Dear Abby: I’m an attractive 30-year-old woman just out of a five-year relationship. I am starting to date again, but I have a complication – I cannot have children. I am wondering when the right time to bring this up with the men I meet would be. After a few dates seems too soon; however, the men usually reveal their desire for a family during this time. What is the rule of thumb here? – Single in San Francisco
Dear Single: The rule of thumb is: Honesty is the best policy. If someone tells you he wants a family, it would be dishonest not to tell him then that you won’t be able to have children. However, if nothing is mentioned before, when you are becoming intimate and the subject of birth control is raised would be a logical time to speak up.
Dar Abby: I find that I get asked far too often why I haven’t bought a house yet. I’m 42, single and have a master’s degree, but like lots of other people I had to go into debt to get it.
I’m not complaining about that. What bugs me is the invasive question I don’t feel I should have to answer, usually asked by people whose parents helped them to buy a house. I don’t come from a rich family, and it feels like people are flaunting their privilege when they ask me. Duh, I don’t have $20,000 for a down payment. But I shouldn’t have to say that.
How can I respond to this question while not being rude or actually answering it? Better yet, how do I respond in such a way that people stop asking? – In Debt in Illinois
Dear in Debt: This reply should do the trick: “There are many reasons why, and it’s complicated. When and if I do decide to buy, I’ll let you know.”
Dear Abby: My daughter and I disagree about whether it’s all right to hold the door open when the air conditioning is running on high to keep the house cool. She’ll hold the door open while standing in the doorway talking to her friends who drive up in a car. In the meantime, I am paying for the AC to run full blast. Please give us some guidance. – Anonymous Mom In Raleigh
Dear Mom: I’ll try. Rather than venture into the physics of how air conditioners work, may I suggest that because your daughter lives with you and you are paying the bills, she should have enough respect for you to do as you ask.
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.