DEAR ABBY: I'm a 50-year-old man in a relationship with a woman who is 42. She says I need to trade in my briefs for boxer shorts because they are outdated and "nobody wears those" anymore. She also told me only 9-year-old boys wear tighty whities and they are a turn-off.
I have always worn fly-front briefs. I don't like boxers because I find them uncomfortable. What can I do to fix this problem? She will not look at it from my perspective. -- LIKES IT BRIEF IN FLORIDA
DEAR LIKES IT BRIEF: Really? If you allow this woman to dictate what kind of underwear you wear now, she'll be wearing the pants during your entire relationship if you stay with her. Tell her once and for all that if wearing boxers is so important to her, she should buy herself a pair.
DEAR ABBY: I think my sister "Gladys" is a lesbian. And I don't know how to approach her to ask.
I think she's a lesbian because at 44 she has never been married. She hasn't even had a boyfriend since 1998. She still lives with our parents and acts like she's daddy's little girl. She does everything with Dad, and Mom usually stays home.
My sister is an RN and has only one friend from the hospital where she works. Of course, that friend is a woman. How can I ask my sister if she prefers women and why she is still alone at her age? -- BIG BROTHER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR BIG BROTHER: I would caution you against doing that. If you and your sister were close and she was gay, she would have said something to you by now. Not all women meet the right man, and not all women these days want to be married. It does not mean they are lesbians.
Your sister is gainfully employed, so the fact that she lives with your parents does not mean she's financially exploiting them. That you would call her "daddy's little girl" is pejorative and implies that you're jealous of the relationship she has with your father, which is why I think you should MYOB.
DEAR ABBY: I was invited to an event and sent back an RSVP. Two days before the event, I caught a cold. Because I had already accepted, I decided to go. When I arrived, I saw several people I knew. Each of them tried to hug me, but I told them I had a cold and thought it best not to get too close. All but one recoiled and turned away from me.
I sat at a separate table so as not to infect anyone. Although I thought I had done the right thing, I felt like I was being treated like a leper. Should I have stayed home, mentioned my cold or just behaved like "business as usual"? -- "TYPHOID TINA" IN FLORIDA
DEAR "TYPHOID TINA": When you realized that you had come down with a cold and might be contagious, you should have immediately contacted your host, declined the invitation and explained that you didn't want to risk spreading it. That's the considerate way to handle it, and it would have been appreciated.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)