DEAR ABBY: I am a retired male. My girlfriend is still working. We have been exclusive for three years. We live 300 miles apart, but see each other every two or three weeks for at least three days and, until now, have had a very good relationship.
The problem is, she's saying she wants to socialize with her ex-husband, who lives in her town. They have been divorced for eight years, but she wants to see him occasionally in a "social setting," not just when it pertains to their two adult children, who live out of state.
I understand that they need to have a relationship because of their family, but I have trouble accepting their getting together to socialize. She has removed pictures of me from her Facebook so as not to offend the ex and banned me from her son's wedding. She has told me she doesn't want me to attend any future family events where the ex is present. Am I being unreasonable or immature in not accepting this situation? -- READY TO JUMP SHIP
DEAR READY: You are neither immature nor unreasonable. It would be interesting to know your girlfriend's definition of "getting together" because it may involve more than being in a social setting. That she has removed images of you from her Facebook and no longer wants you to attend family celebrations tells me, as it should you, that more may be going on with her ex than she has told you (yet). I'm sorry, but I suggest you prepare yourself for some worse news, because it appears to me your romance is heading south.
DEAR ABBY: Please repeat a warning to your readers. Here in Tennessee, at least two young children have died recently as the result of being left inside a parent's car on a hot day. Although many, if not most, states have passed laws against leaving children alone in a parked car (as well as people with disabilities and pets), too often those laws are ignored, knowingly or unknowingly. People still don't understand how dangerously hot the interior of a car or truck can get, and how quickly it can happen.
The temperature inside a car with the windows rolled up can rise as much as 20 degrees in 10 minutes. Within an hour, the interior of a car can easily become hot enough to cause heatstroke, which can prove fatal to children, an elderly or disabled person, or a pet. Even on cloudy days, inside temperatures can reach dangerous levels.
Because of this risk, the National Weather Service uses a slogan: "Look Before You Lock!" TV and radio stations across the country have joined this effort, and a number of websites and videos are available that focus on this important message. Abby, would you please print this commonsense reminder? -- TOM IN FAIRVIEW, TENN.
DEAR TOM: I'm pleased to join this campaign to save lives. Readers, if you are transporting loved ones -- including your pets -- resolve to stay focused on their safety rather than the next task on your to-do list. These tragedies seem to happen when drivers are so distracted by what has to be done next that they forget about what's going on in the present.
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