“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Oct 8, 2013
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I go out to dinner once a month with a couple we have known for years. "Joe" is an active conversationalist, while my husband is fairly quiet.

The problem is Joe addresses only me and stares at me throughout the meal. I think it's just a bad habit he has acquired. To no avail I have tried various seating arrangements to avoid the constant stare. It makes me very uncomfortable. I feel bad for my husband, who is totally ignored, but doesn't seem to care as long as the food is good!

How do I get Joe to include my husband in the conversation and rest his gaze elsewhere? I would never say anything to "Mrs. Joe" about it because I don't want to make her uncomfortable, too. I really want to continue the friendship and the socializing, but I'd like to feel more relaxed at the dinner table. Any suggestions?-- DISTRESSED DINER

DEAR DISTRESSED: You are not helpless. The next time Joe directs his comments and questions only to you, toss the verbal ball to your husband and say, "Honey, what do you think about that?" It will give him an opening to enter the conversation.

As for the staring, Joe may not be aware of what he's doing. You could bring it to his attention by simply saying: "You keep looking at me, Joe. Do I have food in my teeth? Is my lipstick smeared?" Then haul out a compact and make a show of checking for yourself. It may help to curb his discomfiting habit.

DEAR ABBY: I'm single and have grown children. I know I am not going to live forever, and I want to make sure I am not a burden to them even after death. I have a will and no bills beyond my house and normal living expenses. What else do I need to do to make sure everything is taken care of when I'm gone?-- PREPARING IN ADVANCE

DEAR PREPARING: Do you have an advance directive for health care in case you become so ill before your death that you can't speak for yourself? Do you have at least one health care advocate who will ensure your wishes are carried out? Do you have a cemetery plot selected and paid for, so your children won't have to do it? How about money set aside for your funeral or memorial?

If the answer to each of these questions is yes, all you need to do is make certain your children are aware of it. If not, then get busy!

DEAR ABBY: I'm 14 and in the eighth grade. Some of my friends have problems with body odor. It makes it hard for me to be around them. They are all nice people, but sometimes I can't breathe when I'm near them.

Some of my other friends say I should tell them, but I'm not sure how without hurting their feelings. The odor ranges from breath to body. Abby, they are known throughout our school for being "the smelly ones." How do I tell them without offending them?-- BREATHLESS IN BEACHWOOD, OHIO

DEAR BREATHLESS: I agree that telling people they have bad breath or body odor can be embarrassing. But to do so is not hurtful; in fact, it is doing the person a huge favor. The way to do it is privately. This is important because your friends are probably not aware that they have a problem or have been causing one.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Oct 8, 2013
1- Good advice from Abby. You've known him for years, you go to dinner with him every month, learn to speak up!

2- Life insurance.

3- Are the the only ones throughout the whole school that don't know they're the "smelly ones?" I would think the other kids would say something.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Oct 8, 2013
1 I bet his wife is glad to not be the sole focus of his attention. Oh, and dont let him speak so much.

2 Estate planner, not dear amby.

3 Ha, think about it kid, you ARE on of the "smelly" ones.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#4 Oct 8, 2013
LW1: Not sure why you all go out if your husband is just going to eat in his own little world. I say unless anything else is going on just deal with it or find new dinner companions. Itís not his job to encourage your husband to use his mouth to speak instead of just stuffing his face.

The staring is a bit odd, but Iím not sure how you even broach that subject without creating a very awkward moment. Unless heís doing something wrong to you or violating your space, I donít think you get to dictate what someone looks at or how they engage in conversation.

Some folks have that habit Ö I had a law school professor who did that and I thought it was just very odd and maybe just me until I heard a bunch of girls talking about how he did it to them too and how it made them uncomfortable. I think in normal conversation you should look at the person and make eye contact at times, but you also need to look away too at times otherwise it comes across as odd. I think most folks do this naturally.

LW2: Abbyís advice was good.

LW3: I think you need to say something.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#5 Oct 8, 2013
LW1: Have you asked your husband why he doesn't talk more at these dinners? It seems to me that unless he's totally intimidated by this guy's "active" conversation, he's not speaking up because he doesn't want to! Maybe just enjoys listening to some stimulating conversation, like listening to live NPR or something.

The staring is weird. Have you tried staring back?

LW2: I have to confess that I skipped the response. Financial planning talk always ends up sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher to me.

LW3: If the rest of the school calls them the "smelly ones" perhaps they are already aware of their issues. Just make sure you talk to them one-on-one and keep it humorous if you can.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#6 Oct 8, 2013
L1: How about you let things be? Your husband is a big boy. H e'll talk if he wants.

L2: Prearrange and prepay for your entire funeral. It's the best gift you can give your children. When you die, they'll be dealing with grief and other things, and to have this stressful burden already taken care of will be a blessing.

My funeral is half-planned (has been for years). I also have an informal handwritten will as far as who gets what of my stuff. A friend posted on FB recently that so far in her life, she has resisted owning... then gave a list. It included a salad spinner.

I added her to my will. She's getting a salad spinner, as a joke. She will laugh.:)

L3: consider talking to a teacher about making a general announcement to the class, or so the school can consider sending notes in the mail to parents.

Last year, nick's oldest was in fifth grade and they got the movie/talk. And the teacher told the whole class, "Everyone in here needs to shower every day and use deodorant every day." It was a diplomatic way to handle it.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#7 Oct 8, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
2- Life insurance.
Yes. And get it separate from your employer, so if you lose your job, you still have life insurance.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#8 Oct 8, 2013
I have heard that the eye contact thing is a way of controlling the conversation, and forcing other people to listen to your spewings. I have had a couple of people try it on me, and I just turn glassy eyed, or simply look away. Sure, they have tried to touch me to try and get me to re-focus on them, and I just move out of reach.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#9 Oct 8, 2013
LW3: I always remind my daughter that she doesn't want to be "that kid" that smells. I have to remind her when she gripes about showers or deodorant.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#10 Oct 8, 2013
1: Use your words, dummy. You don't want HER uncomy so you're willing to stay uncomfy? idiot.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Oct 8, 2013
LW1: "my husband is fairly quiet.
The problem is Joe addresses only me and stares at me throughout the meal. I think it's just a bad habit he has acquired."

He stares at you cause your husband has chosen not to take part in the conversation. Why look at him if you're the only one responding to him?

"How do I get Joe to include my husband in the conversation"
Its not his job to make your husband talk. Your husband is as involved as he chooses to be.

LW2: Why are you asking Abby? Go see lawyer.

LW3: Hurting their feelings? Where to you live? Mamby pamby land? Bust their balls.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#12 Oct 8, 2013
squishymama wrote:
LW1: Have you asked your husband why he doesn't talk more at these dinners? It seems to me that unless he's totally intimidated by this guy's "active" conversation, he's not speaking up because he doesn't want to! Maybe just enjoys listening to some stimulating conversation, like listening to live NPR or something.
Right. If I ended up with you peeps at dinner and you all blathered on about politics like what went on here for the last 3 days, I'd just eat my meal too. Hell, I'd bust out my cell phone and start reading Topix.

:)

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