DEAR ABBY: I am heartbroken. I have an uncle “Tony” I’m close to, who is like my best friend. I was sending him pictures of a football game and he sent me back a very inappropriate picture of himself. He says it was a “mistake,” that it was supposed to go to his wife, but the text message he sent with it showed different. I don’t want to be around him. I’m disgusted and hurt over this. I need advice. What do I do? — HEARTBROKEN IN GEORGIA
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Share the photo and texts with your parents and ask what they think about them. Then ask if they think you should forward the picture and text message to your aunt with a note explaining Uncle Tony said they were meant for her, and you didn’t want her to miss them. Because he makes you uncomfortable, listen to your intuition and keep your distance because what he did was appalling.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a female working full-time in an office with all men. Yesterday afternoon, I ate a salad that contained several varieties of beans. I was standing outside my boss’s office, laughing at a joke one of the salesmen was telling when the beans got the best of me and I passed gas. I was mortified and wanted to sink through the floor! I patted the salesman on the arm and said, “I guess that’s what I think of the joke,” and walked back into my office. I didn’t know what else to say or do. Today I can’t look either of them in the face. Since this seems to be something that happens to older people (I’m 69), and it’s something we often don’t have total control over — please tell me how to “recover.” If this should happen again, what on earth does one say or do? — BEANS, THE MUSICAL FRUIT
DEAR B.T.M.F.: Stop beating yourself up over this. Expelling gas is normal. According to the National Institutes of Health, the average person passes gas about 14 times a day — although probably not as spectacularly as you did. If it happens again, don’t try to be funny. Just say, “Excuse me,” and if the “toot” is a fragrant one, distance yourself. I’m positive that would be appreciated.
DEAR ABBY: We are planning to give a joint baby shower next month for two sisters-in-law who are expecting their babies three weeks apart. The joint shower is a necessity because some of the relatives will need to travel quite a distance to attend. Most of the guests know both girls, but some will know only one of them. Is there a way we can word the invitation so these guests won’t feel obligated to “gift” both babies? Any suggestions will be gratefully appreciated because we are stumped. — STUMPED IN OHIO
DEAR STUMPED: Put nothing on the invitations themselves mentioning gifts. However, it is acceptable to include an INSERT along with the invitation that states gifts for both babies are not expected. If the shower is going to be a large one, you could email the guests to relay the information. However, if it will be relatively small, pick up the phone and call.
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