DEAR ABBY: I have a problem I need your help on. Every night my husband sets his alarm clock for 5 a.m. He doesn't get out of bed when his alarm goes off; he just turns on his snooze alarm, which goes off every nine minutes until 6:30 - when he actually gets out of bed.
I have my own alarm clock, which is set for 6:30 a.m. When his alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and then repeats every nine minutes, it wakes me up and keeps me awake. So I either holler at him (which doesn't do any good), or I leave the room and go to sleep on the couch, or I just stay up.We both work full time, and he goes to bed anywhere from two to three hours ahead of me, but he just can't seem to get out of bed in the morning. There are times when he wakes me up in the middle of the night for lovemaking, and when I tell him I'm too tired, he thinks I'm a terrible person.
How can I resolve this? He wasn't like this when I married him. We've been married 14 years and have three kids. I love him dearly, but I'm tired of this snooze alarm business. - TIRED IN ST. CLOUD, MINN.
DEAR TIRED: The "terrible person" in your marriage is the selfish party who wakes up his wife at 5 a.m. when she could sleep for an additional hour and a half. As long as you put up with it, nothing will change.
Give him a choice: Either knock off the snooze alarm, or arrange for separate sleeping quarters. (If you can't sleep comfortably on the couch, get yourself a hideaway bed.)
DEAR ABBY: Once in a while I read a love story in your column, usually from a couple who met through Operation Dear Abby. Well, I also have a love story to tell.
Several years ago, following a painful divorce, I enrolled in a square dance class. The caller (teacher) said that every year there had been marriages as a result of people meeting there. I didn't find a husband, but I met some nice people. Then I dropped out.
Last October, a neighbor encouraged me to enroll in another square dance class, and there I met Richard - an "angel" (that's what they call dancers who come to help beginners). I liked the way he looked and I loved the way he danced so I approached him, just to talk, and before the evening ended, he asked me for a date.
Richard turned out to be the love of my life! I'm no spring chicken (I'm 50 plus) and I never expected to find love again, but did I ever! He's a few years younger, but who's counting?
We're getting married next week, and I've never been happier. Abby, please tell your readers about square dancing. It's good exercise and a wonderful way to meet nice people. - DO-SI-DOLLY IN L.A.
DEAR DOLLY: Your letter is a do-si-dilly. Thanks for the tip. Take heed, all you lonesome polecats. Square dance clubs are listed in the telephone directory.
DEAR ABBY: Please add this to your list of helpful - and possibly lifesaving - items on child safety: My heart nearly stopped the day my 2-year-old son scaled our aquarium stand and had one leg in the 20-gallon tank before I could get to him from across the room!
Until that day, I had never viewed our aquarium as a safety hazard. Now I do. If you think this will help others, please print it. - VICKIE L. IN ANCHORAGE, ALASKA
DEAR ABBY: I know I'm not alone. There's one in every family. I take my camera to all the family gatherings. I often hear, "Oh, Lord, there she is again with that camera!"
My relatives think I am a pain because I'm always taking pictures. Don't they understand that I'm not just taking pictures for the fun of it; I'm recording memories we can all look back on with fondness.
Please print this for some of those sourpusses who run away or cover their faces with their hands every time they see me with a camera. What's the harm in capturing some priceless moments on film? - DALLAS CAMERA NUT
DEAR CAMERA NUT: The "harm" in capturing some "priceless moments on film" lies in how the subjects feel about being "captured."
Do you ask permission before taking a picture? Or do you just click away, invading the privacy of your subjects?
Not everyone wants a "fond memory" of himself yawning, snoozing or eating corn on the cob while a few kernels cling to his nose and butter drips from his chin. Please ask first.
DEAR ABBY: We enjoy entertaining in our large country home, but one couple who visits us always brings their dog. "Toughie" is housebroken, but as you probably know, most male dogs are housebroken only for their own homes. Toughie "marks" (urinates) on a corner of every bed, every chair and sofa in the house. In doing so, he dribbles on the carpet as well. After they leave, I have to shampoo all the carpets and furniture. This is not an easy chore for me, as I am not young anymore.
We have never fed our pets at the table, but these people feed Toughie while they are eating with us in our dining room. Naturally, the dog "begs" and whines throughout the meal.
Abby, we are very fond of these people. Do I have the right to ask them to leave their dog home when they visit us? - DOG-TIRED IN PONTIAC, MICH.
DEAR DOG-TIRED: You not only have the "right" to ask them to leave their dog at home, you also have my permission, if that will help you.