Fortunately for your mother, you cannot marry your father. That leaves you having to make a brand new marriage with your own husband, which is better than fruitlessly trying to recapitulate that of your parents’. I agree with your husband that if “romantic gift time” comes around with the regularity of the gas bill, it’s unromantic. You also fail to mention what you plan to do to make a concrete demonstration of tender feelings for your husband. Perhaps you envision not an exchange, but a one-way sign of appreciation. Yet what you desire is more than simple recognition. You want evidence that your husband is always thinking of you. Normally, someone thinking of nothing but you is cause for a restraining order. You need to figure out why you are so insecure that your husband is required to constantly prove to you that you exist. I don’t know if your parents’ marriage is healthy or sick, but you are unlikely to get to 46 years of bliss if you don’t stop making stupid demands about what should be going on in your husband’s head.
I know that it is common behavior among women that if one needs to use the restroom in a public place, other women in the group suddenly go and join her. However, I have always considered that what one does in the restroom should be private, and it makes me uncomfortable when someone is talking to me during the act. This most recently occurred at dinner at a restaurant with my husband's family. I excused myself from the table when my sister-in-law exclaimed, "Oh, I have to go too!” The restroom was for a single person, so I went in first. I thought my problems were solved, but then my sister-in-law started talking to me from the other side of the door. I was mortified. How do I deal with awkward conversation during what should be, in my opinion, a time of privacy? Can I try to fend off others from joining me in the restroom?
—Restroom, Party of One
It’s true that in social settings when it comes time to relieve oneself women suddenly resemble a herd of female elephants setting off to the watering hole. This is a hardwired behavior, and though you may want to go rogue and take a solo trip, as soon as you get up, a fellow female will jump to accompany you. Once in the stall you only need to make a feint at conversation—a “Really” or “Hmm” is as articulate as you have to be. Watch this ladies room toilet-bowl battle in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle to reassure yourself that it could be worse.
More Dear Prudence Columns
“Past Imperfect: I want to bury my wretched childhood, but the new in-laws insist on a rehash.” Posted Aug. 18, 2011.
“Fibber McGee Comes Clean: Prudie advises an elderly man consumed with shame over his chronic lies.” Posted Aug. 11, 2011.
“Take My Wife, Please: I convinced her to bed another man, and now I'm insanely jealous.” Posted Aug. 4, 2011.
“A Minor Flaw: I'm dating a man who was charged with soliciting a teen for sex; I wish I'd never discovered this!” Posted July 28, 2011.
More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts
“The Nudist Next Door: Dear Prudence advises a reader whose new neighbor needs better curtains—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Sept. 6, 2011.
“Type "R" for Revenge: Dear Prudence advises a woman who got her cheating ex fired by sending a nasty email—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Aug. 29, 2011.
“Sexy Cougar or Dangerous Predator?: Dear Prudence offers advice about a May-December encounter that the victim deems harmless—during a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Aug. 8, 2011.
“Baby Blues: Dear Prudence advises a woman who regrets adopting a child—in a live chat at Washingtonpost.com.” Posted Aug. 1, 2011.