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Substitute teacher gets nosy questions

Dear Abby: I'm a busy, 72-year-old substitute teacher in the elementary grades. I realize that I look older than other teachers and, every once in a while, a student will ask me my age. It may be an inappropriate question, but these are youngster...

Dear Abby:

I'm a busy, 72-year-old substitute teacher in the elementary grades. I realize that I look older than other teachers and, every once in a while, a student will ask me my age. It may be an inappropriate question, but these are youngsters who may not have learned about such sensitivities.

Is honesty the best policy in such cases? I'm open to suggestions as to how to best handle this situation in the future.

-- An Arizona Senior

Dear Arizona Senior:

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There are certain questions that are considered rude to ask. A person's age is one of them. If these students have not been taught that lesson at home, then it falls to you as a teacher to enlighten them.

Your answer should be, "My dear, that question is inappropriate and should not be asked of someone who is an adult." Say it gently with a smile so it does not seem like a rebuke.

Dear Abby:

A close friend of mine, "Trish," is being married next March in Hawaii. The groom's brother, "Tom," and his fiancee announced this week that they plan to have their honeymoon at the same time as the wedding in Hawaii. This has upset Trish and her future husband. Should Trish be upset about this? And if so, does she have a right to voice her opinion to the honeymooners?

-- Maid of Honor

Dear Maid of Honor:

In no way will Tom and his bride steal the spotlight from Trish by having their honeymoon at the time of Trish's wedding. There may have been budgetary considerations that led to their decision. It's possible they could not afford to have a honeymoon and attend the wedding, too -- so they combined the two happy occasions.

Your friend may be suffering from pre-wedding jitters, which can cloud a person's judgment. Under no circumstances should she say anything negative to her new in-laws or the rest of the family.

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Dear Abby:

My wife of 24 years refuses to wear her wedding rings. When I asked why, she said it's because we're not getting along. I asked her to put them back on, but she refuses.

We talk, but my love for her is wearing thin -- and when she goes out of town without the rings, it burns me up. What can I do? She refuses to go to a counselor.

I am a stay-at-home, retired dad, and she works full time. I do all the chores, including cooking dinner. There has been no intimacy for months. We have two boys, 14 and 16.

Why would she do something like this? I think she doesn't want to be married anymore.

-- Smarting

in Fort Myers, Fla.

Dear Smarting:

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Your wife certainly is acting that way. By refusing to wear her wedding rings, she's not only sending a strong message to you, but also to her co-workers and the community at large that she's available.

It's a shame she won't consider marriage counseling because it takes two people working together to heal a marriage, and yours appears to be in trouble. Please consider getting counseling by yourself. It will help you decide what would be best for you and your sons -- whether it's continuing to tolerate this stressful atmosphere, or ending the marriage.

Write Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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