Dear Abby 2-15-14

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Feb 15, 2014
DEAR ABBY: My sister died suddenly. She hadn't been ill, and it was a shock. Although she tried hard to have a relationship with me over the years, I had trouble relating to her and we weren't close.

I am sorry to say that I never took the time to get to know her. I'm left now with many questions about the sister I always had, but never really knew.

As her next of kin, I'm responsible for packing up her things, and I came across several journals. I would like to read them because I feel they would help me to understand her better, but I also feel it might be disrespectful to go through something of hers that was so personal.

What do you think? Would it be wrong to read them? I wish I had her here to talk to instead of journals to snoop through.-- REGRETFUL IN OAKLAND

DEAR REGRETFUL: I'm sorry for your loss, and your regrets. Because you would like to know your sibling, I think you should read her journals. While it's sad that you have to make her acquaintance in this way, it would be better than never having known her at all.

DEAR ABBY: I love my wife, but I find it difficult to take her to any function where there will be many people. She doesn't comprehend most conversations. She acts like she's listening, but if prompted for a reply, it's obvious she wasn't.

While she doesn't seem to care, I find it embarrassing. People tend to shy away from her, leaving her by herself. Because of this, we don't often get invited back. At Christmas, when I received my invitation to the annual office party, I sent my regrets.

If I try to talk to my wife about this issue, she gets defensive and accuses me of picking on her. Advice?-- THE NORTH 40 IN VIRGINIA

DEAR NORTH 40: It would be interesting to know if your wife's problem is an inability to comprehend English well, a hearing problem or a social anxiety disorder. Of course, we'll never know unless you're able to have an honest conversation with her about it and explain how it affects you. If there is a solution, your wife will have to want to find it.

As to functions having to do with business, if she's uncomfortable in that environment, then you should attend without her.

DEAR ABBY: I'm a secretary who happens to make really good coffee. An employee who works in the building likes my coffee and has made himself comfortable at my desk in the morning before he starts work and afterward, before his second job.

I am not comfortable with this. He plants himself at my desk, and I find myself having to work around him. He has become a fixture in my office and I need it to stop. How can I go about this without hurting his feelings?-- NOT HIS BARISTA

DEAR NOT: From where I sit, it looks like the man may have a crush on you. Because you want less of his company, tell him you need to get to work -- or get your work finished -- and that his presence at your desk is distracting. Tell him you're flattered that he likes your coffee and he's welcome to a cup, but he needs to drink it elsewhere. If you say it pleasantly, his feelings shouldn't be hurt.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Feb 15, 2014
L1. Give it a while and when you are feeling more mellow, read the journals. Steel yourself that there may be comments about you but remember, it takes two to have a relationship- you had trouble relating but she didn't push to reach out either, it appears.

L2 One aspect of Obamacare is that some portion of hearing aids are now covered. Costco and presumably Sam's Club stock them. Talk to her and then both of you go for testing. Even if you don't have a problem, consider it a show of solidarity.

L3. Every office I have worked in for teh last 40 years has prepacked coffee. You dump the old stuff, put a new filer in , open the little platic foil packet, dump it in, close the basket holder and push a button. It is designed to quick and standardized. Or, there is the Keurig machine. Not a lot of scope for originality there either.

Which is to say that coffee is a ruse for him to hang out and you are deluding yourself thinking the quality of the coffee has much to do with your efforts ...unless of course you are a barista. If you want him to go away, tell him, not an advice coumnist.

Which leads me to the conclusion that this letter is covert bragging about what a good cook and how cute you are. Blecchh.

Claremont, CA

#3 Feb 15, 2014
LW1 and 2 - Team PEllen

LW3 - Re: pre packed coffee for offices - not necessarily the case. We have a 12-cup Mr. Coffee thing. One of our secretaries makes coffee. It's fine - not particularly good, but definitely not bad. If she is not there, and I get in early, I make coffee myself. It's stronger than the usual kind. Some people think it's "really good," and some think it's "like drinking tar."

Anyway, I agree with Abby - the guy has a crush on LW, and if she is not interested, she should take Abby's advice.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#4 Feb 15, 2014
Agree; team PEllen on LW1 and LW2.

Think the guy likes LW3.(She could teach him to make coffee for himself and the office--and see if he still hangs around her, before concluding whether he does.)

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#5 Feb 15, 2014
1- DO NOT READ THE JOURNALS! You were never close to her and now she's gone. It would be like reading the journals of a complete stranger. Just drop it.

2- PElly, I swear if you tout Obamacare one more time.... The wife doesn't enjoy her husband's functions and hates being there. Leave her at home.

Salinas, CA

#6 Feb 15, 2014
LW1: Read the journals. It may help you with your grief. She is gone and no longer cares about worldly things.

LW2: If your wife is an intelligent woman, I would bet that she has a hearing problem and is too vain to admit it. Abby covered all the bases, but try PEllen's advice and drag her to a hearing specialist who will test you both.

LW3: Either he has a crush on LW or he just likes to have some company. Whatever it is, you have to set a limit for the amount of time that you are willing to spend chit-chatting and stick to it You can blame it on management.

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