DEAR ABBY: I'm 57 and have been married for 25 years. My husband has retired and is ready for me to do the same. I enjoy my work, and I am delaying my retirement because he wants to move to another state.
Abby, all I can think about is how I will be forced to start all over with a new church, new doctors, new friends, etc. That's incredibly stressful for me, and I don't want to do it. It takes me a while to warm up to people, and I don't do it easily. To me, it would not be an exciting adventure.
I have told him I don't want to do this and why. He responds that if I want to visit my friends I can always "hop on a plane." He said he's tired of the cold and wants to move. All I can think about is having to sell our home, buy another one, learn a new area, make friends, find a new church. I have all of that here. Maybe he should be a snowbird? -- DON'T WANT TO START ANEW
DEAR DON'T WANT: If you and your husband can afford two places, perhaps you should both be snowbirds. It couldn't hurt to rent a place for a few months to see what life would be like in a new community. That's what I recommend to readers who contemplate making a drastic change -- such as relocation -- in their lives. If you do that, you might find that the "natives" are friendly and the community is congenial. However, if that's not the case, it could help you to avoid making a costly mistake.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter has been divorced less than a year and is dating again. (She's the one who left the marriage.) However, she keeps many pictures of her ex-husband on her Facebook page. She says he was a big part of her life, and she refuses to take them down. She thinks if a guy can't accept it, then he isn't the right guy. Do you agree that she's sending the wrong message? -- TAKE THE PHOTOS DOWN
DEAR TAKE: Personally, I do. A picture is worth a thousand words, and what it shows those who see hers is that she hasn't emotionally let go of her ex-husband. However, if men date her after looking at her Facebook page and seeing his pictures posted there, it's working for her, and I can't offer a criticism. Because you can't stop her, I suggest you accept it.
DEAR ABBY: It's that time of year when you print your gift ideas for seniors column. When my dad was alive, he, like many others, was on a fixed income. Among his pleasures was watching ballgames and keeping up with current events. So I contacted his cable company and arranged to pay his cable bill for a period of time as a gift. This can be arranged for any increment of time to match the gifter's budget -- from one month to a year. It allowed Dad to enjoy his TV and have some extra spending money that would otherwise have gone to paying the cable bill. -- ROSEMARY IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR ROSEMARY: You are a good daughter. Thanks for sharing your idea. It's a thoughtful one, and I'm sure my readers will thank you for the suggestion.
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.)