DEAR ABBY: I was widowed seven years ago. When my husband died, I thought it was the end of my suffering. It had been a mentally and physically abusive marriage for 30 years. We were complete opposites and were always financially stressed.
I have decided to start dating again. I want to meet someone and hopefully feel loved. I joined a dating website, but the men on it look disturbed and creepy. I have no friends, and I feel like I'm dying. I'm 57. Where are all the good men? I am at a loss.
My boss told me I should consider dating women since I have had no luck meeting men. She is pushing me into meeting her lesbian friend. Her friend was in an abusive marriage, and her husband is no longer in her life. Abby, I'm shocked that she would even suggest it.
I'm considering quitting my job because it's awkward being around my boss. She started joking about it with other co-workers until I told her to stop bringing up the subject. Even though she has curbed her tongue, the fact still remains that my co-workers know she wanted to match me with a woman. I cringe working around her and want to crawl under a rock. Please help. -- LONGING TO BE LOVED
DEAR LONGING: It's time to join some different dating sites and enlarge your pool of dating prospects. However, when you do, keep in mind that your marital history may have negatively affected your judgment about men. "Dating" does not carry with it a guarantee of love. Your relationship with your husband should have shown you that. Also, because a man doesn't photograph well does not mean he's disturbed or creepy. (One woman's creep can be another woman's Prince Charming.)
That said, if I ever heard about creating a hostile work environment, what your boss did is a textbook example and should have been discussed with HR. "Joking" about an employee's sexuality is considered to be both discriminatory and a form of sexual harassment. Her behavior was beyond the pale, and you should start looking for another job.
DEAR ABBY: My 47-year-old son is employed at a prestigious university. His position involves a considerable amount of travel.
Over the years, he always emailed us his travel plans along with flight information. Lately, he tells us when and where he is going but omits the flight, hotel information, etc. When we ask, our requests are ignored. When we tell him we think it's irresponsible for him not to share this information, his response is, "My secretary has the information if there are any problems."
We always give our children our travel information, flights, hotels, etc. when we travel. Our question is, are we out of line for wanting this information from him? -- LOVING PARENTS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR PARENTS: You are not out of line for wanting the information; you are out of line for insisting your adult son give it to you over his objection. Your son is 47. He is no longer a child. It's time to back off.
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.)