DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Albert,” divorced me three years ago. Afterward, I found out he was with a 28-year-old woman he had met in a bar. After she took him for what little money he had, he came crawling back to me. Like a fool, I stupidly took him back because I still had feelings for him.
Last week, I caught Albert on the Internet inviting a 23-year-old woman to play bingo over the weekend. Then I discovered another email indicating he had actually met her.
I kicked him out, of course. Albert never supported me; I always paid my own way. We were together for 22 years, Abby, and now I wish I had every one of them back. Why do old men search for young women to run around with, and why do young women think all old men have money? – USED IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR USED: Older men like young women because it helps them forget, for a little while, how old they really are. Also, young women tend to be more naive and less judgmental, assuming that gray temples are a sign of wisdom. They also assume that after decades in the workforce an older man has a sizable nest egg.
You are not the only woman who has listened to her heart and made the same mistake twice – or more. Consider yourself ahead of the game because you are not economically dependent on your husband. Take the lessons you have learned, move on and have a happy life. You deserve it. You’ll be fine without this compulsive two-timer. Trust me!
DEAR ABBY: Whatever happened to telephone etiquette?
We are a busy family and receive many calls from business associates and acquaintances. Abby, they feel free to call at any time, for the most trivial reasons! I guess it’s a reflection of our open-24-hours-a-day society, but I consider it very rude.
One man, with whom my husband is on a committee, called at 11:30 p.m. When I politely asked him please not to call after 9:30 p.m. in the future, he became indignant!
My daughter’s soccer coach made practice-reminder calls at 6 a.m. When we didn’t answer, she left a message on our voicemail, but called again at 6:30 and 6:45 “to be sure we got the message”! I was brought up with the 9-to-9 rule – you shouldn’t call anyone you don’t know well before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
Also, polite callers identify themselves upfront, as in, “Hi. This is Joe Smith. May I please speak to Jack?” People call for my husband from all over the country. When he’s not in, they often demand to know when he’ll be back, his work schedule, his travel schedule and his contact information without revealing who they are.
Abby, please remind these people that they are interrupting someone’s life with a phone call, and a little courtesy would go a long way. – BUSY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR BUSY: I think you’ve done an excellent job of that yourself. Your complaints reflect a general, regrettable decline in good manners and common sense. It’s one of the reasons some people turn off their phones at night, or screen their calls with caller ID and voicemail.
Callers should ALWAYS identify themselves. If they don’t, before answering any questions, feel free to say, “May I ask who’s calling?” Never reveal your husband’s work schedule, travel schedule or contact information to anyone unless you know with whom you are speaking.