DEAR ABBY: My husband and I live in a 55-plus retirement community. We do many things together, but we also do things independently. One resident decided to form two men’s clubs. One meets every week for breakfast, and the other twice a month at night. The members go to each other’s homes for the evening meetings.
Abby, the man who started these clubs is chauvinistic. He made a rule that women are not allowed in their own homes when their husbands host a meeting — “no skirts allowed.” Therefore, even though the wife prepares everything for her husband’s meeting, she’s told to slip out of the house before anyone arrives.
My husband agrees that this is ridiculous and is considering quitting the club, but he has formed friendships with some of the men. The guys are bamboozled by the leader and tell their wives that anything said at a meeting is “confidential.”
The obvious solution would be to meet at a coffee shop, but the man in charge says the homes provide a more intimate setting. My husband feels bad about it, and I don’t want him to quit a group he enjoys. Any suggestions? — GOOD LITTLE VEGAS WIFE
DEAR GOOD LITTLE WIFE: It appears the founder of the clubs has his head stuck firmly in the 1950s. And while we can’t change that, I do have some suggestions.
The first is that the wives stop preparing anything and let the “bachelors” do it themselves or order takeout or deli for their meetings. The second is that the “widows” join together for an evening of fun while the men are having their meetings. Of course, nothing that happens during these ladies’ evenings of fun should be shared with the husbands — including what they did or what clubs they may have visited.
P.S. Because your husband feels bad about how the women are being treated, perhaps he should consider attending only the breakfast get-togethers and seeing those men in the evening group he has bonded with independently.
DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend loses her keys, wallet, credit cards or iPad every day. I have suggested ways to avoid losing her keys. For example — always use the same pocket in her purse or put them in a bowl by the door. She doesn’t do it. I think it is to spite me.
She has now become resentful that I have become impatient about it. I’m frustrated because this is something that can easily be fixed, and I’m tired of searching for 20 minutes for whatever she has misplaced. What can I do? — BEYOND FRUSTRATED IN L.A.
DEAR BEYOND FRUSTRATED: The first thing you should do is understand that your girlfriend isn’t doing this to upset you, and it’s possible that she becomes as upset as you do when it happens. While I agree that part of the problem is that she’s disorganized, it could also be that her thinking is scattered. When she puts something down, she isn’t fully in the moment. Her thoughts may be on something else.
Frankly, there isn’t anything you can do about it. If there is a solution to your girlfriend’s problem, it’s that she should slow down and think about EXACTLY what she’s doing when she’s doing it, which is sometimes easier said than done.
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.