I can't do a whole lot these days as I relearn things like walking and bending, but I thought I could help Dear Abby by giving some more frank appraisals of other peoples' problems. And I still have to ask...who would sit down and tell their problems to a complete stranger, for crying out loud? Now I, another complete stranger, will offer my answers in red after Abby's. Let's see how I come down on the issues!
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend has asked me to be her maid of honor. Of course I agreed, but my husband doesn't want me to for a couple of reasons. First, he says I shouldn't be a maid of honor because I am married. Second, he's uncomfortable about my walking down the aisle with another man (the best man) and being photographed with him.
I want to be there for my friend, but I don't want to create tension between my husband and me. He has made it clear that if I choose to be in this wedding he won't attend as a guest.
The wedding is scheduled for a year from now, and I don't want to be stressing about this until next September. What should I do? -- TORN BETWEEN MY FRIEND AND MY HUSBAND
ABBY SAYS: DEAR TORN: It appears you have married a man who is insecure and controlling. If he had said he'd be uncomfortable if you were seated with the bridal party at the reception while he sat in "Siberia," I would understand. However, his idea that a married woman cannot be a maid of honor is incorrect, and his objection that there's something wrong with your walking down the aisle or being photographed with the best man is ridiculous. So tell your husband (sweetly) that he'll be missed at the wedding, and if he's more comfortable not attending it's OK with you.
Dear Between: You have until next September to find out just it is that your husband is getting horizontal with, and if you hurry up, you might be able to find someone who is not a cheating control freak to take to your friend's wedding. There is nothing wrong with you being a maid of honor as a married woman - some people use the term "matron of honor" - nor is there a problem with a lady being escorted into a function by a gentleman other than her husband. However, the kind of husband who would raise an objection to such things is the kind of man who is escorting ladies other than his wife to all sorts of places. He's overcompensating by accusing you of the infidelity that he is practicing with some skank. Sorry. Might as well give him one chance to get straight or get gone.
DEAR ABBY: I have just become engaged to "Egon," who is from Norway. He has a great job and is studying to be a masseur. He tells me often that he loves me and would never fall for another woman.My problem is my sister "Ellen." She's happy about our engagement, but she keeps asking my fiance for lower back and thigh rubs. She claims she gets cramps from being on her feet all day.
Well, I'm on my feet all day and my thighs have never cramped up. What bothers me is Ellen makes embarrassing sounds of pleasure when Egon massages her. I'm upset with her because she constantly asks my fiance for massages, but I also get annoyed with Egon because -- in a weird way -- it feels like he's cheating on me.
He says it's his job and I'm being silly. What I want to tell my sister is, "Sorry, but those intimate rubdowns belong to me now. Find someone else for yours!" Abby, am I being unduly jealous or is what she's doing wrong? -- RUBBED THE WRONG WAY IN FLORIDA
ABBY SAYS: DEAR RUBBED THE WRONG WAY: If you are going to marry someone who makes his living as a masseur, you need to understand clearly, in advance, that he will be working on all kinds of clients. This means men and women, some old and saggy, and others who are young, buffed and may be drop-dead gorgeous. Your fiance may enjoy his work, but it is work and he will receive compensation for his efforts. If the back and thigh rubs Ellen is requesting have become so frequent that it's making you uncomfortable, I suggest you and Egon agree that he shouldn't be giving away what he's selling, and instead he should offer your sister a "family" discount.
Dear Way: In order to help your sister understand why Egon's services are not to be sampled for free and do deserve remuneration, why not ask her to provide other members of the family with the services that she provides at her workplace? That way, the next time she heads out to hold up a gas station or liquor store, you should ask that you be cut in on the swag. Why not? It's the same thing.
You could also make yourself feel better by getting Egon to goof on her while he kneads her hammocky thighs...but in Norwegian, so she will think it's a compliment.