DEAR ABBY: We recently moved to a new neighborhood. Soon thereafter, some kids who were at our house playing with our kids began rooting through my pantry for snacks. A few days later, kids from another family did the same thing. (I would die of embarrassment if I found out mine ever behaved that way.)
I began stocking the pantry with snacks and juices I knew the kids enjoyed. Except now, the “available” snacks are in a special bin to keep everyone from rummaging around in our pantry. Yesterday, my kids told me that they are rarely offered treats when they visit these children. They even take snack breaks and eat in front of my kids without offering them anything.
I spend $30 a week in extra goodies for the handful of kids in my neighborhood who don’t always wait until they are offered a snack. Sometimes they’ll lurk in the kitchen upon arrival. It’s not uncommon for them ask for extra snacks — even four brownies!
Should I continue my generosity? Am I being taken advantage of by the local cookie monsters? I don’t want to do anything to ruin the friendships my kids have with these neighborhood children. — PANTRY POLICE IN UTAH
DEAR PANTRY POLICE: You may, indeed, be being taken advantage of. It would be interesting to know if those children are served the kind of snacks at home that they are at your house. (Are they really hungry, or could their parents be restricting their access to sweets, perhaps?)
Talk to their parents and tell them what has been happening. Then inform those kids that there are “certain rules” in your house and one of them is that they must first ask permission before helping themselves to anything.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is a pessimist. He has hated every job he has had during our 11-year marriage. When something happens, even if it’s something minor, he’ll say something sarcastic like, “This day just keeps getting better!” He complains that we will never have anything nice or never have a new car. When he feels bad, he refuses to go to the doctor because he says it will cost too much, even though we have insurance that will cover part of it.
He has been this way for the past six or seven years. I try to have a positive attitude and look forward to things getting better. I have had about all I can stand of his down attitude, and I’m about ready to see a lawyer.
By the way, it has been years since we have been intimate, and there is no affection or caring anymore — just complaints about everything. What do you think I should do? — TIRED OF MR. DOWN
DEAR TIRED: I think you should tell your husband that you love him and, for the reasons you told me, you think he may be suffering from long-term depression. Explain that there is help for depression, and urge him to talk to his physician about it. And if he refuses, THEN you should talk to a lawyer.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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