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National Editorials & Columns

Single guy’s dating game is fodder for office gossip

DEAR ABBY: I work in a professional office where nearly all my co-workers are married and live rather uneventful lifestyles. I was divorced a few years ago and have not remarried.

I have dated a lot of women, and it has become an issue with my co-workers. They insist on hearing about the dates I go on and ask for the details of what took place, and I usually oblige them.

Lately, there has been more and more gossip about my so-called “wild lifestyle,” and I have become the talk of the office. Some co-workers have called me names like “skank” because I refuse to settle down with one girl. I’m looking for the right one, and it may take many wrong ones to get there.

I think my co-workers are jealous. I’m living my life to the fullest and having fun and because they can’t do what I do, they resort to gossip and name-calling. It really frustrates me. How can I make this stop without causing unnecessary tensions in my workplace? — MAN IN MOTION IN INDIANA

DEAR MAN IN MOTION: You are not a “skank.” You are a bachelor. I hope you realize that you started this by regaling your co-workers with the intimate details of your “adventures.” None of it was appropriate workplace conversation. If you want this to stop, you’ll have to draw an iron curtain between your work life and your social life. Start today.

DEAR ABBY: I am engaged and have been for a while. From the beginning I knew my fiancé and I would have to pay for our own wedding. During a recent discussion with my father (who is divorced from my mother), he offered to chip in a reasonable amount and asked me to see if my mother would match it. My mother thought it was a great idea and agreed. A week or so later she wrote me a check for the amount and I deposited it into my savings account.

At the time, I had a high-paying job and a “roundabout” wedding date set. I have since left my job and the wedding has been postponed indefinitely. My mother has now requested that I return the money because she’s behind on bills.

Frankly, I think it is inappropriate for her to ask me to return “her” money when it was a gift that I did not request at the time. Am I wrong, or should she leave the money be? — ENGAGED IN VIRGINIA

DEAR ENGAGED: When your mother gave you the money toward your wedding, both of your financial situations were different than they are today. This isn’t a question of etiquette. Because you won’t be needing it in the near future, return the money to your mother so she can pay her bills. It’s not as if she’ll be using it for a Caribbean cruise. She needs the money!

DEAR ABBY: My daughter and her husband have a wonderful little boy, “Matthew,” who is 3. They say they don’t plan on having any more children. I am upset that they won’t be giving my grandson a sibling. They claim the reason is to be earth-friendly, but I think it is selfish. I know my urging won’t change the situation, but it weighs heavily on my mind and makes me sad for Matthew.

My daughter has a brother she is close to. Her husband has two siblings. I think the main reason they don’t want any more children is my son-in-law is 17 years older than my daughter. Is there any good way for me to tell her how upset this makes me? — DISAPPOINTED IN OREGON

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: No, there isn’t. There may be reasons that go beyond your son-in-law’s age for their decision to limit the size of their family to one child. And they are none of your business.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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