Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I lost my husband of 20 years a little over two years ago. Last year, I moved to another state to be close to family. I rented an apartment, and my best friend moved with me. Shortly after, I met a much younger man. He was immediately interested in me. He’s sweet, kind and very handsome. It took me months to realize that I’m also interested in him.

We began spending time together, including bedroom fun. He has told me at least twice he loves me, and I told him the same. His demeanor and expressions match his words, and we agreed for the time being to be friends with benefits.
Three months ago, he met someone much closer to his age. But even in front of her he holds me close and tells me he loves me. She has now slapped a ring on his finger and is pushing him for marriage. He keeps saying he’s not ready. We feel that until the day he says “I do,” it’s OK for us to continue our bedroom fun. I’m new to the dating world, and he’s my first since my husband passed. Am I doing the right thing? — LOVING THE FUN IN WASHINGTON
DEAR LOVING: It is extremely difficult to hit a moving target. No one “slaps a ring” on another person’s finger unless that person holds still for it. You are NOT doing the right thing by continuing to sleep with this man. In fact, you may be heading for a painful fall. When he marries his fiancee, you will be history once she realizes you are more than a good friend he “loves” but also a former bed partner.
DEAR ABBY: Our family has a thrilling story in its history about our grandfather and his brothers rescuing the family’s player piano from their burning house. The house burned to the ground, and they lost nearly everything but the piano. which is now shuffled among family members’ homes.
It’s not particularly attractive, and it’s certainly not playable even as a regular piano. It’s one of the cheap, mass-produced, no-name models that were popular in the 1920s. There are relatives who are desperate to keep it in the family, but who don’t have the space to store it or the money to refurbish it.
I’m not sentimental. If it were dumped on me, I’d throw it out. I told them they should take lots of photos of it and get rid of it. If some family members rescued a giant TV set from a fire, it wouldn’t make sense to keep it around for 100 years.
I’m sure they enjoyed the player piano as a source of entertainment in its time, but that time has passed. My question is, how do you get people to let go of material possessions that have become a huge burden? — UNFINISHED SONG IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR UNFINISHED: You stated that if someone gave you that old piano, you would junk it. If someone wants to give it a home, that is where it should go. I’m having trouble understanding why the fate of that instrument is your problem. Make it clear to your relatives that you want nothing to do with that piece of furniture and let it go.
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)
(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])
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