DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have three teenagers -- 18, 16 and 14. My wife cooks for them every day or buys them fast food. I always eat leftovers, which the fridge is full of. Our children refuse to eat leftovers or cook for themselves, and they insist on having a freshly cooked meal every day.
Occasionally, my wife needs to work late and asks me to buy fast food for the children. I respond that I'll gladly cook for them or buy them fast food, but first they have to finish the leftovers in the fridge. My wife gets upset and accuses me of not caring about our children. Who is right? -- LEFTOVERS IN THE EAST
DEAR LEFTOVERS: I have a news flash for you. At the ages of 18, 16 and 14, your kids are no longer children; they are teenagers approaching adulthood. Rather than act like pushovers, you and your wife should be teaching them how to cook -- a skill they'll need if they are going to live healthy lives in the future.
Yes, they should finish the leftovers. Leftovers are usually better the second time around because the flavors have had more time to meld. No, they shouldn't be having fast food instead. If you and your wife care about your progeny, start assigning each of them an evening in which they prepare at least one dish, while you make sure they know how to do it. Stop arguing and start parenting!
DEAR ABBY: My fiance dumped me three months ago. We were together 4 1/2 years and engaged for almost a year. He started dating someone else the day after he broke up with me. He said it was because we had nothing in common anymore, and he no longer liked talking to me or touching me. We were engaged! He waited all that time to decide he no longer loves me?
How do I deal with my heartbreak and build myself back up again? And why in the world would he be dating someone new a day later? I don't want him back. As far as I'm concerned, he's a jerk, and I'll be better off without him. I just want to know how to deal with the confusion I have. -- HEARTBROKEN AND CONFUSED
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Things don't always turn out the way we plan. I know you are hurting, and I am sorry. Start handling your heartbreak by being grateful you didn't devote even more time to a person who would treat you this way.
And to answer your question about how he could begin dating someone a day after he broke up with you, it's because he had his eye on her before ending the romance with you. If you think he has caught the brass ring this time around, think again. Few "frying pan into the fire" relationships are lasting ones. Consider this a new beginning and start living your life.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
The question now that really vexes
Is where we're gonna place our "X"es
Voting, folks, should not upset ya --
Be glad we're livin' where they let ya!
Readers, please use your voices. Go out and vote today! -- ABBY
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $14 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)