DEAR ABBY: I dated a man several years ago, and we just hooked up again. In the interim he had all of his teeth pulled. His dentures are ill-fitting, and he refuses to get them adjusted. As a result, he goes without any teeth, which I find a whole lot less than sexy. Our love life is suffering as a result.
He has tried to persuade me to kiss him without the teeth, or he sits around all evening and then runs and puts them in for a "bootie call." But now he doesn't even do that! He'll wear the teeth to work and other places, but not with me. He expects me to get in the mood, even though he looks like Grandpa.
We had a spat about it, and he called me shallow. Am I? I take pride in my appearance for him. I think he just expects me to get over it and make out with him toothless, but I can't! It's not like we live together. We see each other once a week or less. Please tell the truth here. -- MAKING THE EFFORT IN OHIO
DEAR MAKING: The truth is, your friend needs to see a dentist and get his false teeth adjusted or replaced. Out of consideration for you, he should wear them when he desires intimacy. That you don't get turned on when he's toothless isn't shallow. I'm sure many women would feel the same way.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 53-year-old man who has had very few girlfriends, although there are some women who are interested and who I would certainly date. The problem is, for some reason, I don't move forward, and I'm now worried that I'm so set in my ways I'll be alone for the rest of my life.
Could the issue be that I haven't met the right person, as I tell myself? Other reasons could be my insecurity, lack of trust in women, and my fear that women won't like my lifestyle (I have no ambition). Most people find a mate. Why not me? -- MR. ALONE
DEAR MR. ALONE: The reason may be that, until now, you haven't been willing to identify and work on the issues that have prevented you from finding one. A licensed mental health professional can help you overcome your insecurities and inability to trust, and understand what they stem from. Once you succeed at that, you may find you have more ambition than you currently think.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were recently at an upscale restaurant. I needed to use the restroom. When I approached the ladies' room door, it was closed. I knocked twice and heard a grumbling from inside. A minute later a lady exited. She asked me if I had knocked, and I replied that I had. She then admonished me in a stern voice as if I were a child, saying, "Don't do that!"
Was I wrong to knock on a restroom door that was closed? Are we to assume that someone is in there? I always close the restroom door when I leave because I assume that people do not want a view of the restroom while enjoying dinner. -- CONFUSED DINER
DEAR CONFUSED: Some people turn the door handle to see if the restroom is occupied. Others knock, particularly if it has been occupied for an unusually long time. The woman you encountered may have been in a bad mood, or felt that because you knocked you had rushed her. You did nothing wrong, and I hope you didn't let it ruin your evening.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.