Mom Purloins the Diary Dear Margo: I found out last week that our 17-year-old high school junior is having sex with her boyfriend! First of all, I found out the wrong way: I snooped in her room and read her diary. Second, she would never admit to it, so my husband …Read more. The Bad Seed Dear Margo: I never thought I would write to an advice columnist, but here goes. I've been dating someone for about a year now, and we talk of marriage occasionally. He's ready for commitment and very gung-ho about us getting married, which is …Read more. Oh, and, Uh, By the Way... Dear Margo: I am soon to be 27 years old, and my only serious relationship ended a few years ago. In hopes of avoiding the standard meat market of dating, I'm considering registration with eHarmony.com. I've also had my share of casual relationships.…Read more. It Is in the Bible, but Not in the Stars Dear Margo: I have been dating a wonderful man for four months now. He is very kind and sweet in every way. We are much in love and happy together. There is only one problem: We are different religions. I am a Christian; he is agnostic. I have …Read more.more articles
Who Should Kiss Whom, and How?
Dear Margo: My husband and I married earlier this year, and we have a great relationship. We both came into the marriage with children. The one thing that seems to be driving me crazy is that my husband kisses his 5-year-old daughter on the lips. It's just a peck, but it aggravates me to no end. I have a daughter, and I always kiss her on the cheek. I even explained that you do not kiss on the lips unless you are married. I have mentioned that I'm totally against the gesture; he said he will do so until the day he dies. Fine, but I feel this is intruding on our relationship, as I see it being a sexual gesture and very inappropriate. I have read articles about this, and it is very controversial. I am not sure that I will be able to handle this much longer. Is it wrong of me to ask him for "only my lips or no lips"? — Want My Husband's Lips for Myself
Dear Want: Personally, I agree with you and have always found it kind of creepy. But I have seen many people kiss their children like this, and I don't think it's seductive. Gestures mean different things to different people. To your husband, kissing on the lips is his sign of affection. To you, it's a boundary violation.
I would open the discussion with him in a new way. Perhaps the act itself is less meaningful than his resistance to granting your request. Does he resist your suggestions in general? Might he experience you as eager to weaken his relationship with his daughter? Is there guilt about divorcing the child's mother? Ask yourself why you feel so possessive of his lips and whether it is hard to share his affection. Frankly, I think this issue will subside when his daughter becomes an adolescent and becomes embarrassed by parental affection.
To Tweak or Not To Tweak, That Is the Question
Dear Margo: I am frustrated by the poor grammar used today by young and old. I recently began dating a wonderful man who has so many good qualities, yet his poor grammar bothers me. He refers to "her and I" and "me and Joe" instead of "she and I" and "Joe and I." Is there a gentle way that I can correct his grammar without offending him? Would you please provide a basic lesson to your readers with the hope that others will realize they are speaking incorrectly? Please remind your readers that a simple way to know whether it is correct or not is to remove the other person. "She went to the store," not "Her went to the store." "I went to the store," not "Me went to the store." Thank you. — English Is Our First Language.
Dear Eng: I hope this doesn't ruin your day, but I have been told by linguists that when a construction is used incorrectly often enough it becomes an acceptable part of the language. The "me and Joe" thing is no longer a no-no. Now ain't that a kick in the head? As for people realizing they are speaking incorrectly, that is unlikely to happen because people speak, well ... the way they speak. I do know that a lot of people use the "her and I" construction, but "her went to the store" I have trouble believing anyone would say.
As for your lovely man, only you would know how he would react to being corrected. You might tell him that it's a craziness of yours, but you're a stickler for grammar, and then teach him some of your tricks for parsing phrases. Do tread gingerly, though, because if he feels diminished, him and you will not be going to the store. — Margo, carefully
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