DEAR AMY: My husband and I have been arguing about this for the past year. I picked out my engagement ring and wedding band before my husband ever asked me to marry him. I love my rings and there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. While my mom was going through cancer treatments she gave me her wedding set (the diamond is a very old family diamond). I asked my husband if we could get the diamond put into a new setting and wear the new ring with my original wedding band instead of my engagement ring. I was honored that my mom entrusted me with her wedding set (since my parents are still married) and since the diamond is a family diamond I would love to be able to wear it instead of hiding it away in a jewelry box. I believe that by still wearing my wedding band with the new ring it is a good compromise. I'll be wearing what my husband put on my finger when we got married as well as wearing an old family stone. My husband thinks that because I asked to do this that I don't like my rings anymore or that they don't mean anything to me.
DEAR RINGED: Your engagement ring belongs to you. It was a gift from your husband and now it is yours. Unlike wedding bands, the engagement ring symbolizes a question ("Will you marry me?") that has already been answered and a promise fulfilled.
Many women choose not to wear their engagement rings every day post-marriage. But rather than scrap this ring entirely, is there a way to incorporate your family stone and your engagement stone into a new setting where both stones are present? Whatever you decide, this should not be a test of your relationship. Offer him lots of reassurance instead of arguing about it.
DEAR AMY: I have a close friend approaching the end of his life. He has no family and has a conservator who is responsible for all health care and financial issues. Since he had nothing to look forward to during the holidays, I used to have him come to my family's home. Even after he was sent to a facility to live he would sometimes say he wanted to go "home" (my house). From what he told me, he wants to be cremated. The thought has crossed my mind that perhaps I should have his cremains to keep at my home. What is your opinion regarding my contacting his conservator with that request?
DEAR GARY: Definitely contact the conservator. There may be other claims or family members you are simply not aware of. Your friend might have made other plans for his body and his final resting place. But this seems like a kind gesture on your part, and I hope it works out.
DEAR AMY: I think you missed the boat on your answer to "Disappointed Mom," the mother who was disappointed in her adult son. When I read her description of him -- brilliant, early reader, single-subject fascination, high social anxiety, no romantic relationships, dropped out of college, "menial" job, seemingly no ambition -- she could have been describing my adult son, who has Asperger's Syndrome (high-functioning autism). With marked deficiencies in social intelligence and executive functioning, "Aspies" find navigating social norms so exhausting they often withdraw as a defense mechanism. Instead of supporting him to live his life the best way he can, Mom has become one more anxiety source to be tuned out. Has he ever had a behavioral assessment? Did he have an IEP and accommodations in school? Has he ever been taught positive coping skills? Help your son, mom, don't harass him! Learn about Asperger's Syndrome and you may figure him -- and yourself -- out. My son is a brilliant courtesy clerk at a Safeway store in Fort Collins, Colorado -- and I couldn't be more proud.
DEAR DAD: Other Aspie parents wrote in with recognition to weigh in on this letter, but you did the best job of describing Asperger's and offering a helpful and positive solution. Thank you.