DEAR ABBY: I retired two years ago at age 50 after working for 30 years. My wife and I are financially secure and I'm enjoying every day of my retirement. However, my wife -- who is younger -- won't be eligible to retire from her job for another five years. She is becoming more and more abrasive toward me. I suspect it's because she's jealous of my retirement status.
She constantly accuses me of being lazy. Abby, I don't sit around all day. In addition to doing the yard work, house upkeep, and repair and maintaining our cars, I do all the grocery shopping, help with the laundry, dishes, general cleanup and take care of our pets. Despite all this, my wife still bemoans my sleeping late in the morning (9 a.m.) and not going to a regular job like she does.
I'm still young enough to get another job. Should I go back to work until she retires? -- SHOULD BE HAPPY IN TAMPA
DEAR SHOULD BE HAPPY: That's not a bad idea, but don't start looking until your wife has told you plainly why she has become "abrasive." Wouldn't it be interesting if all she wanted was for you to have a cup of coffee with her in the morning? It would be a shame if you went back to work only to realize that something else was causing her change in attitude. You deserve to know what's going on because you do not appear to be lazy -- quite the contrary.
DEAR ABBY: I'm an adult woman, working full time for my parents as their store manager. I do a lot of office work for my dad, who hates computer work. He has an eBay business on the side, which I manage for him.
My problem is, eBay shows me what Dad has shopped for every time I log on. Some of the items are of a personal, intimate nature, and I'm not comfortable knowing about them. I'm glad my parents have a healthy marriage, but it's way too much information for me. As a family, we don't communicate well, so I don't know how to handle this. My husband had no suggestions, so I turn to you. -- REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW
DEAR REALLY DON'T: Try this: Send your father an email telling him that you feel some of the items he is buying online are not things that a daughter should be seeing. Include as an attachment your letter to me. That should do the trick.
DEAR ABBY: My grandmother recently bought me a plane ticket to go visit her. In the airport on the way back home, the flight was overbooked and I agreed to be bumped to another flight in exchange for a free ticket to be used or given to someone else within a year.
My mother says the free ticket belongs to my grandmother because she paid for it. I say I should use it for myself because it is compensation for the lost time and trouble of switching flights. What do you think? -- MINNESOTA TRAVELER
DEAR TRAVELER: Your mother has a point. Offer the ticket to your grandmother. If you're lucky, she'll tell you to keep and enjoy it. If she doesn't, at least you'll know you did the right thing. (When you give in the true spirit of giving, it will come back to you -- or so it implies in Ecclesiastes.)
DEAR ABBY: I sneeze a lot at work. I don't know if it's the dust or what. When I do, someone always says "bless you" afterward. I don't care to be blessed, but I think people would be insulted if I told them it isn't necessary. Should I tell them not to? -- ALREADY BLESSED IN IOWA
DEAR ALREADY BLESSED: If you prefer that nobody say "bless you," you should say so. But do it before your next sneezing attack so your co-workers will be forewarned. I'm sure they'll abide by your wishes -- unless they just say it out of habit. And then it's a knee-jerk reaction, not a blessing.
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.)