Q: My husband of 12 years and I have few common interests. I am earthy, nature-loving, people-loving and crave a rural lifestyle. He’s an introvert, loves everything Western, enjoys his downtime and watches a lot of television. He dislikes animals and is a sports fanatic.
I don’t criticize his interests. I allow him his hobbies. My problem is, our dreams of the future can’t be combined. My off-the-grid homestead and his 70-inch TV don’t exactly fit.
It’s depressing that we don’t appreciate each other’s interests, and doing all of our hobbies separately is lonely. How can I experience my dreams when they are not my husband’s dreams? — Hippie Jane in Provo, Utah
A: Try doing that by remembering what you had in common with your husband 13 years ago. Is the core of your relationship still a good one? Couples don’t have to be joined at the hip 24/7. Can’t each of you enjoy your hobbies and interests separately? Many couples do.
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However, if the answer is that you have grown increasingly apart in the last 12 years, the only way you can each experience your dreams may be to do it alone or with other like-minded people.
Q: I am deathly afraid of snakes! My daughter, who lives in Canada, recently informed me that they had acquired one through a teacher at my grandsons’ school. Of course, the three boys are thrilled.
My problem is, we are going to visit my daughter and her family in a few weeks. I am terrified to the point of losing sleep and breaking down crying just thinking about it. What should I do? I want to see my family, but there is no house big enough for me AND a snake. Please help. — Terrified in Cypress, Texas
A: If you were planning to stay at your daughter’s, scale back your plans and reserve a room at a nearby hotel or motel. This will give you eight or 10 hours a day nowhere near the reptile. If your daughter is unaware of your phobia, put her on notice that the snake is to be confined to its cage in a room with a firmly closed door while you are in the house, and further, you do not wish to make its acquaintance.
Talk to your doctor before you go and ask for enough anti-anxiety medication to calm your nerves while you are there. Then go and have a good time.
Q: We took my wealthy daughter, husband and their four children to dinner at a very nice restaurant. We insisted on paying. In fact, we even restricted what we ordered so they could each have an expensive dish that they only picked at.
When it was over and it was obvious that they weren’t taking home any leftovers, I started to motion to our waitress to ask for take-home boxes so my wife and I could take all of their uneaten food. My wife shot me the “don’t you dare!” look, so all of it wound up in a dumpster. Needless to say, it became an issue. Was I wrong to want to take home their uneaten meals? — Peeved in Pennsylvania
A: Not as far as I’m concerned. Because your daughter and her family didn’t like what they ordered — and you were footing the bill — there was no breach of etiquette in asking for a box for the leftovers.
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