Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Toy gun up to you, not your neighbors ]]> Lead story image

D ear Abby: Halloween is around the corner, and my 7-year-old daughter has decided to be a cowgirl. She wants the boots, the hat and the gun. Is it appropriate to let her have a holster and an obviously toy gun to accessorize her costume for trick-or-treating? She would not be taking that part of her costume to school on Halloween. I live in a part of the country where guns are an important part of our culture, but I am unsure how to proceed. — Confused about Halloween in Montana Dear Confused: Guns may be an important part of … ]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 17:57:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Boo humbug to the Halloween hassle ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I am a retired widow, crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. Every October, I start dreading Halloween, which I consider to be a legal form of extortion. Living on Social Security, I really don’t want to waste money for candy. Also, it is difficult for me to get up and down every five minutes to hand out candy. Too many of the “children” are 16- to 19-year-old males. I have tried keeping the lights off and “hiding” in my bedroom, but I wake the next morning to find toilet paper in my trees and shrubbery. Once, my front door had … ]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:07:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ She dates man who doubts her motives ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I have been seeing “Tony” for a few weeks. He is kind, caring and will make a great boyfriend, husband and father someday. My problem with him is he thinks I’m a “status digger.” (It’s similar to a gold digger, but he means I care only about someone’s standing in the community.) His rationale is based on my friendships. I come from a privileged background. While some acquaintances in my circle are spoiled and superficial, my close friends and I are not. Because I grew up here, it was only natural I’d date guys from a similar background. … ]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 20:32:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Both lovers need abuse counseling ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I think I have an abuse problem. I have been with my boyfriend for a year, and already I feel like he is fed up with me. I don’t want to lose him. When I was younger, my father used to abuse me. It was years ago, but I feel like I might have gotten that trait from him. In addition, I have a tendency to smack my boyfriend on the arm when he’s verbally abusing me. I just want it to stop. I love this man and I feel terrible after I do it. I keep telling … ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 14:20:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Kids mortified by transgender dad ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: After 10 years of marriage, my now ex-husband told me he is transgender. He isn’t taking hormones, but he makes no attempt to hide his feminine dressing, makeup and wigs from our 6- and 9-year-old sons. They understand little of their dad’s new life, other than that their dad likes “girl stuff.” They often tell me they are embarrassed being with their dad in public when he has his nails painted or is wearing female clothing. I have tried talking to my ex about this, but he becomes resentful when I bring it up. He feels he can … ]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 17:19:10 -0500 <![CDATA[ Insecure man sees rejection everywhere ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: My lunch date for today canceled on me. Generally, when a girl does this, I delete her number and move on. But in this instance, it wasn’t a first or second date. We have been seeing each other for about a month and have built up some degree of intimacy. Moreover, I know she’s not lying when she says she had a busy week. She apologized via text not once, but twice. Nevertheless, I feel that as genuine as her apology was and as she has seemed in the time we have been together, this incident indicates either … ]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 14:29:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ People need to take more responsibility ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I had my last cigarette and drink of alcohol 50 years ago. Back then, excessive drinking, smoking, overeating or nail-biting were signs of weak will, sinfulness, bad upbringing and who knows what else. Fortunately, over the years the pendulum swung, making it possible for literally millions of people to get into recovery for what we now know is a disease — addiction. Unfortunately, the pendulum is now swinging back again. Now everyone has a “disease” over which they have no control. Therefore, they have an excuse to drink too much, overeat, eat sugar while taking their insulin — … ]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:25:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Middle child thinks parents are unfair ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I’m a teenage girl who is frustrated with my family. I am the middle child, and it seems like my parents prefer my brother and sister over me. I am constantly in trouble for things they have done, and my parents are aware that they did. When I try to express my feelings, nobody will listen. Several times I have almost committed suicide or run away. I am lost and I don’t know what to do. Please help me. — Nowhere in Indiana Dear Nowhere: When a person cries out in pain and feels she (or he) isn’t … ]]> Fri, 10 Oct 2014 15:15:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ What is right shade for male nail polish? ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I am an adult heterosexual male who has discovered that I like wearing nail polish. I feel it should not be a matter of gender, but of taste and fashion. I wore a reasonably bold color in public for the first time a week before last. It was a light, metallic blue that changes to green in the sunlight. I got a few raised eyebrows and a few compliments in my conservative, small town. I was told, however, to leave the color red to the ladies. I know some companies are already marketing nail color for men, and … ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:31:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Accepted child as his, now is shut out ]]> Lead story image

