DEAR ABBY: I am a 53-year-old woman who has finally met a kind, decent man after many abusive relationships. I honor our bond and have been open about my past, which has been colorful, to say the least.
I was an addict. It was a long addiction that left me homeless and almost killed me many times. I have kept this part of my life a secret from everyone out of shame and fear of judgment. I would love to be open about it with him and let him know how much drugs affected me, but I don't want to drive him away. Any advice is appreciated. -- EX-ADDICT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR EX-ADDICT: In one sentence you say you have been open about your past; in the next you say you are keeping your addiction and what it cost you a secret. You don't say how long you have known this man, or whether you plan to make this relationship permanent. If you do, you should tell him about your entire past because, if he finds out some other way, that is what could cause him to end the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: I have a problem with my family. I am a woman in my 60s who does not and never has driven a car or any other vehicle. My older sister and brother think I have leprosy because I don't drive. How can I, or anyone in the same position as I am, get through to them that not everyone drives, and that those of us who don't or can't are like anyone else on this planet? -- NOT BEHIND THE WHEEL
DEAR NOT BEHIND THE WHEEL: Please clip this and share it with your sister and brother. Not everyone drives or aspires to. Some people are phobic about getting behind the wheel. Others recognize they are not good at it, while still others can't afford a car. Unless you have been imposing upon your relatives for transportation, they should not be critical of your choice.
My late mother was a nondriver. She quit after skidding into the back of a coal truck during a Wisconsin winter. I'll never forget it because it left me with a scar on my knee when it hit the air-conditioning vent. Viewed from my perspective, she made the right choice, and so have you. It's a wise person who knows their limitations.
DEAR ABBY: This may seem minor in the scheme of things, but it's driving me crazy. Occasionally we have a potluck day at work. The problem is, while there are always people who eat, others never bring food to share. It's usually the men in our office -- those who hold higher positions and make far more money than the rest of us. They are also the ones who eat the most. They go back for seconds before the rest of us have eaten. If they do occasionally bring anything, it's usually a bag of chips.
I'm tired of paying for their lunches when they are more than capable of providing something -- takeout from a deli or even asking their wives to help. I'm also tired of going to get my lunch and discovering most of the food is already gone. I would welcome your advice or any tips your readers may have. -- FED UP IN DES MOINES
DEAR FED UP: Try this: Assign a list of what people need to bring to the potluck so there won't be duplication. And when you do, specify that only those who participate can eat the food.
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