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Dear Abby 9/5

Little old lady looks for love that's not too close to home

    DEAR ABBY: I'm turning 90 soon and live in a small assisted-living environment. I have outlived four husbands, and I'm thinking about a fifth. For clarification, my husbands all died of natural causes — except for my second. (He and I were divorced.)
    I am just a typical, sweet old lady in need of companionship. I have my eye on a fellow resident, but I firmly believe that it's bad policy to dip my pen in the company ink — if you know what I mean.
    What options are available for single seniors these days? I met all my previous husbands through friends and family. The problem is, most of my friends have died, and my kids won't help me for fear of losing their inheritance. — 90 WITH A FEW MILES LEFT ON THE ENGINE
    DEAR 90 (BUT GOING LIKE 60): Perhaps your "kids" would be more receptive to introducing you to someone if you promise you will have a prenuptial agreement in place before marrying again. If that doesn't produce results, consider going online to one of the more popular Web sites such as Match.com or eHarmony.com — although they charge for their services. I predict if you tell your children what you intend to do, they'll prefer you see someone they have vetted.
    P.S. While I respect your "company policy," please weigh the benefit vs. the embarrassment factor in deciding whether to pursue the fellow resident you have your eye on. Nothing ventured, nothing gained (if you know what I mean), and I'm sure you could find out just about everything about him if you put your mind to it. It's always better to know with whom you're having the pleasure.

    DEAR ABBY: I am the father of a 10-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl. I would do anything for my kids.
    My wife and I have had a few rocky years together and sometimes, I guess, it is inevitable for the kids to get caught in the middle. I hope you can help me understand something.
    My wife, a stay-at-home mom, signed them both up for swimming lessons, and she has been taking them while I have been working. My daughter asked me several times if I could come and watch her take her lessons, but I told her I had to work. Finally, I told her I would go and watch on the last day, and she was thrilled.
    My wife, however, accused me of leaving all the "work" of taking them to lessons to her — and accused me of "just wanting to swoop in and watch when everything was done" so they would remember me coming.
    Abby, I have decided not to go just to avoid the argument, but I'm sure my daughter will be disappointed. Can you please explain this to me, because I sure am ... CONFUSED IN VIRGINIA
    DEAR CONFUSED: Change your mind again and keep your promise to your daughter. If you break it, she will remember that you didn't come through for years to come.
    If you and your wife are not in marriage counseling, you should start now. For whatever reason, your wife is angry. She is not happy with her life and may resent the role she is playing as a stay-at-home mom. That's why she is accusing you of "leaving all the work" to her, and trying to prevent you from receiving any "glory" you might attain by being there for your kids. It is sick thinking, and if you let it go it will negatively affect your relationship with your children. For their sake, get help ASAP.

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