Dear Readers: I have happy news. You have been writing to me for years — now you will have a chance to actually talk to me in person! On Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. EST — that's 9 a.m. MST — I'm inviting you to pick up the phone, call me and ask your questions. The toll-free number is (800) 501- 7080.
You can listen to the program by logging on to DearAbbyRadio.com. So join me then, and we'll make it a holiday "party" to remember! — Love, Abby
Dear Abby: My fiance, "Andy," and I are being married soon. From the first time that Andy met my friend "Doug," they did not get along.
Doug and I have known each other since elementary school. We are very close — in a sibling sort of way, as far as I'm concerned. When we're all together, just the three of us or in a large group, Doug makes subtle or sarcastic comments about Andy both to his face and behind his back. Andy has been very tolerant, at my request, although he wants to "have words" with Doug. Andy has also expressed recently that he doesn't like the way Doug casually touches me, which I hadn't really noticed until he pointed it out. What I can't understand is: Why?
Everyone I know who meets Doug or has known him for a few years, including my parents, are convinced he is gay. As close as I am to him, I can't tell one way or the other. His mannerisms are effeminate; he doesn't involve himself with women; he loves to shop with me and his mother; his taste is exquisite — among other stereotypical "signs." But he has not come out. If he's gay, the casual touching is a little odd. If he's straight, I don't want to lose his friendship.
I'm terrified of asking Doug if he's gay. He seems to take offense at the notion, and I don't want to embarrass either one of us. But I need a way to tell him to calm down, without making it seem as if I'm against him now that I'm being married. Can you help me? — Ms. Chaotic in Dallas
Dear Ms. Chaotic: Doug may be so deeply closeted that he isn't even out to himself, so don't ask him. Whether he's gay or straight is beside the point. His manners are terrible. Doug is showing hostility and disrespect to the man you are going to marry.
What you should say to him is that you had hoped you would be friends for a lifetime, but it's not going to happen if he continues treating Andy this way. Inform him that he owes your fiance an apology (it's the truth), and that you'd appreciate it if he backed off and kept his hands to himself, because, frankly, it's making you uncomfortable. After that, it's his choice as to whether he wants to build bridges or put himself on the outs.
Dear Abby: I work in an office where one co-worker constantly whistles. It's extremely distracting to all of us in the office while we're working, but we don't know how to approach this individual and say, "Can you please stop whistling while you work?"
Please help us stop this daily annoyance. We need relief. — Frustrated Office Girls, Clarks Summit, Pa.
Dear Office Girls: Because you can't bring yourselves to approach the offender directly, try this: The next time the offender starts whistling, offer the person a plate of crackers.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate