DEAR ABBY: My husband died in 2001. There is a man I have been seeing for 17 years I’ll call Jack. He has a home in Georgia. I live in Pennsylvania, where I share a home with my grown son and my daughter, her husband and my 6-year-old grandson.
Jack has now retired and wants me to move down to Georgia with him. I have a mortgage on my home, which I pay. My kids cannot afford that payment, although they do contribute a little every month to live there. I can’t just quit my job and go to Georgia and look for a job. I need to have one before I go down there.
Well, I finally landed a job there, but sadly, it doesn’t offer benefits, which worries me. My other issue is, I am very close to my grandson. I’ll be 12 hours away, so besides video-chatting, I won’t get to see him or interact with him.
Anytime I have gone to Georgia for a week and returned home, my grandson was very emotional. I am scared that if I go to Georgia and the boy doesn’t do well with the situation, I will be stuck down there. Visiting home will be almost impossible as I only get one week’s vacation with this new job, and I can’t just jump in the car on a weekend because I would be driving the whole weekend and not have any time to spend with my family.
I am torn between going and not going. I honestly don’t know what to do. I am just so scared. What would you do? — TORN BY LOVE
DEAR TORN: The ideal solution would be for Jack to move where you are so you can keep your job and benefits and pay the mortgage on your home. Your adult children are not financially independent, and your grandson is not emotionally resilient enough to adjust to your absence. I do not think you are in a position to go anywhere until these issues are resolved.
DEAR ABBY: When ordering food at different ethnic restaurants here in the U.S., should people always speak in English, even if they are learning the language of the country the food is from? For instance, if you go to a Mexican restaurant and hear waiters speaking Spanish, and you are learning Spanish but are by no means fluent, is it polite to try and order in Spanish, or is it considered rude?
My worry is that they will assume I think they don’t know English and that I’m being condescending, especially if they respond with something I don’t understand in the same language that I was just trying to speak. Should a person always ask, “Can I practice my French (or any language you’re trying to practice)?” or should one save it for international travel, private language lessons or another time? What do you think is proper in this situation? — LOST IN TRANSLATION
DEAR LOST: I printed something on this subject three years ago (Sept. 5, 2016). It is worth going back into my archive and reviewing.
To avoid any misunderstandings or hurt feelings, assume the server speaks English. If you wish to practice your second language, tell the person you are trying to sharpen your language skills, ask if the person would mind your doing that and ask to be corrected if you make a mistake.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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