Dear Abby: Accident memorial mars her yard
Dear Abby: I need some help. A terrible car accident happened in front of my house a few months ago that resulted in the death of a husband and father. The family comes out every Sunday to place flowers at the accident site, which is my front yard. At first, I had no problem with them expressing their grief and tried to console the widow every time I saw her. The problem is, she has gradually added to the area a memorial stone, an angel statue, vases and some of her husband’s belongings. My front yard is beginning to look like a graveyard — a tacky one.
Now she’s asking to place a protective shelter over the site. I don’t know how to respond. My husband is threatening to go and pull everything up as it is. To add to the stress of all this, another fatal accident occurred last month, resulting in the death of a 22-year-old. He was the son of one of my children’s teachers. I can’t imagine what she must be feeling right now, passing our home and seeing the graveyard out front. It must be heartbreaking. We live on a dangerous road, and we are petitioning for changes, but I don’t want to make our front yard a spectacle.
— Grieving In The Midwest
Dear Grieving: You are obviously a caring person or you wouldn’t have allowed this situation to have gone as far as it has. It won’t be a pleasant conversation, but the time has come for you and your husband to talk with the widow together and explain that while you sympathize with her devastating loss, you prefer your yard not be used this way. You have that right. It’s private property.
Suggest to her that there may be some other way to memorialize her husband, but you need the stone and other objects removed within a reasonable time frame. You may also want to check with your local officials to see what the laws are about this.
Dear Abby: I’ve been happily married for 34 years, and my wife and I are supportive of each other. She’s a gourmet cook, and I’m an OK one. She takes extra care when she cooks. She wants her meals to be exceptional, and I appreciate it.
Sometimes she will cook something like an awesome enchilada casserole or pork loin. When she serves it, I like to add lots of other toppings, like sour cream and hot sauce or BBQ sauce. I don’t do it with everything — just with certain dishes. I always taste the food first, but I know how I like my food, and I season it the way I like.
She wishes I would eat her food the way she prepared it. She insists that by altering the dish, I ruin her creation, which is disrespectful. I disagree. I should be allowed to enjoy my food the way I want and not be made to feel bad about it.
Why would she want me to enjoy my meal less by not fixing it up the way I enjoy? We both agreed to seriously consider what you have to say about this.
— Recipe For Disaster In Texas
Dear Recipe: Your wife feels creative pride in the meals she prepares for you. When you alter them with “lots of” sour cream, hot sauce or BBQ sauce, she may feel that somehow her creation was a failure. Reassure her that her meals are excellent, but not everyone has the same palate. It may have something to do with the geographic region in which a person was raised, or the household in which someone grew up.
If you need certain dishes spicier in order to enjoy them, perhaps your wife should consider altering the seasonings to suit you. If she can’t do that, she shouldn’t blame you for doing it. To each his own.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com.