Abby: Romantic wedding dims in tug-of-war over marriage
Dear Abby: My boyfriend, “Pierre,” and I have been a couple for 18 months. We moved in together three months ago.
The trouble is, Pierre is French, and he doesn’t believe in marriage. He says it’s an “outdated institution and a social construct.” He also claims that no one in France gets married.
My parents are very religious, and they do not support us living in sin. They say if we have a child out of wedlock, they will cut me off completely.
What should I do? I love my family, but I also love Pierre. And I’ve always dreamed of having a romantic wedding with my father walking me down the aisle. I know Pierre is committed to me, but he dislikes the institution of marriage and won’t budge on this. I’m 34 and my biological clock is ticking.
Conflicted in California
Dear Conflicted: Pierre has given you fair warning and so have your parents. Marriage exists in France just as it does here in the USA. That Pierre doesn’t believe in it should be an indication that the two of you have very different definitions of what a committed relationship is, and it may be partly cultural in nature. How do you feel about that?
I think it’s sad that the parents of a 34-year-old woman would threaten to cut her off if she decided to have a child without being married. If you can support one, that choice should be yours and not theirs. My advice is to stop dreaming about a romantic wedding with your father walking you down the aisle unless you can find a man with a different view of commitment than Pierre appears to have.
P.S. I once had a poodle named Pierre. He and I got along fine and marriage was never discussed.
Dear Abby: My mom and many others share this problem. She refuses to throw away expired food. I’m not talking about something a few days past its “best used by” date; I’m talking YEARS.
Yesterday, I found a box of bread crumbs that had expired in 2001 (I took a picture). Mom insisted that they “never really go bad.” I told her she had better hope she isn’t the beneficiary of the life insurance policy of anyone who eats them or she could end up as an episode of “Snapped.”
Seriously, though, this is a huge problem for the elderly. I hope you will encourage your readers to help their older friends and family members by cleaning out their fridge and cabinets. I always check the expiration date before eating anything at my mom’s.
Dear Date Checker: Your mother is mistaken. While it’s safe to consume some foods a few weeks past their expiration date, others begin to lose their nutritional value or spoil.
I’m printing your letter for other readers whose older relatives think the way your mother does, so they can check expiration dates on packages in their relatives’ cupboards (and remove any bulging or rusted cans that could cause botulism, a fatal illness).
Dear Abby: I was raped by a man I thought was a friend. Since then, I don’t accept men’s opinions, including those I work for. When they try to give me constructive criticism, I shut down. I know I need therapy. How do I get past this thing and become a productive employee?
Getting Past This
Dear Getting Past: What happened to you was appalling, and I hope you reported it to the police so it won’t happen to anyone else. You know you need therapy, so why not contact a rape treatment center and ask for help now? If you do, it will help you in many areas of your life, in addition to your work environment.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.