DEAR ABBY: I'm a 64-year-old woman, divorced for 27 years. A nice guy I'll call "Ronnie" has taken me out to lunch and dinner several times. He really likes me and I really like him, but I'm skeptical about getting into a serious relationship because I don't feel like doing a lot of the "wife duties" anymore, such as cooking.
I know this may sound terrible, but I don't cook. My kitchen stays clean, and all I have to do is sweep the floor. Ronnie hasn't said anything about my not wanting to cook, but I don't want it to come up later as a problem. What should I do? -- OUT OF THE KITCHEN
DEAR OUT: Healthy relationships are based on honest communication. Talk to Ronnie about your concerns. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that he likes to cook and would be willing to do it. Some men enjoy it so much it's hard to pull them away, especially from a barbecue grill. Cross your fingers, speak up and hope Ronnie is one of them.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married for seven years. He recently graduated from his final residency, and after 11 years of post-high school education, he is finally out practicing.
During all those years, I supported us financially. Once he graduated, I asked that eventually I get a nice piece of jewelry to commemorate our accomplishment (and his nice new salary).
He bought me a lovely pearl ring, but it isn't real. It doesn't have natural diamonds, and it isn't white gold. To me, it doesn't commemorate the accomplishment as much as a real one. We could have afforded a nice costume ring years ago. I wanted to be spoiled a bit. Am I allowed to say something, or should I "appreciate the thought"? -- SPOIL ME, PLEASE, IN OHIO
DEAR SPOIL: Your husband, the doctor, may be a jewel, but after supporting him for 11 years, you deserve better than what you were given. Explain to him that when you asked for "a nice piece of jewelry," you meant the real thing and not a costume piece. Then suggest the two of you go shopping for it together.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband for 16 years. His brother died suddenly, and he was devastated. We dropped everything and drove 1,000 miles to attend the funeral. When we arrived and went to be seated, he asked me to sit four rows back because the front row was "immediate family only." I felt I was immediate family, but didn't want to cause a scene, so I did as he asked. When I sat down, I received odd looks and sad looks. I'm not angry, but my feelings are hurt. Am I wrong? -- LEFT OUT IN THE EAST
DEAR LEFT OUT: If the spouses of your husband's other siblings -- and children, if there are any -- were also asked to sit elsewhere, then you should not feel hurt. However, if you were the only one told to sit in "Siberia," your feelings are justified.
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