DEAR ABBY: I just got engaged, and I couldn't be happier. But my fiance is referred to by the entire town as the "bad guy" because of his past. He's changed a lot, and I really want this to work out, but people come to me and say he's not marriage material, and they try to make us break up (one of his exes in particular).
He told me about his past, and I don't judge him for it because everyone has a past. He really wants to get married. How can we have a wedding without everyone knowing about it, especially our family? — MARRIAGE-BOUND IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR MARRIAGE-BOUND: If the whole town — including your family — thinks that marrying your fiance is a bad idea, it may be time to hit the pause button. Marriage is something you want to do only once. The chances of it being successful will be better if you don't go rushing off to the altar.
Make your engagement long enough that your fiance has time to prove to your parents and the community that he is a changed man. No one can "make" you break up, but it would be in your interest to listen to those exes (including the one in particular) and compare what each has to say. If the stories they each tell are similar, it may be your Mr. Right is the wrong man for you.
DEAR ABBY: My confident 17-year-old daughter had an uncomfortable experience today, and when she shared it, I didn't have answers for her. She was waiting outside a take-out place when she was approached by a grandfatherly man. He started chatting with her about her shoes, but proceeded to stare at her legs. He then loudly announced, "I may be 80 years old, but I can appreciate a great pair of legs!"
She understands that there are generational differences and that he may have intended it as a compliment, but the blatant staring made her feel objectified, uncomfortable and unsafe. It also made her question her (very appropriate for a teenager) outfit.
What should we have said to her? She was disgusted and upset, but my husband and I had no words of wisdom. — MOM WITHOUT ANSWERS
DEAR MOM: You should have thanked your daughter for telling you and validated her feelings about the incident because her instincts were 100% accurate. The individual who harassed her — and that is what it was — was out of line and extremely inappropriate.
DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30 years, whom I love dearly, has started singing all the time. I mean ALL THE TIME. If he's not on the phone or involved in a TV show or conversation (and sometimes when he is), he's singing the same few songs over and over, and not well. I don't feel I have a right to ask him to stop. What should I do? — KARAOKE ALL DAY
DEAR KARAOKE: Tell your husband (sweetly) it's time to expand his repertoire because his playlist is getting repetitive. Good luck!
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.