My husband recently informed me that his friend is having a bachelor party in Vegas on our first wedding anniversary. He asked me to come along, but I feel infuriated and cannot believe he would even consider asking me to do this. I think it is inconsiderate. I feel our first wedding anniversary should be celebrated and honored—alone together—not with a bunch of drunken guys in Las Vegas. Am I wrong to be angry? I know he will say that we spend every minute together so why should it matter that we are not celebrating our first anniversary alone together? I feel his doing this, along with some past actions (looking at girls on the Internet and on dating services) are huge red flags that I am not letting sink in. I need advice on what I should do, and what you think he is doing. I don't want to overreact.
—Wedding Belle Blues
What a guy ... so romantic and sentimental. But given that this is his idea of fun, accept the invitation and go to Vegas. It will shock his sox off. It is a getaway and may, in fact, turn out to be a romantic trip after all. Granted, this is a counterintuitive move, but your "permission" to attend his buddy's party will give you good-sport points forever. Such a gesture on your part seems wiser than raising hell about his wanting to go—since you already know that's what he wants. And Prudie wonders about a guy married only a year who is looking at dating sites. You might want to discuss this with him, and ask him why. As to what Prudie thinks he is doing, she has no idea, but does suggest you monitor the situation. He sounds immature, at the very least.
My wife and I are big movie fans with a giant collection of DVDs, original movie posters on the wall of the movie room, the whole deal. Recently, while attending a movie in a public theater, something that has been bubbling under the surface for a long time finally reached a peak and I popped. While watching an R-rated horror/thriller, I noticed a large percentage of the house was filled with kids and children well under the age of 12—most of whom were unaccompanied by anyone the age of a guardian. We proceeded to put up with loud remarks, seat bumping, kids running up and down side isles, loud wrappers/bags, and the seemingly endless crying/screaming at every scary moment of the movie. I finally lost my cool and told a youngster who'd been particularly loud and obnoxious to sit down and be quiet or I'd have him removed by theater staff. Then, I was on the receiving end of a pretty decent lambasting from his mother about "ruining the experience" for her kids. Then I noticed the toddler she'd brought crying softly in her seat, obviously scared out of her mind. Afterward, in the parking lot, I noticed a number of evil looks directed at my wife and me from other parents with kids at that movie. Am I way off here? I thought the whole point of going to a movie was to enjoy yourself. It's a movie theater, not a McDonald's playground!
—Movie Madness, Indeed
Your position is correct, of course. The ratings system, although a voluntary code agreed to by the MPAA (the movie group) and NATO (the theater-owners group), does not have the status of a law. However ... you could complain to an usher and expect results because the theater, being a signatory to the agreement, wouldn't want little kids there. (Prudie has pestered Roger Ebert again, knowing nothing about these matters.) Sometimes, alas, parents bring children who are too young for the movie because they can't get a sitter and don't want to stay home. Then there are people like Prudie's dear girlfriend who years ago took her 6-year-old son to Day of the Locust because she thought it was a picture about farmers. It is, of course, a shame when a young child has to be subjected to frightening or sexual subject matter. In any case, don't be shy about screaming kids at a movie. As a last resort, you can always ask for your money back.
I have a personal weblog which only a few friends and family know about and read. This is a journal of my thoughts, feelings and what goes on in my life. Those who read it have expressed to me how much they enjoy what I write. I've been careful to not post any job-related subjects. My husband, however, has told me not to write about certain subjects that I don't consider sensitive or improper, and that really bothers me. I respect my husband's opinions and I know he's just looking out for me, but I feel that since I'm the sole author/publisher, it should be my decision about what is an appropriate topic. Is there a polite reply I could give him the next time he tells me not to write about something?
Tell your in-house censor that the blog is yours and you feel you have pretty good judgment. Invite him to do his own blog and to feel free to leave out whatever he thinks he should. Reassure him that you have no intentions of writing about any family skeletons ... like his bigamist brother-in-law and his sister who shoplifts. (Joke.) Good luck.
I recently got a telephone call from my high-school boyfriend, whom I have not seen in 50 years. We are now both 68 years old, and I am not the same uncomplicated person that I was at 18. He was married for about 40 years and his wife died three years ago. I have been married twice, and was involved in a serious seven-year relationship after the second marriage ended. All these relationships have been heartbreaking failures, and I don't really want to get involved with anyone again. The high-school boyfriend came to see me a couple weeks ago, and he calls me every three or four days. I don't want to hurt his feelings, but he just isn't my type. I have managed to fill up my life with my family, my dog, my job, home-improvement projects, hobbies, etc. and I don't have time for any more people to keep up with. I can go where I want, when I want, and I can pay my own way. Maybe I am selfish, but I really like my life the way it is. Your suggestions as to how to turn this man off would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
—Happily going it alone
There is nothing selfish about liking one's life just the way it is. As to how to cool down Mr. High-School Boyfriend, perhaps the most comfortable way for both of you would be to either cut the calls short ("Whoops—late for a lunch date!") or manage to miss some of them. When he offers to come visit, tell him unfortunately you have an engagement on that day (or evening). Prudie thinks this way of dampening his interest is preferable to an announcement that he's not your type and you'd rather be with your dog.