DEAR ABBY: My in-laws have a small dog, "Fluffy," who has come to rule their lives. That's OK, because it doesn't really affect me. However, we frequently have them over for dinner, and they insist on taking home a large portion of whatever meat was served to give to their dog. I'm not talking about scraps from everyone's plates -- the amount they take would be a serving for another meal.
I have objected to this practice in the past, but each time they come for dinner they seem to have "forgotten" the lesson. I don't like it! How can I tactfully tell them not to take meat from my table for Fluffy? -- "STEAKING" MY CLAIM, ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
DEAR "STEAKING": You already have told your in-laws not to take the meat you are serving for their dog. Either their memories are failing, or your feelings aren't important to them.
Suggestion: When you have them to dinner, set up the plates in your kitchen rather than have dishes on the table, and immediately refrigerate any meat you haven't served. Or consider serving your in-laws a meatless dinner. (I can hear them now, asking, "Where's the beef?")
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Bud," retired a year ago and now does almost nothing with his life. He calls himself a "house husband," but that's a lie. All he does is watch TV or play on his computer all day while I work full time outside the home.
Our house has become a pigsty. If I try to do some cleaning, Bud gets mad and says he'll do it "later." Later comes and goes.
Returning to a filthy house after work is driving me crazy. He doesn't even do the grocery shopping; I have to do it on my lunch hour.
Any advice on how I can get his rear end off the couch and get him to assume some responsibilities? I don't usually nag, but I'm so mad I'm taking out my frustrations on my exercise bike. It's making me very fit, but I'm still upset about his lack of ambition. -- WIFE OF A LAZY SLOB
DEAR WIFE: You and Bud have a communication problem. Rather than scold him about his inactivity, try to get him to tell you (calmly) what his "vision" of retirement is. You may find that it's very different from yours. He may also be depressed at the changes that have occurred in his life.
If Bud was always a "lazy slob," then face it -- that's the person you married. However, if this is a recent, radical change in his behavior, you should insist he be examined by his doctor. But taking out your frustrations on your exercise bike is not a solution, and you may have to decide if this is how you want to live the rest of your life.
DEAR ABBY: I work in a small office of eight people, and we have two restrooms -- one for the men, the other for the women. Recently the women's restroom was out of order and we had to use the men's room.
In a case like this, what is proper etiquette? Do we girls put the seat back up when we are finished, or leave it down? The guys in the office said it should be left up. -- HE SAID, SHE SAID
DEAR H.S.S.S.: I say that because both sexes are using the same restroom -- which makes it temporarily unisex -- the toilet seat should be left down.
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