DEAR ABBY: I need your advice. I'm a 66-year-old woman who has been single most of my life. I am semi-retired and don't look or act my age.
I recently met the man of my dreams on a dating app. We are the same age, and the attraction is mutual. However, there's one thing I'm having trouble with. He lives on Social Security, which is OK, but he has no upper teeth. He lost his false teeth. His bottom teeth are rotten, and he has no intention of replacing them.
I would be willing to pay for his teeth, but because I'm not sure how to approach the subject, I have decided not to see him anymore. We have agreed to stay in contact by texting. I don't know how to handle this. Can you help me? -- TURNED OFF IN VIRGINIA
DEAR TURNED OFF: Your ideal man has more problems than having lost his uppers. His lack of attention to dental hygiene is a danger to his health. If you care about him, point it out. And when you do, explain that there are low-cost options for getting treatment -- such as contacting a school of dentistry where students treat patients under the supervision of qualified professors. If his problem is fear of dentists, that can be dealt with too.
Rather than write any checks to pay for his new teeth, encourage him to be more proactive in taking care of himself. If you do, you'll be doing him a favor.
DEAR ABBY: I have read letters in your column about lazy adult sons moving back home. I'd like to present the other side of the story.
After being gone 15 years, my son lost his job, house and wife and had to move back with us. I admit I was apprehensive, but on his first day home he started to rebuild our 30-year-old patio. After that, he painted our house, installed air conditioning in our garage, planted and harvested a garden, which he maintained, landscaped the yard and helped in numerous other ways.
Soon he found a good job and a great girlfriend. He eventually bought a home and moved out. He lives nearby and still maintains our vehicles and helps out a lot around the house with things my wife and I find difficult to do. He borrowed my truck one day and brought it home with four new tires!
Abby, I thought you might be interested to read an upbeat story on this subject for a change. (I have a great daughter, too -- but that's a different story.) -- GRATEFUL DAD IN NEVADA
DEAR GRATEFUL DAD: You are absolutely right that I am interested. Thank you for such an upbeat letter. I don't know what your recipe was for child rearing, but I'm sorry you didn't share it. Your son is a gem!
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MY ASIAN READERS WHO CELEBRATE THE LUNAR NEW YEAR: I wish a happy, healthy new year to all of you who celebrate this holiday. The Year of the Pig begins today. People born in the Year of the Pig are warmhearted, loyal, honest and gentle. (They can also be naive, gullible, sluggish and short-tempered.) On the upside, they seem to be blessed with intelligence and creativity. Notable individuals born in the Year of the Pig include Stephen King, Julie Andrews, Duke Ellington, Lucille Ball, Magic Johnson, Ernest Hemingway and Elton John.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)