DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 18 years to a wonderful woman who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer a few years ago. We don't know how much time she has left, but she feels the cancer has robbed her of her "retirement." She is trying to persuade our family to move to Florida so she can enjoy some warm weather.
Abby, for many reasons I do not want to move. We have lived in the Midwest all our lives. My elderly parent would be all alone if we move, and I have a sibling who is also terminally ill.
I have had the same job for 25 years, and I don't want to give it up because I have the freedom to do much of my work from home, which allows me to help my wife and have income as well. If we move, there would be no guarantee that I could find a similar work situation that is so beneficial.
My wife says I'm being selfish because I'm unwilling to leave my job, family and friends to do as she wants. I understand her desire to live in a warmer climate, but I think she's the one who is being selfish. What do you think? -- WANTS TO STAY PUT
DEAR WANTS TO STAY PUT: I think the winter in the Midwest was brutal this year, and now the spring rains have arrived, which are also depressing. But in a short time the flowers will bloom and the warmth of summer and autumn will last for the next half-year.
Why not take a vacation (or leave) from your job for the next three or four weeks? If you telecommute, you could still get some work done and let your wife have her dose of sunshine. Surely someone can check on your parent and keep you informed about your sibling for that short time. I do not recommend moving anywhere permanently because there's no guarantee you'd find a job that compensates you as well as the one you have, and you may need the income.
DEAR ABBY: A tall, attractive man came into the insurance office where I work to buy an auto insurance policy. I haven't talked with men outside of my church in a long time, so I was nervous. I thought my heart would explode from beating so fast.
He will be coming back in a couple of weeks, and I'm afraid if I don't ask him out, I will regret it. I don't know how to approach him or ask a guy out at all. Help. -- NERVOUS OUT WEST
DEAR NERVOUS: The man may be married, so take it slow. If he comes in before noon, casually mention there's a restaurant not far away that serves good food and offer to show him. If he comes in later, use the old "want to grab a cup of coffee?" gambit. Either of these will give you a chance to talk with him and find out more about him without being overly obvious.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter's third birthday is coming soon, and since the new thing is sending out website-generated invitations, I have noticed that it is becoming common to include the child's interests, clothes/shoe size, etc. in the invitation.
I'm uncomfortable about including this information because I feel a child should be grateful for anything he or she receives as a gift. Am I too old-fashioned or is this tacky? If it is acceptable these days, what's a good way to provide a child's wish list without sounding expectant of anything? -- YOUNG MOM IN SAN MATEO, CALIFORNIA
DEAR YOUNG MOM: I appreciate that you want to teach your child good manners and good values. How else are children to learn if their parents don't take the time to explain what they are?
I understand some parents try to save time by including the information you have described along with their party invitations, but frankly, it IS tacky. The parents of prospective guests should reply to the invitation by ASKING what gifts the child would enjoy or can use.