DEAR ABBY: My husband recently started a new job. He works with a bunch of women, which is a switch from what I’m used to since all his previous jobs were with all men.
These women “adore” him, and I don’t think most are a threat, but two of them are very flirtatious, although he’s not one to notice that stuff. He says they act like that with everyone, but I have tried to explain there are boundaries of what’s acceptable for how a woman acts toward a married man. He thinks I’m overreacting and they don’t mean anything, but they treat me differently when he’s not around.
I am confident he wouldn’t flirt back, but they seem to take his kindness as “accepting” their behavior. I don’t want them to think he thinks it’s OK, but he doesn’t want to be rude since they all work together. What can be done, and how can I get him to see what I see? Am I overreacting? — STUCK BETWEEN QUIET OR CONFRONTING
DEAR STUCK: You and your husband will be a lot happier if you stop obsessing about his work environment. Nowhere in your letter did you state that your husband has been unfaithful.
It would be extremely inappropriate for you to confront his co-workers. If their “adoration” gets to the point where he becomes uncomfortable, he can either tell them enough is enough or enlist the help of his supervisor or his boss.
DEAR ABBY: I was lunching with a group of women when the waiter walked up and addressed us as “you guys.” Men would be highly offended if a waiter approached a table of men and referred to them as “you ladies.” To me, there needs to be another way of addressing women that does not insult them and expect it to be accepted. It would have been just as easy to say, “What can I do for you ladies today?” or something of that nature.
One of the women at our table informed the waiter that we were a group of women, not men. Was she right to correct him? — PATSY IN ALABAMA
DEAR PATSY: The use of the word “guys” is decidedly casual. I’m sure your server — who I’ll bet was a young person — didn’t intend to insult anyone when he addressed your group as “you guys.” While I would not have been offended, clearly your tablemate was. And because she was offended, she was right to speak up — as long as she did it in a way that didn’t embarrass the server.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 11 years has a 16-year-old son from a previous relationship. Yesterday his son had a job interview, and not only did my boyfriend accompany him into the interview, he also answered the questions for his son. I tried to explain to him that parents don’t do that, but he thinks I am just being critical. Doesn’t it look bad if parents go along into interviews? — BAFFLED IN THE EAST
DEAR BAFFLED: It not only looks bad, it IS bad. It looks terrible! Your boyfriend is a helicopter parent, and as well-meaning as he may be, he is doing his son no favors. I would be shocked if the boy was hired after that interview.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)