Dear Abby | Woman freed from cooking is not eager to dive back in

Dear Abby: I’m a 64-year-old woman, divorced for 27 years. A nice guy I’ll call “Ronnie” has taken me out to lunch and dinner several times. He really likes me and I really like him, but I’m skeptical about getting into a serious relationship because I don’t feel like doing a lot of the “wife duties” anymore, such as cooking.

I know this may sound terrible, but I don’t cook. My kitchen stays clean, and all I have to do is sweep the floor. Ronnie hasn’t said anything about my not wanting to cook, but I don’t want it to come up later as a problem. What should I do? – Out of the Kitchen

Dear Out: Healthy relationships are based on honest communication. Talk to Ronnie about your concerns. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that HE likes to cook and would be willing to do it. Some men enjoy it so much it’s hard to pull them away, especially from a barbecue grill. Cross your fingers, speak up and hope Ronnie is one of them.

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been happily married for seven years. He recently graduated from his final residency, and after 11 years of post-high school education, he is finally out practicing.

During all those years, I supported us financially. Once he graduated, I asked that eventually I get a nice piece of jewelry to commemorate our accomplishment (and his nice new salary).

He bought me a lovely pearl ring, but it isn’t real. It doesn’t have natural diamonds, and it isn’t white gold. To me, it doesn’t commemorate the accomplishment as much as a real one. We could have afforded a nice costume ring years ago. I wanted to be spoiled a bit. Am I allowed to say something, or should I “appreciate the thought”? – Spoil Me, Please, in Ohio

Dear Spoil: Your husband, the doctor, may be a jewel, but after supporting him for 11 years, you deserve better than what you were given. Explain to him that when you asked for “a nice piece of jewelry,” you meant the real thing and not a costume piece. Then suggest the two of you go shopping for it together.

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.