DEAR ABBY: I am a successful business professional in my mid-50s. I have put my children through college, and they have no student loans. (My wife did not help with any of the college expenses. It was all on me.)
I am finally at a point in my life that I can pursue my passion of buying a sports car. I have always been a car guy, and my wife knows it. When I bring up the subject of purchasing the car of my dreams, which is not very expensive, she tells me I will look like an idiot. In her next breath she says it's OK if I buy a sports car if it is the one she wants, and of course, the one she wants is very expensive.
No matter how I broach the subject, she does not "get" that it is not about her but about my passion as a car guy. How do I get her to see my side? -- REVVING UP IN NEW YORK
DEAR REVVING UP: If it's your money paying for the car, you don't have to get her to see your side. It will be yours -- not hers -- and you should buy the one that gives you pleasure and drive it to your heart's content.
DEAR ABBY: I have been with "Roger" for 28 years. He is basically a good, honest man, but he thinks only of himself. When I had heart surgery, he left me alone at the hospital that night, not knowing if I would live or die. (Nothing would have kept me from his bedside!) I'll be having knee surgery soon, and he won't take the day off or a sick day to take me. He wants a friend of ours to do it.
These are just two samples of his lack of support for me. I guess there is no way to make someone care enough about you to put their conveniences aside. When we moved out of state, he said if he didn't find a job, he was going back home. Well, where would that have left me?
Roger wouldn't have anything at all if it weren't for me. I know I should dump him, but after 28 years, I can't pull the rug out from under him. He cops an attitude and makes me feel bad if I press the subject. I only wish he would do something for me from his heart, but I guess it isn't there. Any advice, Abby? -- HIS LAST PRIORITY IN FLORIDA
DEAR LAST PRIORITY: Yes, because you can't bring yourself to pull the rug out from under Roger, it might help you to memorize the Serenity Prayer when he disappoints you in the future. It goes like this: "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
DEAR ABBY: My mother was a stickler when it came to table manners. She had a little 1-inch-long ceramic pink pig that she placed in front of me every time I did something Emily Post would frown on. I hated that little pig. -- RALPH IN ARROYO GRANDE, CALIF.
DEAR RALPH: Now, now. You should have been grateful to that little pig, because it kept you from becoming a big one.
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.)