DEAR ABBY: My son and his girlfriend decided to go to an afternoon matinee. Two older women sat down behind them. When the movie started, one of them began a loud, running commentary to the other.
After a few minutes, my son and his girlfriend moved to seats four rows farther down, but they could still hear the woman explaining step-by-step what was happening on the screen. He turned around and made a shushing sound, and in a loud voice she responded, "My friend is blind and I'm explaining what's happening on the screen."
Other people changed seats, too. My son understood how a blind person might want to enjoy hearing a movie, but her companion should have told her this was a public place and she would have to wait until they go home to have it explained in full, or wait for the DVD to come out so they could talk at home while it was on.
Abby, wasn't it rude to destroy everyone else's enjoyment of the film? -- SUZANNE IN LAGUNA NIGUEL, CALIF.
DEAR SUZANNE: Yes. Your son should have taken the problem to the theater usher or manager. Many theaters are equipped with special descriptive audio for blind patrons. If that accommodation was not available, the blind person and her companion should have sat toward the front of the theater or in an area that was less crowded so they didn't distract other audience members. Also, movies with descriptive audio can be obtained at the local library.
DEAR ABBY: I have to choose between chorus and art for an elective for high school in the fall. I have been told I have an excellent voice, but I'm scared to death about auditioning for chorus. I have little artistic ability -- just enough to get me through life.
I don't know what to do. I want to be in chorus, but as I said, I am terrified of having to try out. Please give me some advice. -- ANGEL GIRL IN CHARLOTTE, N.C.
DEAR ANGEL GIRL: You have to decide whether to take advantage of the fact that you have "an excellent voice" or spend the rest of your life singing by yourself in the shower.
One way to overcome fear is to confront it in stages. In other words, start by singing for a few friends. If there's a choir at your church, ask if you can audition for it. When school starts, ask the choral director if you can audition privately if you're still afraid. If the answer is no, then your elective will have to be art. And by the way, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that "talent" in art is the result of hard work, dedication and practice.
DEAR ABBY: I have been experiencing something similar to your "pennies from heaven" letters. My husband, a master carpenter for 40 years, passed away 10 months ago. We had several projects started --- a shop, a greenhouse and a room addition. We were also starting up a small sawmill business.
I have been trying to get things finished, and whenever I think I am not going to be able to make it, I find a nail where a nail shouldn't be. It was always a joke between us that he spread nails like Johnny Appleseed spread seed. I believe he is watching out for me and leaves them to let me know I will be OK. -- JO ANN FROM FORKS, WASH.
DEAR JO ANN: I think you've "nailed" it. And because they bring you comfort, collect them and -- perhaps -- find a creative way to display them.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)