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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Apr 22, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old son, "Nils," recently joined a sport he really enjoys. His stepdad and I are at every practice, helping the coaches and coaching my son along.

Nils recently commented to me that he would like it if his father could come and see him practice. I took it upon myself, as I usually do, to call my ex, "John," and suggest he make an appearance because it would make our son happy.

My husband, who has been a wonderful stepdad to Nils for 13 years now, told me I should leave it alone. He said if John was a "real" father, he would just show up without being asked.

When things like this happen, should I leave it alone, or should I ask John to be involved more than he tries to be? I tell my ex about all of our son's activities and sometimes he just doesn't show.-- TRYING TO BE A GOOD MOM

DEAR TRYING: Not knowing your former husband, I can't guess his reason for not coming to your son's practices, particularly if he said he was going to attend. John may be irresponsible, or he may have unforeseen scheduling conflicts. By telling him about your son's activities and letting him know his presence is wanted, you have done your job as a conscientious mother. At 14, Nils is old enough to also call his father and invite him. The rest is up to your ex.

DEAR ABBY: In reference to the letter from the man who was constantly setting off "gaydar" alarms in females (March 10), I would like to share my experience.

I dated and then married a man who incorrectly set off my "gaydar." It had nothing to do with his mannerisms, his speech or appearance. It was his extreme personal insecurity regarding dating and making friends. In addition, "Mr. Not-Gay" could neither read nor write, which caused even more emotional insecurity.

After we had been married 10 years he became physically disabled and we had to move. No one in our new city took him for gay, even without me and without a wedding ring on him. He divorced me at 62 because the 30-something home-care aides looked better, but that's another story.-- MARCIA IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR MARCIA: I hope you will write again and tell us the rest of the story, as I'm sure I'm not the only person who would be interested in reading it. I agree that individuals who are uncomfortable with themselves sometimes emit vibes that make others uncomfortable because I have experienced it. But this subject does highlight the absurdity of gay stereotypes. Because a man is slight, soft-spoken and a meticulous dresser does not mean he is gay, any more than it means a man who is fat, sloppy and loud is straight.

DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing "Duane" for two months. He's kind, good-looking, successful, smart and fun. He's also apparently quite proud of his astonishingly hairy chest because he always wears his shirts unbuttoned nearly to his navel. When we're in public, you can see people react. Sometimes they point and whisper.

I gently raised the issue, but he didn't seem to think it was a big deal. I like him, but I'm embarrassed sometimes. Any thoughts?-- BLUSHING IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR BLUSHING: Yes. Your friend is suffering from overexposure. When strangers point and whisper, what they're saying is usually no compliment. Because Duane's decolletage embarrasses you, give him a choice: Button up or mow the "lawn."

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#2 Apr 22, 2013
L1: It seems like this issue should have come up years ago. I don't know what you do about it now.

L2: Whaaa...? Huh? I'm lost.

L3: He shouldn't wear a shirt unbuttoned to the navel whether he has a hairy chest or not.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Apr 22, 2013
1 Lamy forgot to mention that the X probably does not want to be around this woman who may have cheated on him. The current husband was wrong to tell her to not mention it.
But that aside, I agree that the kid should tell his dad himself.

2 So your illiterate, closet queen of a shack up dumped you after a tight bunned nurse bent over to pick up his pen.....HA!

3 Hey if you got it flaunt it. Would lamy suggest that a man tell his GF to get breast reduction if she showed cleavage?

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Apr 22, 2013
3. Maybe he is just trying to give his body lice some fresh air.

Query- does he wear a lot of gold chains too?
Query #2 Assuming first impressions ar visual, why on earth would you go out with someone like this unless you met him at a Halloween party?

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#5 Apr 22, 2013
L3. Does he wear a gaudy gold chain too? Yuck!

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#6 Apr 22, 2013
Pellen, we think a lot alike sometimes.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#7 Apr 22, 2013
HA!
loose cannon wrote:
Pellen, we think a lot alike sometimes.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#8 Apr 22, 2013
1- Yeah, well, he can't very well show up if he doesn't know about it, now can he?

2- Lady... what was your point?

3- And was his shirt buttoned or unbuttoned when you agreed to start dating him?
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#9 Apr 22, 2013
LW1 - Tell your ex when the events are and tell him the son wants him there. Tell the son to ask his dad to come, too.

LW2 - Huh?

LW3 - I wouldn't want to see a guy constantly wearing his shirt unbuttoned to his navel whether his chest is hairy or not. "Mow the lawn?" Really? As in "shave the chest"? Yuck. I guess maybe permanent hair removal is an option, but stubble on the chest is not, I think.
animaniactoo

New York, NY

#10 Apr 22, 2013
LW1 - Ignore your husband, who likely has another agenda here. The point isn't about what bio-dad should or shouldn't have done and therefore does or doesn't deserve. The point is about what your kid wants and you advocate *for your kid*. That can continue even when the kid is 14, as long as you're not going overboard about it. Kid should be speaking up for himself, but if there's not enough of a relationship there, it'll be that much harder for him to. You can encourage him to call/e-mail and ask for himself and should do so, but it's not a problem that you spoke to your ex directly about it.

And fwiw - it doesn't matter how involved your husband has been. It remains about what the kid wants. As a primary custody stepparent, part of your job is to stay out of the way of whatever relationship has with their bioparent and refuse to compete. At all. Ever. Part of your job is to make it completely comfortable for the kid to want that relationship without feeling guilt or having loyalty conflicts.

It's easier when you remember it's not about you or what kind of a job you've done as a stepparent, or what kind of a job the bioparent has done.

LW2 - I'm a little lost? Is this one of those tales of "After X gained confidence, nobody saw Y anymore"? Or is this "After I stuck by X through Y and Z and they were all better, they left me in the dust."?

LW3 - Ask Duane if he notices the pointing and the comments and whether he cares. If he doesn't care, then it's not your job to "fix" him. Just decide whether you're okay being seen in public with him and if you're not, break up with him. Now. Well, okay, you get one shot at "I'd like it better if you...", but only one. Once you put it on the table, it's up to him to decide what he wants to do, in response to your *preference*.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#11 Apr 22, 2013
LW1: Your son is old enough to talk to his dad all by his whittle wonesome self. Stop sheltering him from dad-induced disappointment.

LW2: Um, OK?

LW3: Don't care for the taco meat, huh? Start buying him pull-overs that only unbutton a few buttons, because no way is this guy shaving or waxing his chest.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#12 Apr 22, 2013
LW1: Itís really all about the best interests of you son, not whoís a man or a real dad, or what have you. Your current husband doesnít seem to realize this. Itís not a competition between him and your ex.

LW2: I bet it took a lot of effort to write a letter that boring.

LW3: Guy sounds like a doosh to me

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#13 Apr 22, 2013
And it was probably a MALE nurse!
RACE wrote:
2 So your illiterate, closet queen of a shack up dumped you after a tight bunned nurse bent over to pick up his pen.....HA!

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

United States

#14 Apr 22, 2013
1. Your husband is being insecure and trying to protect his turf. If your son would like to see his real dad, then the real dad deserves to know.

2. all I got out of that is that you were desperate enough to marry a guy who could neither read nor write.

3. What a tool. And really Race, comparing chest hair to cleavage? But I guess seeing as the women you date have both, your confusion is understandable.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#15 Apr 22, 2013
Its one of the things I find so attractive about you.
Sam I Am GEAM wrote:
3. What a tool. And really Race, comparing chest hair to cleavage? But I guess seeing as the women you date have both, your confusion is understandable.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#16 Apr 22, 2013
L1: Parents do not belong at practice. I bet your son really just wants his dad to be more involved in his life. He's 14. It's time for you to teach him to talk to his dad, not pick up the phone on his behalf.

L2: Um, do you have a point? Why on earth did you marry him? An illiterate gaydar-tripping dude?

L3: Two months? I'd last two dates, max.

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#17 Apr 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
L1: Parents do not belong at practice.
In general I agree with you that there is no need for a 14 year old's parents to be at practice, especially helping the coach and coaching their children along. My husband says that one I the most important thing kids need to lean when playing sports is to listen to the coach, not their parents, well-meaning as parents are. It confuses the child.

I have no objection with parents sitting in a separate section where they can view the practice, but not be so close that they feel they can participate (like at the hockey rink).

“Checks and Balances”

Since: Apr 13

Location hidden

#18 Apr 22, 2013
LW3- it is not ok to try to dictate someone's personal style. If there is a hygiene issue that interfere's with intimacy, then of course you should mention it. You can compliment someone when they wear clothes that you find flattering. Telling a grown up that they need to shave their body hair to conform with the current trends is not ok, though.

This LW needs to become more secure in herself or decide that it's a deal breaker. I would rather date someone with a different sense of style but still treats me with care and respect than someone who has the right image but is less than stellar in the way he treats me.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#19 Apr 22, 2013
LW2: "I dated and then married a man who incorrectly set off my "gaydar." It had nothing to do with his mannerisms, his speech or appearance. It was his extreme personal insecurity regarding dating and making friends. In addition, "Mr. Not-Gay" could neither read nor write, which caused even more emotional insecurity."

Abby's response: "I hope you will write again and tell us the rest of the story, as I'm sure I'm not the only person who would be interested in reading it."

So, LW, you married a man with "extreme personal insecurity" who was also completely illiterate. Abby's very polite response is code for: JEBUS, LADY--WHAT THE EFF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!"

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#20 Apr 22, 2013
LW1: What Race, animaniactoo, Sub, & Sam said

LW2: What squishy said.

Lw3: What dog & animaniactoo said. jamwow, what if she's dating Borat?

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