SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

October 13, 2012

Dear Abby: Teen on a short leash wants more freedom from parents

(Continued)

This morning, Kyle woke up, went straight to his dad’s house without saying why and returned with his hair cut, beard trimmed and looking well-groomed. He seemed kind of “off,” though — almost nervous. He then went to his mom’s to help with some yard work and when he came home, he snuck up behind me and slipped a ring on my finger. I got a little teary-eyed and asked where it came from. He said from his mom. He acted shy, wouldn’t say much or look right at me. Then, after a moment, he shouted, “Just kidding! I wanted to make you laugh and freak you out a little.”

I don’t think there was malicious intent on his part. He’s a sweetheart, but I don’t know how to tell him how badly he hurt me emotionally. I thought he was proposing. What should I do?

Unengaged In New Hampshire

Dear Unengaged: Sit Kyle down and tell him the effect his “joke” had on you. After a couple has started living together, a proposal of marriage is no laughing matter unless both partners are in on the joke.

P.S. If you talk to him in all seriousness, you may find that he DID propose, but then got cold feet.

Dear Abby: I’m in my early 60s and have no plans to retire. I raised a child on my own and wasn’t able to save much for retirement, and my office retirement plan disappeared during the recession in 2008.

Because of my age, people young and old often ask when I plan to retire. I don’t feel I owe anyone an explanation as to why I continue to work, and I plan on working as long as I can. I usually say I can’t afford to retire, but then I get a response like, “I sure hope I’M not working at your age,” or “You can get Social Security,” etc. Any idea how I should respond to let these people know it’s none of their business?

Miffed In Menlo Park

Dear Miffed: All you have to do is smile and say, “Retire? I’m just getting started!”

■■■

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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