I'm in my mid-60s and still work full-time. I love my work, not only because it pays well, but also for the good times I have with co-workers and the intellectual stimulation I get from solving problems. I also feel younger than my age.
That may be because I have a purpose in life - to get up early every morning, take my shower, put on my makeup and hurry to the office. At the end of the day, I feel fulfilled because I know I have done something worthwhile.
My problem is the tactless people who ask me when I'm going to retire. Sometimes I tell them that they will be the first to know if I decide to do so. Someone even told me that I should retire now "so I can begin to enjoy my life"! I told her I don't have to retire to enjoy my life because I enjoy my life every day.
I don't know what their motives are in asking. At times I become so annoyed that I just look at the person and give a sweet smile - just to shut him/her up.
I don't want to be rude, but now and then I feel like telling them that it's none of their business.
Abby, what is the best response to give these busybodies? - Irritated Out West
DEAR IRRITATED: Give the person your standard "sweet smile" and say: "To me, retirement is a dirty word. Please don't use it in front of me again."
DEAR ABBY: My daughter-in-law has been trying to get my son out of his tighty-whiteys for a few years now. He has gained a few pounds and they are just a little too tight.
He isn't overweight, but men's underwear makers don't make in-between sizes. She has bought him a larger size, but he refuses to wear them.
Do you have any ideas on how to get him out of - so to speak - his tighty-whiteys and into something more flattering?
By the way, I am not a meddling mother-in-law, but my daughter-in-law was too embarrassed to write.
- Not a Meddler
DEAR NOT A MEDDLER: One way to accomplish it might be for your daughter-in-law to occasionally mention how "hot" your son would look in something else. If that doesn't work, she should just continue to feed him the way she has been - and when the tighty-whiteys cut off his circulation, he may decide to get out of them himself.
DEAR ABBY: I had what I thought was a good friend, "Meg." We were part of a larger group that was very close. When my husband left me, Meg disappeared from my life.
I carried on with career, family and friends, and I am now remarried. My new husband is charming, affluent and well-known in our community.
Now Meg has suddenly reappeared and behaves like her absence over the last four years never happened. I am sure she wants to be a part of our inner circle because of my husband's success.
When I encounter her socially, I am always cordial. I have politely declined her overtures and invitations, but she doesn't seem to get the hint.
What can I say to nip this in the bud?
I don't want to be rude, nor do I want to keep making excuses. - Tired of Hypocrisy
DEAR TIRED OF HYPOCRISY: What's wrong with telling your fair-weather friend the truth?