I am a 60-year-old man with three children. I'm in excellent health and have been happily married for 39 years.
I have a woman friend at work who is 28. We talk a lot, and I buy her chocolate once a week. I have never tried to see her outside of work and don't intend to, but I like her very much.
Is there something wrong with me that I like her so much? I think about her constantly. She says it's no problem. I am so fond of her it drives me crazy. I have no bad intentions toward her, and I'm not looking for an affair. She is just such a sweet young lady.
Is it normal to feel like this? Do you think I should try to forget about her?
- Blushing in Schaumburg, Ill.
DEAR BLUSHING: It has been my experience that the more a person tries not to think about something, the more he or she does. Please understand that you are in the throes of an old-fashioned crush. Accept it for what it is; enjoy it while it lasts. The intensity will lessen eventually.
P.S. If you stop buying her chocolate and quit feeling so guilty, you will hasten the process.
DEAR ABBY: I am a young mother in my early 20s with two young children and another on the way. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for three years. We have been together since we were young teenagers. Both of us come from single-parent families, and our marriage has been less than perfect.
I work a full-time swing shift. My husband works only a part-time swing-shift job. I have asked him to take on another part-time job so we can be more comfortable financially, but he refuses. He says if I want more money in the household, I will have to get a second job.
If it wasn't for our families' free baby-sitting, I don't know how we could afford child care. We have no money in the bank, and we are deep in debt. I feel overwhelmed with too much responsibility and don't know what to do about it.
- Anonymous Mother
in North Carolina
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Start by telling your husband that with a third child on the way, you are in no position to take on another job - but he is. If he refuses - and he very well may - then you will need to think seriously about your and your children's future, and to what degree it includes him. And please, until you are financially stable, hold off on having more children.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend is Jewish; I am not. Her mother recently found out that I am not circumcised. She has been putting pressure on me to get "snipped." Circumcision at my age would hurt a lot. I am not sure what I should do. What do you suggest?
- Doesn't Like Pain
DEAR DOESN'T LIKE PAIN: If you are seriously considering converting to Judaism, then you should discuss your concerns with a rabbi. If not, it's time to inform your girlfriend's mother that there are certain subjects you feel are none of her beeswax - and that part of your anatomy is first on your list.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $12 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby - Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)