DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing the same dentist for a number of years and have always been satisfied with his work. He has recently begun to talk politics while he works on my teeth. While I feel he's entitled to his opinions, I don't think I should have to listen while his hand is in my mouth. He doesn't realize it, but I am very politically active with the other party.
Abby, his politicizing grates on my nerves and raises my blood pressure, but I don't know how to tell him that I find his comments to be unprofessional. If I change dentists, I could possibly encounter the same problem, especially in this area of the country.
Should I discuss it with him and hope he doesn't start withholding anesthetic or charging extra out of spite? I'm not sure how to handle this because I have dental issues and need a good dentist who will see me when I need him. Help! -- OPEN WIDE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR OPEN WIDE: It shouldn't be necessary to reveal your political affiliation to your dentist. All you have to say is that there are some subjects that you find stressful, and among them are current events, so he should please refrain from bringing them up while you're in his chair because it upsets you and raises your blood pressure.
P.S. If you feel you need more novocaine, ASK for some.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I -- as well as our close friends -- are having a disagreement and would like your expert advice. There is a nice man who is blind and who frequently sells brooms and other objects in our neighborhood. Other people who have their own disabilities do the same.
I find myself making kindhearted donations to these individuals and declining to take their goods. My husband thinks we should accept the goods so we are not making a "pity" donation. I have the best intentions. Please clarify this for us, once and for all. -- BEST INTENTIONS IN INDIANA
DEAR BEST INTENTIONS: I'm not sure I agree with your husband. If you have already purchased what the man is selling and don't need to replace it, but would like to make a donation, I see no reason to take anything you won't use. Give the person a small donation, wish him a good day and keep your closets clutter-free. Sometimes less is more.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married three times. My first two husbands were unfaithful and the third was bipolar. I have finally found the man of my dreams and we recently became engaged. There is just one small problem. He has two house dogs he loves dearly and doesn't want to part with, and I refuse to have dogs in my house. Our marriage is on hold because of this. What should I do? -- STICKLER IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR STICKLER: If you are unable to share this man with his house pets, then realize that although he may be the man of your dreams, you are not the woman for him, and let him go.
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.
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