Abby 1/6/13

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dahgts

Chicago, IL

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#1
Jan 6, 2013
 
DEAR ABBY: I spent the afternoon running errands. As I left the shopping center, I saw a young couple with a baby and a toddler holding a sign requesting help with food, as the husband had just been laid off. I drove past, then considered the children and circled back.

I had no cash with me, so I stopped and offered them our family's dinner -- a jar of premium spaghetti sauce, a pound of fresh ground beef, a box of dried spaghetti, fruit cups that my children usually take to school for treats, and some canned soups I occasionally have for lunch.

Imagine my surprise when the couple declined my generosity. Instead, the man strongly suggested that I should go to a nearby ATM and withdraw cash to donate to them because they preferred to select their own groceries and pay their phone bills. What are your thoughts on this?-- GENUINELY PUZZLED IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

DEAR PUZZLED: What happened is a shame. Some families are truly in need and should be guided to a shelter so they can receive help getting back on their feet. However, in some cities you see the same people on the same streets for long periods of time. They have staked out their "turf," and because the money they are given is tax-free, some of them are doing quite well. In your case, the couple you saw holding the sign may have been professional panhandlers, and the children may have been "borrowed."

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been separated for a year and I have filed for divorce. We have reached an agreement about everything except one thing: our tortoise. This may seem strange, but Herbert has always been our "child." I think of him as my kid, and I believe my husband when he says he loves him that much, too. We got Herbert as a baby that fit into the palm of my hand. Herbert is now 9, very large and lives in the backyard in a "doghouse" structure.

The problem is, my husband still wants to see Herbert. He agrees that he will visit only when I am not at home. I don't distrust him or worry he will try to take Herbert, but I just don't want him here.

I know that if Herbert is mine legally, I won't have to let anyone see him. Once our divorce is final, I want nothing more to do with my husband and he knows that. But it's like telling someone he could never see his kid again. I'd really like to know your thoughts.-- NICOLE IN SANFORD, FLA.

DEAR NICOLE: Because you can't split Herbert in half, why not consider shared custody? If your husband can provide a safe place for the tortoise to stay while he's with "Daddy," you could work out an agreement so that you could exchange your "kid" at a neutral place -- such as your veterinarian's office -- and you wouldn't have to see your husband and vice versa.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary next summer, and we're planning to renew our vows. I'm trying to decide if I should wear my original wedding gown.(I wore it on our 25th anniversary.)

Would it be in good taste to wear the same dress, or should I go with something else? We'll be inviting some of the same people who attended the 25th anniversary party.-- MARY IN ALBUQUERQUE

DEAR MARY: Congratulations on your long and happy marriage. If you can still fit into your original wedding dress, by all means wear it. I consider it an accomplishment. You'll be the envy of most of the women at your celebration, and probably some of the men.

Since: Mar 09

West Palm Beach, FL

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#2
Jan 6, 2013
 
L1: Ah, to be so innocent and untainted by douchebaggery as this LW. Psst - they were scamming you.

L2: Well, this is a new one. I think it's a horrible idea for your ex husband to come to your house while you're not there - it's asking for trouble. I guess Abby's idea is okay, but I don't know how practical it is to keep moving an animal like this, or how much he'd enjoy it....

L3: Rock it, sister.

“What's it to ya?”

Since: Mar 09

Tacoma, WA

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#3
Jan 6, 2013
 
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Ah, to be so innocent and untainted by douchebaggery as this LW. Psst - they were scamming you.
L2: Well, this is a new one. I think it's a horrible idea for your ex husband to come to your house while you're not there - it's asking for trouble. I guess Abby's idea is okay, but I don't know how practical it is to keep moving an animal like this, or how much he'd enjoy it....
L3: Rock it, sister.
Yep. All of it. Yep.
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

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#4
Jan 6, 2013
 
L2: He probably should give up on the tortoise. He would also need a backyard and shelter for the tortoise. They also hibernate approximately six months a year.
Anonymous

Plant City, FL

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#5
Jan 6, 2013
 

Judged:

2

1: Ugh, I loathe this crap. I ignore it unless something really moves me inside. I also think I should be able to walk into a store and walk out without being harrassed for money for whatever cause someone wrote on a stupid jar in permanent marker.

2: I'm sorry but this is weird. If they both love it as a child, then she needs to allow him shared custody. I culd see her doing the same thing with a real human.
Personally, I've never known a man who would get that attached to a tortoise that they couldn't walk away in a situation like this.

3: Help me understand renewals...did they not stick the first time? Did someone forget something in them?

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#6
Jan 6, 2013
 
1- I keep a handful of pennies in my car for this very reason.

2- It should be treated like any other shared custody, be it an animal or kid. I think Abby's advice was ok.

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#7
Jan 6, 2013
 
cheluzal wrote:
3: Help me understand renewals...did they not stick the first time? Did someone forget something in them?
After 25 years then 50 years, you can tend to "forget" what you vowed.

And thanks for not returning my call yesterday!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#8
Jan 6, 2013
 
cheluzal wrote:
2: I'm sorry but this is weird...
Personally, I've never known a man who would get that attached to a tortoise that they couldn't walk away in a situation like this.
Well maybe she feels she can coax him out of his shell?

“Derecho”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#9
Jan 6, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
Well maybe she feels she can coax him out of his shell?
Maybe he IS trying to walk away but it's slow progress?
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

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#10
Jan 6, 2013
 

Judged:

1

LW1 met a set a people who are giving Texans a bad name--shame on those phonies.
LW2 is a rerun.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#11
Jan 6, 2013
 
tiredofit wrote:
L2: He probably should give up on the tortoise. He would also need a backyard and shelter for the tortoise. They also hibernate approximately six months a year.
1) She's the one writingbfor advice. Why are you not ecommenring that SHE give up on the tortoise?
2) I would guess they know more than you about owning tortoises. Why do you think you need to make a point of how much space they need? Is there any indication in the letter that he would not have an adequate amount of space for the tortoise?
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#12
Jan 6, 2013
 
Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>
1) She's the one writingbfor advice. Why are you not ecommenring that SHE give up on the tortoise?
2) I would guess they know more than you about owning tortoises. Why do you think you need to make a point of how much space they need? Is there any indication in the letter that he would not have an adequate amount of space for the tortoise?
He'd probably have to shell out a lot of money for a new turtlehouse.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#13
Jan 6, 2013
 

Judged:

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PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
He'd probably have to shell out a lot of money for a new turtlehouse.
You must be quite the tortoise expert. She described it as a doghouse type structure. I really can't say that such a description is enough for me to judge how much it would cost. Who built the existing one? Maybe HE did with with $100 worth of lumber.

If they were talking about a child, do you think the added cost of getting a place with an extra room for the child would even be a factor in whether or not he wanted share custody?
PEllen

Chicago, IL

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#14
Jan 6, 2013
 

Judged:

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Mister Tonka wrote:
<quoted text>You must be quite the tortoise expert. She described it as a doghouse type structure. I really can't say that such a description is enough for me to judge how much it would cost. Who built the existing one? Maybe HE did with with $100 worth of lumber.
If they were talking about a child, do you think the added cost of getting a place with an extra room for the child would even be a factor in whether or not he wanted share custody?
It was a pun, Tonka, a pun. As in "shell out", get it?
pde

Gilberts, IL

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#15
Jan 6, 2013
 
cheluzal wrote:
2: I'm sorry but this is weird. If they both love it as a child, then she needs to allow him shared custody. I culd see her doing the same thing with a real human.
Kids eventually grow up and negotiate their own arrangements with each parent. A tortoise can live 50+ years and will never be capable of negotiating that. It's a longer term problem than a kid.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

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#16
Jan 6, 2013
 
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
It was a pun, Tonka, a pun. As in "shell out", get it?
I do now.
TCMAXX

Tacoma, WA

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#17
Jan 7, 2013
 

Judged:

1

1

For the sake of argument, lets consider that the people asking for help were actually destitute and not scammers. If they were living in their car, or even in a residential hotel or something, how are they supposed to boil spaghetti or heat the sauce? Bread and peanut butter (or canned meat or fish) would be much more practical in that case.

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#18
Jan 7, 2013
 

Judged:

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L1: Some people are very naive.

L2: Well, if the LW thinks of the tortoise like a child, she'll just have to realize when she got the tortoise with her husband she was bound to the husband until the tortoise kicks it or he does. Would you not let your husband ever see his real life child if you two had one?
Anonymous

Plant City, FL

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#19
Jan 7, 2013
 
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
After 25 years then 50 years, you can tend to "forget" what you vowed.
And thanks for not returning my call yesterday!
My phone gets crappy reception at home and I never hear it.
Plus, I had noise-reduction headphones on, working on schoolwork all day. Term restarted today!!
Psycho busy--in last 2 courses, and willhave chapters 1-3 of my dissertation by the end, which is used for my proposal.
Qualifying exam in June!
EEKK
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

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#20
Jan 11, 2013
 
TCMAXX wrote:
For the sake of argument, lets consider that the people asking for help were actually destitute and not scammers. If they were living in their car, or even in a residential hotel or something, how are they supposed to boil spaghetti or heat the sauce? Bread and peanut butter (or canned meat or fish) would be much more practical in that case.
If that family was real, wouldn't they have accepted those fruit cups (if they noticed them)?

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