Q: My 72-year-old husband believes that not voting in the upcoming presidential election is making a statement because he can’t tolerate any of the candidates. He believes that not voting is telling the political parties to offer more acceptable candidates.
I believe that not voting makes no statement AT ALL because many of those who don’t vote really don’t care, and THAT is the message that is received. Voting is a right that should be exercised. To vote is to make a statement. Do you think he is making his feelings known by not voting? — Not Voting in the West
A: No, I do not. Your husband seems to have forgotten how fortunate we are to live in a country where people CAN vote. In many countries, that’s not the case. The most important thing citizens can do is to educate themselves about the candidates and the issues and then cast their ballot. The higher the turnout, the more reflective the outcome is of the wishes of the people.
Q: My boyfriend, “Fred,” and I have been together for 10 years, during five of which we have been engaged, although there has been no talk of actually setting a date. That doesn’t bother me because I am very unhappy in our relationship now.
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Fred hasn’t worked in three years. I have been supporting him all this time and I’m losing my mind. I am doing everything I can, and I’m beyond stressed. I can’t talk to him about it because he doesn’t want to talk. I send out his resume, and he doesn’t return any calls to the places that call him.
I am 32 and feel like I am in a rut. What should I do? — In a Rut in Illinois
A: Why are you sending out HIS resume? By now it should be clear to you that Fred has no intention of getting a job. Why should he? He has a good deal the way things are.
Engagements usually involve setting a wedding date. Because the two of you haven’t, and you are unhappy in your relationship, break off the non-engagement! Cut your losses by investing no more time (or money) in your deadbeat boyfriend and set yourself free.
Q: I’m 10 years old and in fifth grade. I was in science class when my friend cheated off of me. I could confront her, but if I do I risk losing her as a friend. She has done some rude things to me in the past, and I don’t know what to do. — Confused in Castaic, Calif.
A: Real friends don’t do rude things to each other. Now that you know your “friend” will copy your work, make sure not to sit next to her when tests are given. Unless you do, your teacher may think that because your answers are the same that YOU are the cheater, and you’ll be in real trouble.
If you can’t change seats because they are assigned, you will have to be extra-careful about keeping your test paper out of her line of sight.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.