DEAR ABBY: We have been attending the weddings of our friends' children and work colleagues. We enjoy them, but we have noticed a change in some of the traditions.
The best man's and maid of honor's toasts to the bride and groom seem to have devolved into telling stories about their past escapades. This includes tales of all-night partying, how drunk they were, other embarrassing incidents and "digs" at the bride and groom. Some of these speeches can go on for more than 10 minutes!
Abby, many guests attending these celebrations really don't care to hear these kinds of things. I'm sure the couple's new boss or their grandparents are quite shocked at some of the revelations they hear. Has this occasion turned into a roast? -- DON'T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF IT
DEAR DON'T KNOW: It appears that some of the weddings you have attended have. There are occasions when sometimes the less said the better, if only to protect the guilty, and this is one of them.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-year-old woman who enjoys achieving things in life. For example, I recently bought a house and paid for all the remodeling with my own money.
I have been with my boyfriend for seven years (on and off). He was my first boyfriend, first kiss, etc. and because of that, I have always felt a deep connection with him. My problem is he doesn't have goals for the future and just lives his life a day at a time. He's comfortable with his low-income job and doesn't plan on going to school.
He moved into my house six months ago, which makes our relationship that much more serious. Something I absolutely adore about him is his loving nature. He drops whatever he is doing to be there for me emotionally, and everyone who meets him tells me how lucky I am to have found such a great guy.
My question is, should I stay with my loving, caring boyfriend or is it time to find someone with the same goals I have? -- CONFUSED IN FLORIDA
DEAR CONFUSED: Ask yourself which is more important to you -- a loving and emotionally supportive spouse or a hard worker who may be less so. Only you can decide the answer to that question.
DEAR ABBY: I am the mom of three wonderful little girls, but as of late not so wonderful. My husband and I work hard to teach them manners and respect, but we can't seem to get across to them to be grateful for what they have.
We don't have a lot of money because we live on one income, and we don't spoil them often because we can't afford to. Twice now, one of my girls has been unhappy with a gift she received. The first one she threw away; the second she refused to even accept! This isn't how we raised her.
I thought about doing some volunteer work with them, but I fear they are too young for it (4, 7 and 9). I want to raise kind, caring and giving girls. Your thoughts on this matter would be great. -- GRATEFUL MOM IN COLORADO
DEAR GRATEFUL MOM: Your 7- and 9-year-olds are NOT too young to learn that many children have far less than they do. Sometimes people need to see with their own eyes the challenges that others have to cope with in order to appreciate how fortunate they are. I think your idea of having them do some volunteer work with you is an excellent one, and it is not too early to start.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)