Phone calls made on the run offend friend on the other end

DEAR ABBY: May I say something about people who call “friends” or others they haven’t talked to recently while they’re driving to an appointment or other errand, only to abruptly end the conversation when the destination is reached? Two people have done this to me recently. One was an old friend I hadn’t seen in 13 years. As soon as the destination was reached, I heard an abrupt, “Well, I’m here … talk to ya later!” Click!

I think it’s incredibly rude. It’s as if the recipient of the call is merely an afterthought to alleviate boredom while driving. No matter what the recipient feels or wants to say, the conversation is ended.

To be clear: I do not have a reputation of talking too much or extending phone conversations. Talkativeness on my part was not a reason for this behavior. I feel if someone wants to talk to me and respects me as an individual, the conversation should be a MUTUAL interaction — not something crammed into the caller’s schedule. I’d rather the person not call than treat me like a second-class citizen. — WANTING TO CATCH UP

DEAR WANTING: My mother used to complain to me about the same thing when another relative did it with her. (“I’m home now, gotta go!”) I don’t think people who do this mean to be rude; they may simply be overscheduled. However, I agree that it’s insensitive and, because it bothered you, I hope you made your feelings known. I’m glad you wrote because it happens often, I suspect, and not just to you.

DEAR ABBY: Life hasn’t been easy for me. I taught in inner-city schools for 35 years and lost three life partners who were addicted to alcohol and drugs before they died of AIDS. Out of necessity, I had to carry on with my professional life while struggling with my unfortunate personal life.

I’m happily retired now and living a wonderful life in Palm Springs, California. But sometimes I find myself starting to dwell on unhappy memories from my past. When it happens, I have found an effective coping method. It came from a simple mantra a former student of mine posted online: “There’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so large. It’s because where you’re headed is much more important than where you’ve been.”

Now, when a sad memory comes to mind, I say to myself, “big windshield; small rearview mirror,” let go of the unwanted thought and move on. This has been beneficial for my well-being, and I hope it will be for others. — DESERT JACK

DEAR JACK: I’m glad you shared this. Clinging to loss and sadness isn’t healthy for anyone. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to keep the past behind us rather than let it clutter up our present. Thank you for sharing your coping method. I, too, hope it will help readers.

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DEAR ABBY: For the past 2 1/2 years, my deceased father’s friend and accountant has been working on winding up his estate. The bulk of the estate has been disbursed, and it should be clearing sometime soon.

He has refused to take any compensation from the estate for executor’s fees. I have told him by email and in person that Dad would want him to be paid for his work, but he refuses to take any payment and insists he wants this to be the last thing he does for my father.

I feel a thank-you gift would be appropriate, but I’m stumped about what to get him. Although I saw him and his family several times in my childhood, I haven’t seen him in decades, so I have no idea what hobbies or restaurants he enjoys. I’m guessing his age to be in his late 80s to early 90s, and his wife is still alive. I’m pretty sure people in that age group don’t need any more “stuff” for their house, and I know they’re financially comfortable.

I have thought about flowers or a gift basket, but the small amount they cost would pale against what he would have been entitled to had he taken his executor’s fee. Do you have any suggestions on how I can express my thanks for everything he’s done? — THANK YOU, IN CANADA

DEAR THANK YOU: Because he is refusing monetary compensation, I suggest you write him a letter. In it, express how much you appreciate the hard work he has done and the kindness he has shown to your family. Tell him you know what a good friend he was to your father and how much your dad trusted and respected him. Then say thank you, and if he and his wife live close enough, offer to take them to dinner and thank him again in person.

DEAR ABBY: I had a miscarriage two years ago. My ex wasn’t emotionally supportive during our grieving process (I understand everyone deals with loss differently). However, suffice it to say, our journeys no longer aligned.

I started dating again a few months ago and now realize I have built up an emotional wall. Also, I’m never sure when — or if — I should bring up my miscarriage. I’m 28 and have a master’s degree, and I would like to try again with the right man, the right way (after marriage). How do I start? — DO-OVER IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR DO-OVER: I presume, having lost a baby you wanted and having to face the reality that your ex wasn’t the supportive person you thought he was, that you are having trust issues. The time to resolve them is before you start looking for another life partner. Some sessions with a psychologist would help.

Once you feel it’s safe to open your heart to someone again, wait until you know where the relationship is going before discussing this chapter of your life. The right man will understand, love you and give you the emotional support you need.

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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are happily married, but have one serious problem. Our sleeping habits are incompatible. I am an extremely light sleeper; he is a horrendous snorer.

He sees a snoring specialist and tried several medical treatments, none of which worked. The only solution is a minor surgical procedure. He doesn’t want to have the surgery. He insists he “sleeps fine,” and says I’m the one with the problem.

I have tried earplugs, white noise machines, sleep medications and more, but I cannot get a decent sleep with the obnoxious snoring. He stays up much later than I do, and I enjoy sleeping in our master bedroom until he comes to bed. I usually get driven out of the room by the noise.

We agree we don’t want to sleep in separate rooms and lose the intimacy, but it’s the only option for me to sleep well. Neither of us wants to give up the master bedroom because it’s the only one with an attached bathroom.

Am I wrong for asking him to have surgery so we can share a bed? And if he won’t, who should get the master bedroom? — SLEEPLESS IN LOUISIANA

DEAR SLEEPLESS: Let’s be honest. By now your husband knows full well he doesn’t “sleep fine.” The reason for his reluctance is fear of the surgery. It wasn’t wrong of you to ask, and out of consideration for you and the intimacy in your marriage he shouldn’t have refused.

However, because he insists on coming into the master bedroom, which he knows wakes you, for the sake of your health, take the other bedroom. Understand, the “intimacy bed” does not always have to be the “sleeping bed.” Good sleep quality is necessary for us to function properly.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 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.