DEAR ABBY: I'm in a tricky situation. My boyfriend of four years, "Ian," and I took a break from our relationship for two months because he was scared he'd miss out on the single life. We started hanging out again soon after, and everything fell into place.
We were talking recently, and he mentioned that he's planning to move across the country to San Francisco to be near his family. He made it plain he wants to live on the West Coast "forever." I am close to my family -- closer than Ian is to his.
We're both 24, and while we're not going to get engaged anytime soon, I'm not sure what to do. We love each other, but the geography is causing so many issues. Please advise. -- NEW YORK GIRL
DEAR N.Y. GIRL: It's good that you and Ian aren't planning on becoming engaged anytime soon, because you have some serious thinking to do. If you plan on having a family and want your parents to be close to their grandchildren, it would be better for you to find another boyfriend. I'm advising you and Ian to take another break -- this time for YOUR benefit -- to see which is more important to you: the man or the location.
DEAR ABBY: This "issue" with my wife may seem trivial, but it's making me crazy. I like to cook; she doesn't. When I cook it's an expression of love, and our family sits down together to enjoy the meal. We don't watch TV and we don't answer the phone. Sounds ideal, wouldn't you say?
The problem is, after I put the food on the table, my wife gets up and starts pulling other food from the fridge to microwave. Or she'll start making a salad.
These last-minute additions make me furious. She knows it, but won't stop. Either she "doesn't want the leftover to go bad" or she thinks something is "missing" from the table.
I say she should prepare these additions while I'm making dinner so everything will be on the table at the same time, or else forget it. What do you think? -- STEAMING IN THE KITCHEN IN TEXAS
DEAR STEAMING: Is the layout of your kitchen conducive to tandem cooking? If it's not, that may be why your wife goes in there after you're no longer using it. Do you tell your wife what you will be preparing for dinner and ask if there is anything else she wants included? That may prompt her to think ahead so she wouldn't have to get up and leave the table.
If the answer to my questions is yes, then there may be something going on in your relationship for which she's trying to punish you.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter goes to a preschool in a church where we are not members. Pastor "Joe" is very involved with the classes, often chatting with the parents and calling them by their first names.
I have seen him around town various times, but I'm never sure how to address him. I feel strange calling him "Pastor" since he isn't my minister. On the other hand, calling him "Joe" doesn't quite seem right either.
How should a man of the cloth be greeted on the street? -- FEELING AWKWARD IN JAMESTOWN, N.Y.
DEAR FEELING AWKWARD: I think you're asking the wrong person. Why not ask HIM how he'd like to be addressed? I remember a delightful priest in Chicago, who when meeting people would immediately say, "Call me John." I used to refer to him as Father Call-Me-John.
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