D ear Abby: About two years ago, a close female friend, “Carla,” had her first child. The biological father is from another country. When she told him she was pregnant, he refused to have anything to do with the child, so I decided to take over the role as a father. I have been with Carla and my son since she found out about the pregnancy. When she was in her last trimester, we decided to give a shot to the relationship and become a couple. Everything was great. She had our child. When he was born, I really became … ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:26:27 -0500 <![CDATA[ She suspects man is a child predator ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: When I was 10, I faked an injury so I could quit playing soccer. I couldn’t articulate why the coach, who was clean-cut, friendly and fair, made me uneasy. After he died a few years ago, it came out that he had molested dozens of girls. Over the subsequent 20 years, those same instincts have screamed at me three more times -- and twice I was proven correct. The third man to set off this alarm is in my social circle, along with his wife. Several of the couples in our group are starting families. I feel like … ]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 16:25:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ If wife wants to make beds, let her ]]> Lead story image

D ear Abby: My husband and I have four great kids. They are well-behaved, respectful and full of fun. Hubby and I are having a disagreement concerning them, however. I am an admitted “bed snob.” I make every bed in the house every day, just the way I want them done. It makes me crazy when my husband insists that the kids do it themselves. Our kids have homework,  daily chores they alternate  (cleaning the kitchen after dinner, doing laundry, etc.), as well as what we call “Chore Day Sunday,” which is a family affair when everyone has a list … ]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 02:19:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Workplace attire is too revealing ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I am a male in the training department at my office. A lot of times, because the people I train are new hires, there are dress code violations from people who appear to be testing the limits. Most of the violations involve women who wear clothing that’s too revealing, in spite of the fact they receive a document at the start of training explaining what is and is not appropriate attire. I feel uncomfortable addressing dress code issues with the opposite sex. I have always asked a female in the department to do it for me. My problem … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 14:19:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cremation chosen for varied reasons ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend after a funeral. It was about cremation vs. burial, and I’d be interested in your thoughts and those of your readers. We noted that cremation has become more common, and guessed that one of the main reasons might be funeral and plot costs. After thinking about it, we thought there might be other considerations propelling people toward the practice of cremation. In modern society, individuals and families seem less tied to one area, and also, larger communities make it more difficult to make trips to cemeteries. Any insight on … ]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 15:50:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ Nothing wrong with being a single teen ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: I read your column often and find it deeply troubling when girls write you lamenting that they are “still single.” I’m 18, in my freshman year of college and I have never dated. I’m perfectly OK with this. I’m not writing to bash girls who are in high school relationships, but rather to show there’s an alternative. Abby, please remind them that it’s fully acceptable for us to spend our teenage years single if we prefer. No one should feel pressured into a relationship because “everyone else is dating.” Girlfriends, if you’re not ready for dating, then focus … ]]> Fri, 03 Oct 2014 16:04:22 -0500 <![CDATA[ Dad’s mate upsets family harmony ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: My father is dating a woman who is not only my ex-boyfriend’s mother, but also the woman he cheated on my mother with and left her for. I don’t want to be around her and have told my father this, but he doesn’t accept or respect my feelings. Being around them causes stress on my marriage because my husband doesn’t want to be around her either, and we don’t want her around our children. This is causing so much stress that at times I’m afraid it could end our marriage. When I try to talk to Dad about … ]]> Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:12:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Secure your meds when kids around ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: You missed the chance to communicate a life-or-death message to your readers when you answered a letter from an “Ohio Grandma” (July 14). Your reply understated the importance of storing medications properly and safely. What if the grandmother had placed a loaded gun on the desk instead of medications? Both can produce just as deadly a result. And why didn’t those meds have safety lids? Putting them in a suitcase is not enough. They should be stored out of reach, preferably secured with a safety lock. Or better yet, the parents should be told you have dangerous substances … ]]> Wed, 01 Oct 2014 14:30:51 -0500 <![CDATA[ Her ex risks giving herpes to others ]]> Lead story image

Dear Abby: Last year I found a bottle of Valtrex in my husband’s car. He had been taking the medicine for months. When I asked him about it, he lied. I was devastated when I realized I had been exposed to herpes. He actually tried to say he got it from me, but later he admitted that he had been stepping out with random women while working out of town. (He’s a truck driver.) I had a blood test, and thankfully, I didn’t catch it. What is the doctor’s responsibility in informing the spouse? I’m sure my ex is going … ]]> Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:03:02 -0500