Dear Abby: Health emergency reveals new questions about relationship
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been dating “Karl” for five years. We live separately. I thought our relationship was pretty solid until a recent health scare. A few days ago, I had a severe allergic reaction to something I ate at dinner. When I realized how serious it was, I immediately rushed to the ER. (I had taken an antihistamine instead of calling the paramedics.)
I quickly messaged Karl that I was having a medical emergency. The doctor said these reactions can be fatal and will become increasingly worse after each reaction. Karl was working and said he couldn’t leave work. He didn’t make sure I got home safely or even come to the house later to check on me. When I asked him for help picking up the many meds I needed the next morning, he again said he was working. I was furious and did it myself, although I shouldn’t have been driving. I know I’m emotional due to meds and trauma. Am I overreacting?
Disappointed in Oregon
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: You are not overreacting. You were fortunate to have made it to the emergency room because you could have died on the way. Karl’s reaction to your crisis was incredibly callous. Please think very carefully about a future with this person because he isn’t going to change. Start compiling a list of people you can depend upon should the need arise. Karl definitely isn’t one. If you were counting on him to be your life partner, change your mind now because, if you don’t, it could cost you your life.
DEAR ABBY: When I was a kid, I was called a “chatterbox,” and it continued until my mid-30s. Somewhere I came across the saying that it’s better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. It made sense to me, so I shut up.
Now I’m close to retirement, and people complain that I don’t talk enough! I detest social gatherings where I must make polite conversation with people I don’t know. And with people I do know, I’m afraid of saying too much. Any recommendations?
Former Chatterbox in Pennsylvania
DEAR FORMER CHATTERBOX: Conversation isn’t supposed to be a monologue; it is supposed to be a dialogue — an exchange of information. If you find yourself dominating a conversation, pause, ask questions and listen to the answers. For those who say you don’t hold up your end, consider making a list in advance of topics you consider safe (excluding sex, politics and religion) and refer to it if you feel stuck. And, if you don’t know how to begin, lead off with a compliment.
DEAR ABBY: I am engaged to a wonderful man I’ll call Jesse who loves my daughter and me. However, one of my brothers seems not to be happy for me. Because of this, Jesse doesn’t want to invite him to our wedding, but I’m worried about how excluding him will affect my family. Any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated.
Melancholy in Montana
DEAR MELANCHOLY: You and Jesse need to discuss this further. I don’t know what your brother’s reservations are concerning your fiancé, but unless his presence would be disruptive, he should not be excluded. If you do what Jesse has in mind, it will cause a rift that could last for decades. Invite your brother, and it will then be up to him whether he attends.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
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Andrews McMeel Syndication