DEAR ABBY: I am NOT one of those fit, active, socially involved and sexy senior citizens. I had a hard childhood, was a busy wife and mother and, for decades, worked at jobs I hated.
I spent years longing for the day when I could retire and read, read, read without feeling guilty about taking time for myself.
Now that I’m retired, my baby boomer cohort seems to feel we seniors should all be wonder women and men. Worse, my millennial children seem to agree.
Is there a succinct and polite way to tell them all to go take a flying leap? I’m perfectly OK with being fat, happy and a source of entertainment for my grandchildren, who are — fortunately — too small to be judgmental. — OLD-FASHIONED IN OHIO
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: Those who appear to be nagging you are well-intentioned and concerned about you. So be polite and smile when you respond that you know they mean well, but you have worked long and hard to finally be able to do exactly what you want to do, which is nothing but read, read, read and enjoy your grandchildren.
That said, a person does not have to be Wonder Woman or Superman to devote half an hour five days a week to her or his health by walking. You could listen to an audiobook while you do it. In addition, you could also do something fun with your grandkids that incorporates a little bit of movement for all of you. Just sayin’.
DEAR ABBY: I am 15 years older than my boyfriend, “Spencer,” and have two kids from a previous marriage. Spencer and I have been living together for the past 10 years.
I planned to have his child, but was involved in an accident and now can no longer have kids. He blames me nearly every day for having “experienced life” while he hasn’t. He wants kids, and mine are mine — not his. He calls me ugly names now and is physically and emotionally abusive.
I love Spencer very much, and I feel deeply hurt. It wasn’t my choice to be infertile, but he truly hates me for it. I get choked and pushed and have bruises the next day. Do I just give up and leave him after so many years of harmony?
This has only gotten extremely bad over the past year. My gut says he’s involved with a girl at work who is giving him bad advice. She’s 12 years younger than he is. I have caught them texting and talking together in our car at his job. Please help me with some advice. — LOST SOUL IN OREGON
DEAR LOST SOUL: I’ll try. You should have drawn the line the first time Spencer became abusive. For the sake of your children — not to mention your own safety — tell him he has to leave.
That’s what he’s really trying to do, force you to end what has become a toxic relationship so he won’t have to take the responsibility. Because his priority is having children “of his own,” he needs to move on and, frankly, so do you.
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)