Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: My fiance has a number of male friends she has known for years. One of them stops off at her work, brings food and gifts, and may go out with her after hours. Another called her one evening and invited her out for drinks to celebrate his promotion.

At a recent party, another one had his hands on her back or shoulders whenever he spoke to her (she was wearing a silk blouse). Prior to that, she had left with him to go to the ATM holding his hand. At another party, I practically had to wrestle another “friend” away from her so I could sit next to her at dinner and later stand next to her for the group picture.
When I tell her I’m upset about this, especially that she is allowing it to go on, she tells me they have been friends for years and there is nothing sexual going on. (In fact, she says I’m the ONLY man she knows who thinks that way.) She says, “We’re all just touchy-feely.” Observing these goings-on, I don’t see any of her other male or female friends touching anyone else like this.
I would never touch another woman who was in a committed relationship. She insists it’s just me, and that if I say anything, she will be upset. So, here I sit, stewing, while her supposedly non-sexual friends paw at her and vie for her attention. Advice? — SEETHING IN NEW YORK
DEAR SEETHING: Yes. Your fiance has made it plain that she doesn’t plan to change. This is why you should stop seething and end the engagement. Unless you enjoy pain and anxiety, this isn’t the girl for you.
DEAR ABBY: I have one grandchild and another on the way. I have been struggling lately with all the rules and boundaries my children are placing on me. I realize that with the internet and the new parent courses, they are receiving more information than I ever did.
The latest issue is with my daughter who is due in a few months. We are very close, but suddenly she says I will need to shower and wear clean clothing before seeing her child. She’s afraid of third-hand smoke. I am, unfortunately, a smoker.
I would never smoke around her baby. I don’t even smoke in the house, but she has told me it’s her rule. I have read everything about third-hand smoke and haven’t found any statistics about the amount of exposure it would take to harm a baby.
I’m going to try to quit, but I think this is crazy. She hasn’t said anything about cleaning products, food or anything else. Am I wrong in thinking this is over the top? — SAD SMOKER IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR SMOKER: As a longtime smoker, you are probably no longer aware of how unpleasant the smell of tobacco can be for nonsmokers. It clings to the smoker’s hair, skin, clothing and surroundings. You are entitled to think whatever you wish, but as you stated, this is your daughter’s rule, and if you are going to interact with that grandchild, you will have to respect it.
I truly hope you will be able to overcome your tobacco addiction and cuddle the baby. If you do, you will be doing all of you (including yourself) a favor.
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.
To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Letter 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,
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