Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a man for more than two years, and I thought we had a future together. I’m 57, divorced, no kids. He’s 58, divorced and has two grown children. At first, he said he was living with his parents so he could take care of his dad, who had been very ill. But it has been more than three years now!

I put bids on four different houses in his parents’ neighborhood, but lost all of them. It seems the universe is not in favor of my owning a home and being closer to his family. Maybe all of this is for the best. He smokes marijuana daily, and I’m sure this is part (if not all) of the problem. His motivation for doing anything is very low.

I’m often frustrated with his unreliability, lateness and lack of communication. I do enjoy being with him, and we get along great when we are together. But nothing is CHANGING. I want a future (and a home) with someone at this point in my life. Should I keep waiting and hoping, or move on and end it with him completely? I’m struggling with the decision. I have tried to break up with him multiple times, but we always wind up together again. — ANXIOUS IN ARIZONA

DEAR ANXIOUS: I am struggling with whether to tell you what to do, which is what you are asking, or help you to make up your own mind and take responsibility for your decision. Start by making a list of what your goals are, in order of importance. Next, write down how many of them you have achieved during the time you have been with this stoner. How many of your goals match his?

He may not be a bad person, but he appears to be comfortable with living with his parents for the foreseeable future. I understand that you like hanging out with him, and if that is all you want from him, then it’s fine. However, if it isn’t, then tell him you need more than what he has to offer, and move on — and this time, make it stick.



DEAR ABBY: When our mom died, one of her three siblings took selfie photos of themselves with her in the casket. They did it the whole time at the funeral. We were taught by our mom and grandma never to take photos of someone in their casket. Several family members were beyond shocked, as were we.

Is there a polite way to keep people from taking photos of the deceased? Should you make it clear that no cameras of any kind will be permitted, and that failure to comply will have you removed? And should the family have to deal with this, or is it something the funeral home should handle for the family? — JUST PLAIN MORBID

DEAR JUST PLAIN MORBID: Not everyone deals with death the same way. Taking photos of the deceased in their casket is not unheard of, and may be customary in some cultures. (It may also be a useful tool for grieving.)

Although the idea of taking “selfies” at a funeral may seem over the top to you, your aunts or uncles should not have been prevented from doing so. However, if you want to ensure no pictures are taken in subsequent funerals for immediate family members, make that clear to the funeral director BEFORE the event.


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.



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