Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#1 Apr 12, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 50-year-old man who is serving time for robbery in West Virginia. Every day I wake up acting as if I am in control and don't have a care in the world. The truth is, I'm scared, lonely and feel totally helpless. All my life I have lived on the dark side of the street, taking for granted the values in life and the love so many people tried to give me.

Two failed marriages and several relationships with good women are over because of my determination to follow an unhealthy dream, not to mention all the friends I have lost as well.

Now as I look around me, there's no one there. No one to love and no one to love me. I never knew until now that chasing that dream would cost me everyone I ever loved.

I know I have made bad choices in life. I deserve the time for the crime I committed. But am I also sentenced to a world of loneliness? Can I ever be loved again and be happy after all the wrong I have done? Is there someone out there who would be willing to give me a chance? Is it too late to start over?

Abby, you have so many answers for so many people, I am just hoping you have an answer for me.-- SERVING TIME

DEAR SERVING TIME: It is never too late to start over. With penitence comes redemption. If you are willing to journey down a different path, the relationships you form along the way will be rewarding, long-lasting and mutual. Because of your criminal record you may have to work harder to gain trust, but I promise you that if you're willing to work at it, it can be done.

DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband, the father of our two children, was retired from the Air Force. He passed away 18 years ago. He had a full military funeral, with draped flag and all. His wife at the time was presented with the flag, which was proper. They had no children.

When she passes on, would it be proper for her family to give the flag to his biological children? After all, they were with him -- as was I -- throughout his entire 22-year military career. When my daughter mentioned it to his wife, she got angry.-- C. IN TEXAS

DEAR C.: Your former husband's wife was entitled to whatever property was left after his demise. The flag is hers to bestow -- or not. I don't know how your daughter's request was phrased, but the woman may have been offended by the way the question was asked. I can't think of any other reason she would become angry.

DEAR ABBY: I am writing regarding a letter you printed Jan. 26 from "Wants to Be Polite." I appreciate the person's sentiments because I, too, want to use good manners and a "You're welcome" or "Have a nice day" is a pleasing reply to hear.

What I do not like is a "No problem" reply to a "Thank you." It does not seem like a sincere response to me. In fact, it sounds like I was expected to be a problem and just happened not to be one. Any thoughts on this?-- ARKANSAS LADY

DEAR ARKANSAS LADY: You may not like hearing it, but you had better get used to it. While "You're welcome" may be more gracious, saying "No problem" reflects a generational shift in the vernacular. And while it may seem jarring, it is intended to be a polite response, so accept it graciously.

Since: Mar 09

Miami, FL

#2 Apr 12, 2013
L1: Sounds like you could benefit from asking these questions of a counselor or [insert spiritual/religious leader of your choice].

L2: What Abby said, minus the last part. We have no idea why the wife got angry; she could be a touchy or mean person. But that doesn't change the fact that the flag is hers to decide what to do with.

L3: Oh, stop nitpicking. It's better than no response at all, isn't it?

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Apr 12, 2013
L3: Don't worry. My "You're welcome" probably isn't any more sincere than my "no problem."

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#4 Apr 12, 2013
LW1: If John Wayne Gacey (sp?) can get married in prison, I think there's hope for you too.

LW2: It would be nice if she gave/left the flag to his biological children, but is not your problem.

LW3: You do realize that "you're welcome" in spanish is "de nada" which translates to "it was nothing." Get over yourself and be glad they didn't reply with "f*ck off."

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#5 Apr 12, 2013
1 Why is there never time to do it right, but always time to do it over?

2 Yes, the wife should give it to the children.

3 When I hold a door open for someone and they say thank you, I always reply, No problem, I get paid xtra for it!

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Apr 12, 2013
2 Maybe she was offended by asking for something when she died?


“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#7 Apr 12, 2013
L1: Squishy is right. There's a ton of people who write prisoners hoping for romance. I don't get it, but different strokes for different folks.

L2: Yes, she should give the flag to the kids but it doesn't matter what she should do morally. You can't make her. I'm sure by now you have (hopefully) made that speech that their father was so much more than what a piece of fabric could represent and he'd want them to carry themselves with dignity, yadda, yadda.

L3: I say "no problem", "you're welcome" and on occasion "my pleasure". I really dislike people like this LW. For this LW it's not good enough people do a favor for her, you are dirt unless you respond HER way. Please!

“FD&S is no way to be.”

Since: Feb 13

Knoxville, TN

#8 Apr 12, 2013
1. Just find someone as damaged as you and who has an equivalent despair-to-expectations ratio.

2. Maybe you should ask someone with more of a military background...

3. My thought is you're an overbearing twit who is lucky anyone talks to her at all.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#9 Apr 12, 2013
1- Wah, wah, wah, that's what you get for being a pathetic loser.

2- My step brother fought with my mother over my step dad's flag when he died. I thought he was being a dí*k. People are upset over their loss and it sometimes manifests in strange ways and makes people act crazy. But the flag belongs to the widow, not the children. The ex was right to be upset. Let this go.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#10 Apr 12, 2013
LW2 needs to stop giving people who come into Texas a bad name. I don't like her tone.

“Colorful Beyond Words ...”

Since: May 11

"Always On the Go"

#11 Apr 12, 2013
L1 Everyone can start over.

L2 Diffcult at best , but the flag goes to the current wife (widow).

L3 Etiquette is lost this day and age. Sad but true.

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Chicago Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Once slow-moving threat, global warming speeds ... (Dec '08) 30 min Brian_G 55,602
News Israeli troops begin Gaza pullout as Hamas decl... (Jan '09) 1 hr Debasement n the ... 70,188
hiii 1 hr xnx 1
News BARACK OBAMA BIRTH CERTIFICATE: Suit contesting... (Jan '09) 1 hr Barbara 202,021
News Barack Obama, our next President (Nov '08) 2 hr Agents of Corruption 1,314,385
News Chicago Protesters Caught on Video Vandalizing ... 6 hr getoverit 12
white women copy the black women's style (Nov '09) 7 hr Original Woman 33
More from around the web

Personal Finance

Chicago Mortgages