Dear Abby: Thank you for printing the letter from the teenage girl who was struggling with shyness.
I, too, am a very shy and quiet person. I've been this way all my life. I can't tell you how many people have said, "You sure are quiet." I can't imagine anyone going up to a person and saying, "You sure have a big mouth!"I would like to reassure everyone that I know I am quiet, but I am a very well-adjusted, happy person who enjoys being quiet. I am quiet because I have nothing to say, and I don't want to fill the quietness with empty chatter. I would find it quite exhausting to make small talk, or worse yet, try to be the life of the party, or the center of attention.
In the past, I have tried to talk more and be more outgoing so people would like me better, but it did not become me . . . it was not natural.
It has taken me years to like myself just the way I am. I have many friends who like me just the way I am, so to the others who are disturbed by my quietness and shy personality, please leave me alone. Please don't try to make me feel that there is something wrong with me because I am different from you who feel compelled to talk all the time.
Abby, if you print this - and I hope you do - you will be doing an enormous favor to all the shy, quiet people who read your column. There are more of us than you could possibly imagine.
- Quiet in Atlanta
Dear Quiet: Here's your letter, which should make a highly audible statement, and will put an end to that question - "Why are you so quiet?"
Dear Abby: I want to say something about a letter you recently had in your column. It concerned a woman whose husband refused to tell her anything about their finances. He seemed to feel that as long as she was well provided for and had everything she could possibly want, there was no need for her to worry her head about his investments and how they stood financially.
I have a brother in Denver who is a CPA. He retired some years ago - very comfortably, I might add. He told us recently about two women who had become very rich widows in this last year. In both cases, he was bewailing the fact that neither woman had the slightest idea of her husband's finances - his assets, what he owed, etc. Of course, neither woman knew how to manage money. Like many husbands, they told their wives that they would always be there to look after them.
I'll admit, there are a lot of men who deliberately withhold this information from their wives. Some men have the mistaken idea that their wives need to be "protected," but who is going to protect them if their husbands die before they do?
- Dorothy L.
Dear Dorothy: Good question. Especially since most women outlive their husbands. My advice to married women: Insist on knowing all there is to know about where you stand financially. The same goes for married men concerning their financial status.
Dear Abby: "Frustrated in Kansas" suggested that a description of the gift be included on the back of the gift card, so the bride can say something nice about the gift when she acknowledges it.
That wouldn't have helped me when I was married 46 years ago. My father came home one evening quite upset. A family friend, "Mrs. Smith," who worked at the Lutheran Book Store, had given my father a wedding gift for my husband and me. Daddy had tossed it in the back seat of his car and carried it around for several weeks. That day, he noticed it was gone! (Imagine someone stealing a gift-wrapped package from an unlocked car!)
Daddy said, "Now, you write them a nice thank-you note." I asked, "What did it feel like?" He growled, "Marjorie, how should I know? It was a book of some kind."
I dutifully wrote a note saying how interesting the book was, and I was sure my husband and I would enjoy it.
Some months after our wedding, Mrs. Smith asked my mother if we had received any other "family bibles"!
I thought you might get a laugh out of this.
- Marjorie Mackey,
Dear Marjorie: I did. And so did my staff. Thanks for sending it. The moral to that story is, "It doesn't pay to bluff; even if you have four kings - someone else might have four aces."
Thoughts While Shaving: "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city."