DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Beau,” and I moved in together and already we have trust issues. He doesn’t trust me around his computer. He said he has things on it that are part of his past, and it’s none of my business.
One of the things he doesn’t want me to see is “The List.” He keeps a list of all the girls he has slept with — including one—night stands. I have asked Beau how many there have been, but he doesn’t want to tell me “because it will hurt me.” He has revealed that it’s a number between 10 and 50.

I have asked him to delete the list, but he said that if he gets a weird disease in the future, he can always refer back to it. I have nightmares about this.

Should I drop the matter? — UNLISTED NUMBER IN TEXAS

No, honey. You should drop him. If Beau was simply afraid you would see how many women he has slept with and was trying to protect your feelings, he would print out the list and stash it in a safety deposit box. What he’s afraid of is that you’ll see the list is GROWING.
I don’t blame you for having nightmares. A man who is seriously worried that he’ll get a weird disease in the future is exposing himself and YOU to them now. So pack your bags, get out of there and schedule an appointment with your gynecologist ASAP.

DEAR ABBY: My older sister, “Carole,” has been dealing with breast cancer for almost a year. Although my family and I live three hours away and are struggling with problems of our own, we have always been supportive of her.

Last week, Carole called to tell me she’ll be going to Australia at the end of the year — a “reward” from her husband for everything she has been through. I was happy for her until she informed me that I would be taking care of her kids for two weeks while she’s on vacation.


I joked, “It doesn’t sound like you’re giving me any choice in this.” She replied: “No, I’m not. I went through cancer. I deserve this trip.”

I reminded Carole that when I watched her kids just two months ago, things didn’t go well. They are completely different from my children, and they don’t like each other. Her 5—year—old daughter cried all night, every night while she was here. Her son destroys everything he comes into contact with — we still have a hole in the bedroom wall — and has a vocabulary I don’t want my kids exposed to.

Do I have a right to just say “no” and offer my best wishes in finding a sitter? I feel guilty, but I don’t feel she’s entitled to demand this from me. Am I being a bad sister? — NEEDS RESOLUTION IN THE MID—ATLANTIC

Your reasons for declining your sister’s edict seem perfectly reasonable to me. You took care of your niece and nephew before — it didn’t work out. You are perfectly within your rights to be firm with Carole and let her know she’s going to have to make other arrangements for her little ones while she’s on holiday. A perfect solution would be for them to be looked after by either set of grandparents.

DEAR ABBY: Does anyone know what the protocol is for providing food for house sitters? Should they bring their own, or should it be provided for them? — NOT CERTAIN IN ALBANY, ORE.

DEAR NOT CERTAIN: I think the answer depends upon who is doing the sitting and for how long a period of time. However, if you’re wise, you will make sure to have a clearly stated agreement in advance so there are no misunderstandings.

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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