Dear Amy, I am 64 years old and retired. My husband is 62 years old and has his own home-based business.
He said he was going to retire, but now he says he’s only going to work part time so we have extra money “to play with.”
We are moving to an extremely small town, which has very few opportunities for entertainment. It involves more than two hours of driving to obtain all but the most basic medical care.
Most of the women here grew up with their friends and are not welcoming.
There is also snow on the ground for six months of the year, and I have physical problems that make it difficult and risky for me to walk in the snow.
My husband is happy here. He has friends through his work and doesn’t really mind spending time with people.
He’s an outdoorsy guy. All I do is watch TV with him or wait until he’s not working.
I want to move to a place where I have more options for friendship and entertainment, but he refuses to move.
He doesn’t like to travel, and I’m afraid that the rest of my life will be spent living in this fishbowl where I can only look outside and be alone.
He rejects the idea of looking for another place and gets angry when I mention it.
What should I do now?
– Wife caught
Dear Caught, Your husband’s “game fund” seems to apply only to him. There doesn’t seem to be much gambling in your life.
I suppose you have done your best to participate in the social life of your cold home. Joining reading groups, volunteering at the library, or getting a part-time job would help you stay engaged and active.
you are unhappy You are cold. Your health is at risk. You have not adjusted to life in this place.
During the rest of this winter, you can spend time researching options. Do you have friends or family who live in nicer places? If so, you should look for alternative places to stay at least through the worst of winter. You may be able to rent or share a room in an affordable area.
My general point is that you obviously feel trapped, but maybe you shouldn’t look to your husband for solutions.
Dear Amy, Some old friends and I hadn’t seen each other in years and recently got together for a few days to reconnect.
While at a restaurant for lunch, a friend discreetly paid the bill.
Upon learning that the bill had been paid, “Alice” openly rejected this kind gesture, asking the waitress, “Can you reverse the payment?”
I said quietly, “Alice, just say thanks. It’s what you have to do gracefully.”
Alice got upset and asked out loud, “Did you just tell me what to do?” – drawing the attention of the rest of our table.
He made a face at me, gave me “his hand,” and turned to the waitress, saying, “Don’t you hate it when other people tell you what to do?”
The waitress stood there uncomfortably. I didn’t say anything, but she puzzled me.
Now that we’re all back home, I wanted to follow up with Alice and figure this out, but both my sister, my husband, and another friend who was there all advised me to leave it at that.
Unfortunately, I’m still thinking about it.
During this awkward moment, did I behave inappropriately?
Maybe I should have shut up and let things play out between Alice, the friend who paid the bill, and the waitress?
How could you best handle this type of situation, should it happen again?
– I lost my lunch
Dear Lost: Considering how this episode played out, I’m assuming you wish you had kept quiet, and yet you did nothing wrong. You offered a friend your kind comments (by the way, I agree with you) and she aggressively and publicly shut you down.
I’m not sure why you’d want to contact “Alice” to resolve this, other than to apologize for being harsh, which you probably wouldn’t receive.
Dear Amy, I still resent the letter from “Anonymous,” a self-described “boy-man” who wants no children, pets, home, or any adult responsibilities.
I wonder who he thinks will take care of him when he needs it.
Dear Adults, Caring for the elderly is not the only reason to have children, but if you raise them well, children can certainly be useful.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @asking either Facebook.)