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Dear Abby: My wife and I are expecting our first child. A friend of hers asked if I’d gotten my wife a “push gift.” I’ve never heard of this, but apparently it’s supposed to be something nice, like jewelry, to celebrate the birth.

We’ve already spent a lot of extra money to decorate a nursery. In addition, the delivery will be costly under our high-deductible health plan. Combined with the fact that my wife just retired from her teaching job, the expenses are starting to freak me out.

In light of this, what do you think of a push gift? Have you heard good ideas for a low-cost, but appropriate alternative?

Excited Father-To-Be

Dear Excited: A push gift can be a piece of jewelry, your first “family vacation,” a piece of electronic equipment for your wife or a piece of furniture for the nursery. Some couples prefer something less materialistic, such as help with baby care or money for the child’s education.

Dear Abby: I’m a 40-year-old man who has worked at my current job for two years and love it, though I earn two-thirds what I did at my prior position.

My problem is, I think I’m in love with my boss. She’s an amazing person — very sexy — and I can’t stop thinking about her. The woman I loved died two weeks before I took this job, and I’m still not ready to date again. Oh, my boss is married, so there’s no way I can hook up with her.

How can I stop having feelings for my boss? Should I just quit? I attempted to a month ago, but she gave me a raise.

Crushing in Minnesota

Dear Crushing: If you are crushing on your boss and fantasizing because you think she’s “amazing and sexy,” I beg to differ with you. You ARE ready to date.

You say last month you were given a raise when you mentioned quitting. It appears you are a valued employee at that company. Before you jeopardize a job you love and for which you are being increasingly well-compensated, I urge you to dip your foot into the dating pool of ELIGIBLE women. Now!

Dear Abby: I’ll be having surgery to alleviate the symptoms of bowel incontinence. I have a great doctor and family support. When nosy people ask why I am going to the hospital, I want to say, “None of your business,” or “Be glad you don’t have this problem.” Neither response seems appropriate. Suggestions?

Shy in The South

Dear Shy: A certain amount of curiosity is normal. If someone asks why you are going to the hospital, all you need to say is, “I’m having a procedure.” However, if the person is insensitive and pushes you to be more specific, your response should be, “It’s personal.” Period.

Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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