DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have gotten engaged and we are being married in a year or so. Everything about him is wonderful, and I’m excited to share my life with him — except for one worry. I have been an animal lover my entire life. After living with him this past year with my two cats, I have slowly come to the realization that he absolutely loathes the idea of pets.
Besides my inability to understand this (he has never had a bad past experience with an animal), it makes me question his compassion (or lack thereof) for all things living. Should this be a red flag, worthy of reconsidering our engagement? — CRITTER LOVER IN NEW ENGLAND
DEAR LOVER: Perhaps. Not everyone is an animal lover, but it’s usually because they haven’t had pets or been exposed to them. This does not mean they lack compassion for all things living. It simply means they haven’t interacted with different species.
However, you say your fiance absolutely “LOATHES” pets. If you plan to have animals in your household in the future, you MUST have some serious discussions about it and lay your cards on the table. If you don’t deal with this NOW, it could be a deal-breaker in the future.
DEAR ABBY: For any frequent traveler, there is the inevitability of being seated near children on airplanes. I can’t blame kids for becoming a little bit fussy. Often, they seem miserably bored. My sad observation is their parents seem to be unprepared to engage their kids.
When I traveled by plane with my children, I always planned ahead. I packed plenty of healthy snacks, a few surprise treats and games, books and art supplies to engage them. I also talked to them in advance about the trip, the plane, who we were going to visit and what we were going to do after we arrived. Strangers would thank me at the end of the flight for my children’s good behavior.
Time on a plane is a perfect opportunity to forgo the hustle and bustle of a typical day. Use the downtime to have fun and enjoy special bonding time with your kids and, hopefully, give the other passengers a break. — MILE-HIGH PLAY TIME
DEAR MILE-HIGH: I’m printing your intelligent suggestions in the hope that as families travel in the coming months, they will be taken to heart. I’m not doing this for the benefit of airline passengers, but rather the comfort of the children involved. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with my readers and me. You may not be an angel, but today you have earned your “wings.”
DEAR ABBY: I find myself depressed 90% of the time because I’m afraid of death. Do you think LGBTQ individuals are doomed after death? Will we go to hell? I’m gay and I worry every day about it. Please settle my nerves. — STRESSED-OUT IN GEORGIA
DEAR STRESSED-OUT: I’m glad you asked. Please stop worrying, because you are making your own hell right here on Earth. LGBTQ individuals are no more “doomed” after death than are straight people. The misguided individual who planted that idea in your head deserves that fate, not 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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