DEAR ABBY: I have dated a lot of women over the years -- including actresses, beauty contest winners and models. Every one of them, except my current live-in, "Amanda," would dress up in lingerie when I asked them to.
Amanda adamantly refuses. She says if I love her, I should be turned on whether she's nude or wearing lingerie. Part of the problem is she's not in the best shape, and the lingerie would hide that.
I have tried bargaining with her, but she won't agree. She doesn't understand why I'm not chasing her around all the time. I have tried to explain that I don't find a tummy sexy. She just calls me Shallow Hal. Advice? -- HAL IN NEW YORK
DEAR HAL: I'd love to know what attracted you to Amanda in the first place, since your "type" seems to have always been women who are arm candy. Sadly, taut bodies don't always last. At some point, age, pregnancies and the pull of gravity can cause them to sag. By the way, with the exception of pregnancy, this can affect men as well as women.
Bottom line: If physical perfection is what you need to feel aroused, then you and Amanda may be a mismatch because NOBODY'S perfect. (And this includes you.)
DEAR ABBY: I have started using an effective coping skill when I get upset about something or someone at work. I "vent" in a personal email to myself and send it to my home email address.
Well, today I got upset with my office buddy, so I sent myself an email. But instead of it going to my home, I mistakenly sent it to her and it hurt her feelings. I never meant for her or anyone else to read it. The technique keeps me from staying angry at work. As soon as I realized what I had done, I sent her an apology and we talked about it afterward.
I feel terrible about hurting her, because she is a sweet person, and it was a complete misunderstanding on my part. She told me she accepted my apology. What else can I do for her, or should I just learn my lesson? -- FLUBBED IT IN FLORIDA
DEAR FLUBBED: I think your apology was enough. However, because it hasn't assuaged your guilt, consider asking if you can treat her to lunch. And in the future, look twice before hitting "send." Better yet, go "old school" and write your thoughts in a notebook you keep in your purse.
DEAR ABBY: I am scheduled to attend a wedding later this month. Well, I just found out the groom's uncle is not a real minister, and that he purchased his minister's license online.
I think it is very disrespectful to people who take religion seriously, and to real ministers who spend years studying in order to be ordained. There's nothing wrong with having a judge preside over the ceremony, but to have a fake minister preside makes the whole ceremony a fraud.
If I say anything, I know it will cause hurt feelings, so I'm keeping my mouth shut. Am I an old fuddy-duddy? -- SILENT IN SPRINGFIELD, ILL.
DEAR SILENT: You are entitled to your feelings, but if this uncle is the person the happy couple wants to officiate, you shouldn't judge. If their choice makes you uncomfortable, stay home.
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.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)