DEAR ABBY: I am in my mid-20s and in a long-term relationship. I can see myself getting married and having children in the next few years. So what do you do when your partner does not share your lifetime goals?
He has told me marriage is on the horizon "someday, maybe," but he has no desire for children. I love him dearly and won't put pressure on him, but have made my intentions clear.
How should I handle his wish to remain childless and unmarried when it is a lifetime dream of mine?
— DREAMING IN WISCONSIN
DEAR DREAMING: Marriage may be on your boyfriend's horizon "someday, maybe," but so is interplanetary tourism to Mars. When you realize that your partner does not share your lifetime goals, what you should do is end the relationship on the highest note possible and move on.
DEAR ABBY: We have a relative, "Jerry," whom we dearly love. However, he has the disgusting habit of flossing his teeth in every room except the bathroom. After we eat, Jerry gets up and proceeds to floss his teeth in the kitchen, the living room or wherever he likes. He has even stood behind others and done it right over their shoulders. It's disgusting!
Several of us have asked him, politely, to floss in the bathroom or somewhere private, but it made him extremely defensive and angry. I'm sure there are others out there who do it. We just want Jerry and others to know that it is not appropriate and is considered rude.
— SICK TO MY STOMACH IN KENNEWICK, WASH.
DEAR SICK TO YOUR STOMACH: Not only is your relative's behavior inappropriate and rude, it is also gross. The reason people floss their teeth in a bathroom, preferably over a sink, becomes evident to anyone who has ever cleaned the bathroom mirror. To floss anywhere else, particularly over someone's shoulder, is unsanitary.
There is a saying, "The best defense is a strong offense." If Jerry wasn't already aware that what he was doing was wrong, he wouldn't have reacted the way he did when you asked him to stop. Shame on him. His behavior is boorish.
DEAR ABBY: High school graduations are just around the corner, and I would like people to give careful consideration to whom they send announcements.
Every year I receive announcements — including pictures, calling cards, etc. — from people I barely know and whose children I don't know at all. Because we say hello in the break room or pass each other in the neighborhood does not mean you need to send me an announcement. I don't know your child, and I don't send gifts to grads I don't know.
So save yourself time and money and leave folks you barely know off the list. Believe me, if someone wants to acknowledge your child's graduation, he or she will do so without being asked.
— NOT INTERESTED IN KENTUCKY
DEAR NOT INTERESTED: Because you receive an announcement in the mail does not mean you are required to send the graduate a gift. Sometimes families send them out because they are proud and want to share the news of their child's achievement with people they consider to be friends and/or their co-workers.
When you receive a graduation announcement, you have two choices: Ignore it or acknowledge it. I vote for acknowledging it — with a congratulatory phone call or a nice card.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.