DEAR ABBY: I read the letter from the young woman who is concerned about dating someone significantly older. In 1958, when I was 17, I met a man who was 34. He was handsome, easygoing, quiet, and I fell in love. He was a widower with two children: a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy. They lived with his mother.
His mom was not at all happy about our relationship, nor were his sisters, my parents and his kids. We wanted to get married, but my parents refused to sign. I felt like the whole world was against us. But I loved him dearly.
In March 1959, I turned 18. We were married on April 4 against everyone’s wishes. We had four more children. My dad did not set foot in my home until my first child was born.
My mother-in-law finally told me she loved me and knew I was good for her son on our 10th anniversary. All our children are close, and his two call me Mom. His daughter was a great help with our babies and cried when she got married and left home.
We have had our ups and downs, but we have also had 56 wonderful years of marriage. Age really IS just a number! — Janet in Indiana
DEAR JANET: In many cases that’s true. In others, couples with such a large disparity in age have been known to grow apart instead of on a parallel path. Because you and your husband’s relationship turned out to be a soul match, you are not only lucky to have found each other, but also blessed to have enjoyed such a long marriage. My congratulations to you both as you celebrate your 56th anniversary today!
What to say?
DEAR ABBY: I recently walked in on one of my boys’ 12-year-old friends watching YouTube videos that were extremely foul-mouthed and even raunchy (he had separated himself from the other boys while viewing them). His parents are under the misconception that they have control of his online activities.
When I was young, my friends’ parents would reprimand me when necessary, but parents these days reject outside advice or input. What’s the proper response to this? Talk directly to the boy? Turn him in to his parents? — Burning Ears in Pennsylvania
DEAR BURNING: Have a talk with the boy. Explain that the language in the video is not permitted in your home, and you prefer he not watch it while he is there. If he agrees, do not take it any further. However, if it happens again, talk to his parents, and limit the time your sons spend with him.
DEAR ABBY: I sold women’s shoes for 35 years.
Men, when a lady asks if you like the shoe she’s wearing, she doesn’t care if you like the shoe! She wants to know whether it looks good on her, makes her ankles look fat, etc. It’s like if a man buys new floor mats for his car or truck. He buys them to make his vehicle look better, not just to have floor mats.
Wise up and think. If you do, shopping with your lady will make more sense! — David in Phoenix
DEAR DAVID: I love your analogy. Of course, you are correct, and it applies to more apparel than shoes. One caveat: Men, when you’re asked, be diplomatic or you may find yourselves in serious trouble.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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