DEAR ABBY: My fiance is in the Marine Reserves. He has been in for five years, and his contract is due to end next year. After that, he will either resign or re-enlist.
He’s obsessed with the idea of serving his country and deploying. He says he won’t feel like he did his job if he doesn’t deploy.
While I respect that, for him to deploy, he must re-enlist, and his new contract will be for another six years. He could be sent overseas many times in six years.
I can’t imagine life without him. Every time I even watch a war movie, I cry. I know it sounds selfish, because he is very brave, but how can I talk him into not re-enlisting or at least communicate that I don’t want him to do this again? — WANTS HIM STATESIDE
DEAR WANTS: Frankly, I am surprised you haven’t told your fiance your feelings about this already, because you should have.
While I wouldn’t ask him to choose between you and his military service, I do think you have some serious thinking to do about your own future. Being a military spouse requires a special kind of strong, independent and dedicated person — as you have already experienced. While you may love him, if this isn’t a lifestyle to which you can adapt, then he may not be the husband for you.
DEAR ABBY: My mother’s father recently got out of prison and was deported to Mexico. He had been in jail for 20 years, almost my entire life (I’m 22).
While he was in prison, I wrote him several times, hoping to connect with him, but I never got a response — not even an acknowledgement in his letters to my mom. When I’m asked if I have any grandparents, I usually say, “I only have two grandmas.” My father’s father was the only real grandfather I had, and I loved him dearly. He died in 2003.
The problem is, my mom wants me to call her father “Grandpa” when I don’t even know the man! In my opinion, the title of “Grandpa” is earned and not automatically bestowed. Am I being unreasonable and what should I do? — ESTRANGED GRANDDAUGHTER IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ESTRANGED: You are not being unreasonable; you are being rational. You are not only not obligated to call this man “Grandpa,” you are under no obligation to speak to him at all, and I wouldn’t blame you if you kept your distance.
DEAR ABBY: I just got asked to my first high school dance by “Josh,” a boy I really like. I don’t know what to do, what to wear or what to say. I don’t even know how to dance, and I don’t want to mess this up.
Josh is very popular and has done this before, but I haven’t. He’s my best friend, and I’m scared of losing him because I’m not good enough.
Should I go, or call it off and just stay home? Maybe I’m just not meant for all this dating stuff. What should I do? — INEXPERIENCED IN NEVADA
DEAR INEXPERIENCED: If you weren’t “good enough,” Josh wouldn’t have invited you to the dance. Because you haven’t danced before, ask him to give you some pointers before the big night. If you do, I’m sure he’ll be glad to help.
As to what to wear, if any of your girlfriends have attended the dances, ask them for suggestions. However, if none of them have been to a school dance either, ask any female relative of the same age — or ask Josh.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)