writers have the same emotions and problems as I do. I'm always pleased to see that I am not too far off.
I am a woman who married for the second time after 54 years of marriage. I was 71 and had been a widow for only one year. I had married my late husband at 16, and thought I could not live alone.
Do you have any words of wisdom for someone such as myself? Older people are so set in their ways that blending is so very difficult. -- HAVING TROUBLE IN FLORIDA
DEAR HAVING TROUBLE: If you remarried only because you were afraid of living alone, then you did it for the wrong reason. There are worse things than living alone -- and one of them is being married to a person who is unwilling to compromise. The keys to a successful union are affection, communication, respect and compromise. If both parties sincerely care about and respect each other, the union will be successful and lasting.
DEAR ABBY: My wife recently attended her 35th high school reunion alone. Her high school sweetheart was there, and they talked and exchanged e-mail addresses. As the night wore on, he started making advances and my wife rebuffed him somewhat rudely. Three days later, she e-mailed him an apology and they started an eight-week exchange.
I suspected something was wrong and checked her e-mails, where I discovered some pretty torrid messages and a dinner meeting being planned. When I confronted my wife, she denied everything -- until I gave her copies of the e-mails. She says they never met, but I say the intent was there. To me, this is the same as a physical affair. She disagrees. Who is right? -- DECEIVED IN LOUISIANA
DEAR DECEIVED: You are. The only thing that prevented things from proceeding further was the fact that you intervened. And if your wife had been proud of what she was doing she wouldn't have lied to you.
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