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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Is Embarrassed When Wife Asks People Their Age

DEAR ABBY: My wife constantly craves compliments about her age. When we meet people, she regularly asks how old they are, which I think is rude and inappropriate. Then she asks me if I know how old they are, and I say "no" because I don't think it's any of my business. She then asks them, "How old do you think I am?" Almost always they guess low, which makes her happy.

She thinks there's something wrong with me for not being curious about someone's age. Abby, is it appropriate when meeting someone to ask how old he or she is? To me, it's like asking how much they weigh -- which is also none of my business! Is my wife rude, or am I the one with the problem? I like people but don't need the intimate details of their lives. -- MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS

DEAR MINDING: Many people dislike being asked their age, and to ask that question of a stranger is not appropriate. That your wife raises the subject because she seeks validation about her looks is sad. I'm guessing she will stop doing it when people answer her question honestly.