Dear Abby: A social butterfly feels isolated by her husband who avoids gatherings

DEAR ABBY: In the over 30 years that I’ve known him, my husband has never been social. When we went out together, he preferred it to be just the two of us, and avoided parties, group outings, etc. For this reason, I have given up going out with friends, and even with members of his family because he complains about having to go. When he attends major events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, he says a few words to everyone, then sits quietly the rest of the evening looking bored.

I have always been outgoing and outgoing. I recently started working from home, so my socializing at work is gone. I need socialization and I don’t know how to tell my husband that I’m going to start doing things without him. He will consider that I abandon him. What would you suggest? — BUFFALO SOCIAL BUTTERFLY

DEAR BUTTERFLY: You are not going to change husbands. Before completely isolating yourself, start doing things without him. Leave him at home where he feels good. If he feels “abandoned”, stop making it your problem like before. You are not joined at the hip and isolation is not healthy for YOU!

DEAR ABBY: A few months ago my daughter told me she was with her boyfriend at the local bowling alley and they were kissing and hugging. When she went to the ladies room, she was followed by an older woman who then ‘advised’ my daughter about the local family planning clinic, as well as giving her opinion on the fact that teenagers have to be very careful with their sex lives so they don’t end up as young parents and derail their future.

Although I think the woman had good intentions, I also think what she did was extremely inappropriate. I was tempted to report her to the police. What is your opinion? Should I have contacted and confronted this woman? — NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

DEAR NOYB: For you to have contacted the police or confronted the woman would have been extremely inappropriate. If your daughter and her boyfriend were putting on such a show for other bowlers that a spectator felt your daughter needed information, she has done your child a favor. An unwanted pregnancy can, indeed, derail the future of a young couple.

DEAR ABBY: I have a nice collection of cloth napkins, but I no longer use them for holiday meals because my 15-year-old son-in-law started using them as “handkerchiefs” at my formal dining table. In fact, he blows his nose there. It disgusts us, but I’m afraid to say anything lest it thrill my grandchildren and this will be the last time we see them. He has a doctorate, so ignorance is not the cause of this. What would you do? — OWN IN MICHIGAN

DEAR PROPER: What I would do is have a nice box of tissues in his place when he comes to dinner.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Sara H. Byrd