Dear Abby: My husband and I own a parrot that we take with us everywhere. He attracts a lot of attention and questions from strangers, which I’m usually happy to answer.
You’d be surprised how many people own or have had birds, and many of them love to tell their stories about how their parrot or parakeet died. (This is often from neglect or improper care or breeding.) These stories are often told humorously, as if they are supposed to be entertaining or relatable.
Standing around nodding in fake amusement or sympathy really annoys me. I’m tempted to say something weird, but I hold back.
I love birds, and I don’t like being reminded how well they are treated. People don’t tend to share graphic stories about dead dogs, cats or children in public. Whenever I go out to improve the lives of my pets, I am saddened to hear about their dead birds.
What can I say to stop this unpleasant and depressing story before it begins?
– A bird lover in North Carolina
Dear bird lovers: Try to be honest and tell the people that it hurts you to hear about their experience, and why. That they should be closed.
Dear Abby: I have been seeing the same guy for a year and a half. In the beginning, we were, basically, friends with benefits, and we were fine with that. Having both gone through a recent breakup or divorce, neither of us wanted to get serious.
However, I started to fall for him. He’s always made it clear that if he doesn’t want to go down that path, we’ll cut ties, but the way he’s acted shows there might be another day.
After eight months, we found out I was two months pregnant. It changed how we both felt about the relationship, but we had things we needed to work on before going down that road.
I started therapy—not for her, but because I knew I needed it for myself and ultimately for our daughter.
We moved in together five months ago, several weeks before our daughter was born.
Being with our baby has been great. It has made me fall in love with him even more.
When I told him recently that I wanted to officially be his lady, he said there were still some things he wanted me to work on — not a personality change, but more like a reality check. Things that I am strict with. I admit I can be that way, and impatient, but I think I wouldn’t stress so much if he gave me more definite answers.
what do you think about this?
– Ready for a real relationship
Beloved Prepared: I commend you for seeing a therapist to work on your issues. Now I think it is time for you and this man to have couples counseling to determine if you can work out your differences.
I’m not sure you two were really on the same page from the beginning of this relationship. Counseling should help you decide how to move forward now that a child is involved, since you will be co-parenting for a long time, regardless of the direction your relationship takes.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jane Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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