DEAR ABBY: I met a young couple about a year ago. They invite me out for lunch every few months. They have several children they allow to run all over the place, climb over and under the table, cry and whine, and they make no effort to teach them proper behavior in restaurants. It’s so annoying and embarrassing that I no longer want to go out with them. I cannot believe that they turn their children loose in restaurants without acknowledging that they are creating a not-so-nice experience for other diners.
If they ask me why, should I make up an excuse or tell them how I feel about their lack of parenting? I suspect they will be hypersensitive to any remarks I make, but I can’t enjoy my meal while their children run wild. Those children need to learn some manners. I would rather eat out by myself than experience another episode. — ALONE BUT NOT LONELY
DEAR ALONE: Rather than let these parents have it with both barrels, the next time you are invited to lunch, ask if the children will be included. When they tell you the kids are coming — which they will — respond that you would prefer “adult time.” It would get your message across without it appearing you are criticizing their parental abilities.
DEAR ABBY: I am 49. I have never married or had kids, and I am having a hard time finding the right woman for me. I have tried dating sites, dances, etc., and it seems like women are not interested in a gentleman anymore. I am about to give up on women because I don’t know what else to do. They like the bad-boy type, and I’m not one of them.
I should mention that 25 years ago I thought I had found the right one, but I caught her cheating on me. Now women reject me. They always have an excuse. They say either, “You are not my type” or, “I just want to be friends.” Can you help me? — LONELY IN ARIZONA
DEAR LONELY: I’ll try. When a woman tells you you’re not her type or she just wants to be friends, what she’s trying to politely convey is that the romantic chemistry is wrong. Having never met you, I can’t guess why that might be. Perhaps some of your close friends or family members could tell you if you need an image makeover.
I will, however, offer this: Younger women are usually the ones who are attracted to the “excitement” (stress) that bad boys provide in abundance. Older ones would welcome a man with more traditional values and who treats them well. In other words, you may be fishing in the wrong pond.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I disagree about what a comforter is for. She says a comforter is decorative and should not be used as a blanket; I say it’s OK to use it as a blanket. She says I was never taught that it’s for decoration only. Is she right? — DECORATION OR COMFORT
DEAR D OR C: Your wife is mistaken. Many people use their bedspreads and comforters as blankets. The main difference between them is a comforter is more insulated and offers more warmth. According to a leading online retailer, a bedspread is defined as “a lightweight, decorative bed covering that can be used in warm weather or as a decorative addition to a comforter in cold weather.”
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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