Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I play on a pool team. About a year ago, the team captain looked at my wife and said, “So, can I play with your lower private area?” (He didn’t use those words.) My wife, who is very shy, was shocked.

He has made dumb comments before, and I’ve warned him several times. This time when I told him, he was dumb enough to invite me outside. I slapped him around a bit. We are both big guys. I’m 6-foot-4, 300 pounds. He’s as tall, maybe a few pounds lighter.
Now the members of the league here have shunned my wife and me. Was I wrong? Should I have let that guy talk to my wife like that? — SECOND-GUESSING IN THE SOUTH
DEAR SECOND-GUESSING: Violence is never the answer. You and your wife should have left as soon as those words were uttered. As for the rest of the league shunning you, I think it’s time you found another league to play pool with — one with nice people to compete with, rather than animals.
DEAR ABBY: A friend of mine just passed away, and while I was visiting with my daughter, I mentioned it. My daughter’s response to the sad news was, “I don’t care. I didn’t know them!” I told her I thought her response was rude.
When they were young, I always taught my children to treat others the way you expect them to treat you, and if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing. When I heard what she said, I felt I had failed in my duty as a parent to teach her the values my parents instilled in me.
Maybe, since I’m sad for the loss of my friend, I took what she said wrong. Any advice on how I should approach this with my daughter would be greatly appreciated. — FEELING LIKE A FAILURE
DEAR FEELING: Your daughter appears to lack any sense of empathy. What she said was unkind and dismissive. She may be self-centered, or was annoyed with you or about something else going on in her life when she said it. You have every right to tell her how her comment affected you at a time when you were feeling vulnerable. But don’t blame yourself for your daughter’s insensitivity. That’s on her, not you.
DEAR ABBY: I am a loving husband of a wonderful wife of 40-plus years, but I have one issue with her that I can’t understand. If I mention, in a very carefully worded manner, something she does that annoys me, she retaliates by bringing up things from decades in the past about me.
I have corrected my past behaviors, but she seems to use this as a way of “twisting the knife,” knowing it hurts me. I have tried explaining this to her, but she still does it. Do I just ignore her annoying behavior? Is this her defensive way of getting back at me? What should I do? — WOUNDED IN COLORADO
DEAR WOUNDED: Your wife is not getting back at you for anything. What she is doing is avoiding owning up to the fact that something she does annoys you instead of apologizing or correcting it. Remember the saying “the best defense is a strong offense”? This is an example of it.
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.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, 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])
1130 Walnut, Kansas City, MO 64106; 816-581-7500

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: