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Ask Amy: Families who hang out at a loved one's grave site

Dear Amy: Recently our newspaper had a story about families that gathered at a cemetery to honor their mothers on Mother's Day.

Dear Amy:

Recently our newspaper had a story about families that gathered at a cemetery to honor their mothers on Mother's Day.

Photos showed people sitting around in lawn chairs on grave sites and on headstones drinking sodas and beer as if it were a park setting and not a final resting place for loved ones.

I have seen this before at cemeteries, where families go and hang out.

My philosophy is that these people can go as a family to show respect to their departed loved ones and then take their gathering elsewhere. They should take into consideration that perhaps someone else may not want their grave site trampled on or may want to appear at the same time to share some quiet time or shed a tear or two in privacy nearby.

What do readers think?

- Appalled

Dear Appalled: I'll reveal my bias by saying that my family gathers at our family grave site on holidays. We sit on the grass (not the headstones), weed around the monument, tell stories, laugh, and shed a tear or two.

I have to admit that the occasional lawn chair is used and that hanging out definitely happens.

So this may be a cultural thing, but I love the idea of gathering at the cemetery in a way that is celebratory.

I agree with you, however, that beer should not be consumed, and that people should not sit on headstones and should keep their voices low and respectful.

Let's hear what others think about this.

Dear Amy: My husband, Fred, and I have been happily married for going on 30 years. Even though he is the more outgoing spouse, he has only one confidant (other than me) - someone he feels he can share anything with.

He and Barb correspond by e-mail almost daily and speak on the phone occasionally (she lives far away).

I like Barb. I think she's funny and bright and has been a very good friend to Fred in many ways.

Unfortunately, they share details not only of daily life but also of their sex lives.

I have never talked to anyone in concrete terms about our sexual relationship, either to brag or to complain.

On more than one occasion they have both promised to not be so explicit, but explicit seems to mean different things to me and to them.

Am I wrong to feel so violated?

I feel like there are always three people in bed, like he's recasting everything that happens into a story for Barb.

What can I say to get them to understand that this has to stop? So far all I've managed to do is drive their correspondence underground. Fred's started to lie to me about it.

It's doing real damage to our relationship. I don't want to insist that he terminate his friendship, but I can't tolerate the exposure.

- Worried Wife

Dear Worried: You have a right to an intimate relationship with your husband. One vital aspect of intimacy is the idea that there are some things that only you two share, secure in the knowledge that you mutually respect each other's boundaries and sensitivities.

Your husband seems to value his intimate relationship with Barb more than the one he has with you. Her gender is immaterial.

Because your long marriage is in trouble, you should take this matter up with a marriage counselor, who would no doubt explain that if Fred doesn't respect your very reasonable request for some privacy, there won't be much left of your sex life for him to exhibit.

Dear Amy: Whenever someone hears my age (87) and that I still have a job, there's almost always the question "So when are you going to quit working?"

I feel like I'm being defensive until I hit on "I'll quit as soon as someone can come up with a reason to quit that satisfies me."

I still haven't heard of an appealing reason to retire.

- Bob

Dear Bob: I can think of some appealing reasons to retire, but unlike your persistent questioners, I'll keep them to myself.