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Dear Abby 11/03

Dating is a struggle for man without a song in his heart

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DEAR ABBY: I am one of those rare individuals who has no interest in music of any kind. I never listen to it, and if it's being played where I happen to be -- I block it out.
    I don't sing, hum, keep a beat or dance. I don't even own any CDs. I have always been this way. My former wife tolerated it because I was interested in, and well-informed about, all the other arts that didn't include music.
    I am now divorced and dating again. The first thing any date or prospect wants to know is the kind of music I like, and if I like to dance. If I say I have no interest in music, I'm immediately considered a bit weird. I can't fake it, either, because I know nothing about performers, past or present, or the music they play.
    What's the best way to handle this apparent negative when I want to date? I'm normal in every other way. I don't hate music; I just don't care about it one way or another. And, are there others like me? -- TUNED OUT IN AKRON, OHIO
    DEAR TUNED OUT: I'm sure there are many. One way to handle your problem would be to be honest when asked about your preference in music -- and quickly add, that you do enjoy the theater, movies, art exhibits, etc., and extend an invitation.
    However, an even better way to deal with it would be to sign up for some dance lessons. Knowing how to steer a woman across the floor and make her look good is a tremendous social asset for any man. Trust me on that, because I'm speaking from personal experience.

    DEAR ABBY: I need your advice about a touchy subject. I am reuniting with my high school sweetheart, "Arthur." We dated 50 years ago. Arthur lost his wife of 44 years a little over a year ago, and started a long-distance relationship with me on the phone and writing letters. He lives in Ohio; I had moved to Florida.
    Arthur has asked me to marry him and move into his lovely home, but he has his wife's sister living there. I don't think I could be myself under the same roof as his deceased wife's sister.
    Arthur says he hopes I can change my mind, because she has nowhere to go. I have a feeling the family would resent me if I insist she find another place to live. He says if he has to, he will ask her to leave, but that makes me feel guilty. I am 67, Arthur is 70, and the sister-in-law is in her 70s. She works full time and gets Social Security. What do you think? -- IRIS IN FT. MYERS, FLA.
    DEAR IRIS: My first reaction to your question was to tell you the woman should leave. Then I got to thinking ... stranger living situations have worked out. Have you met her? Would she welcome or resent you? Wouldn't it be interesting if it turned out you liked each other, and the communal aspect of living together turned out to be a positive and didn't interfere with your romantic relationship with Arthur? I suggest you go for a long visit before making up your mind either way.
    DEAR ABBY: The company I work for has recently moved into a new building in a brand-new business complex. My boss wants to have an open house, but right now we're still finalizing items in the building: reception furniture, a few desks, work spaces, art for the walls, etc.
    How long is too long since we moved in to hold the open house? -- HELPING THE BOSS
    DEAR HELPING: Hold the open house when the place is "presentable." That means, when the furniture is in and the art is hung. Everything doesn't have to be "perfect" -- but it should be close to completion if not finished.
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