DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting our first child. A friend of hers pulled me aside to ask if I had already gotten my wife a "push gift." I have never heard of this, but apparently it's supposed to be something nice, like jewelry, to celebrate the birth.
We have already been spending a lot of extra money to decorate a nursery. In addition, the delivery will be costly under our high-deductible health plan. Combined with the fact that my wife just retired from her teaching job, the expenses are starting to freak me out.
In light of this, what do you think of the idea of a push gift? Have you heard any good ideas for a low-cost but appropriate alternative? -- EXCITED FATHER-TO-BE
DEAR EXCITED: A push gift can be a piece of jewelry, your first "family vacation," a piece of electronic equipment for your wife or a piece of furniture for the nursery. Some couples prefer something less materialistic, such as help with baby care or money for the child's education.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 40-year-old man. I have worked at my current job for two years and love it, even though I earn only two-thirds what I did at my prior position.
My problem is, I think I'm in love with my boss. She's an amazing person -- very sexy -- and I can't stop thinking about her. The woman I loved died two weeks before I took this job, and I'm still not ready to date again. Oh, my boss is married, so there's no way I can hook up with her.
How can I stop having feelings for my boss? Should I just quit? I attempted to a month ago, but she gave me a raise. -- CRUSHING IN MINNESOTA
DEAR CRUSHING: If you are crushing on your boss and fantasizing because you think she's "amazing and sexy," I beg to differ with you. You are ready to date.
You say last month you were given a raise when you mentioned quitting. It appears you are a valued employee at that company. Before you jeopardize a job you love and for which you are being increasingly well-compensated, I urge you to dip your foot into the dating pool of eligible women. Now!
DEAR ABBY: A friend of more than 70 years passed away out of state. When I emailed a network of acquaintances and asked about the cause of death, I got a nasty response from one of them saying my question was rude and in poor taste. Is such a question about a friend you haven't seen in many years really out of line? -- EX-KENTUCKIAN
DEAR EX-KENTUCKIAN: People are naturally curious, and no, the question isn't rude. Often people are aware that the deceased has been ailing and don't mind sharing the information. What would be in poor taste would be to ask members of the immediate family (his widow or children, for example) what killed their loved one, because discussing it in detail could be painful.