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Dear Bettye: I am a widow The next time you have a discussion with him – not on a dinner
                               and my only child is in college. date - mention casually the names of several men you both
                               I have a job, and am asked out know who have wonderful table manners. Tell him how
                               often but I am shocked by the important good table manners are to you. If he says manners
                               way many people live. How do don’t matter to him – you know what to do.

                               I get a new life started?

                                                                       Dear Bettye: At a funeral recently I was shocked to hear the widow
                               Volunteer at the museum say it was fortunate her husband died after having such a massive
                               and become a docent so you stroke. I said, “It’s really too bad, but I’m glad you’re not sad.” The
                               can give guided tours and words kept running through my brain and I began to laugh and had
                               meet interesting people.
                                                                       to hold a handkerchief over my face and pretend I was crying. It is
Volunteer at the Little Theater and find new friends. Attend a all your fault because you have never said what to say when some-
church – many have special programs for single people. Go to one says it’s fortunate someone died.
all civic events, concerts and theatrical productions. Good

luck! I deeply regret having neglected to provide everyone with

                                                                       something to say in response to such a statement. I have found

Dear Bettye: My friend says it is unacceptable to leave a restaurant that, “I am so sorry.” is the best thing to say no matter what the
once you are seated and find it is not as clean as it should be. Is it? widow or anyone else may say at such a stressful time.

Certainly not. The appropriate time to leave is before the waiter Dear Bettye: What happens to wedding gifts when the bride leaves
takes your order. Simply leave quietly and never go back.
                                                                       the groom after three months and the wedding is annulled?

Dear Bettye: I would like to know who the lady who has a neighbor      Technically, she can keep the gifts since the wedding did take
who brings flowers and books and is polite. The other three widows     place. However, an annulment means the wedding never
in my neighborhood would like to know too. Can you arrange it with     happened, so she can also give everything back. She must
the lady to introduce us?                                              decide if she wants anything that would remind her of her
                                                                       mistake – or his.
Regretfully, I can’t. I never divulge the names of people who
ask me questions. But since she reads my column faithfully,            Dear Bettye: My father has remarried for the fourth time to a much
maybe she will call me about your request.                             younger woman I can’t stand. What am I supposed to call her?

Dear Bettye: I have been going with a man for almost a year. He is Call her by her given name. I know it was not among the names
retiring soon and moving to Florida. He keeps asking me to go with you suggested. While they were certainly imaginative, they’re
him. It sounds like a wonderful life, but he never mentions marriage. not used in polite society.

What do you think?

You have dated him long enough to know whether or not                  Dear Bettye: I am in a mess. My friend told me something in

                                                                       confidence about her indiscretion. But she told several others and
marriage is in sight. You will be giving up your family, home now everyone knows and are talking about it. She’s grilling all of us
and friends to move with him. You obviously have doubts
                                                                       to see who told it. I said I did not tell anyone, but so did all the
about the move – and so do I.
                                                                       others. What can we do?

Dear Bettye: What is the proper etiquette for dating an enemy’s Tell her never, ever tell you anything in confidence again since
ex-boyfriend? He called the day he broke up with her. I have to she tells many other people. She should ask the people who
                                                                       told her who told them. People who gossip will be only too
admit I would be using him to get back at her.
                                                                       glad to tell her.

There are no rules I know of that govern the time that must

elapse between dating one person and then another. It seems a

bit strange he called you for a date the same day he broke up                             Send your comments and

with her knowing that the two of you were enemies. Be certain                                   questions to:

who is doing the using.                                                                   bdekrcoa@AOL.com

Dear Bettye: I dating a man who has terrible table manners. He

gulps, gobbles and smacks until I think I will scream. Is there a way

to let him know how offensive it all is?

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