DEAR AMY: I have been married to the same wonderful man for 26 years. Unfortunately, he has a habit when he drinks his coffee in the morning of sucking the coffee in his mouth very loudly. He says it cools the coffee down and even though I have asked him not to do this he continues. It is very frustrating because sometimes we have the chance to sit quietly together in the morning and have our coffee but I usually have to get up and leave because the air sucking is so loud it grates on my nerves. Still, no matter how many times I have expressed how annoying the sound is, he won't stop.Is there anything I could say that might change his mind without making him get mad at me, which is what usually happens when I say something? Or is it just my problem and I should leave the room or put ear plugs in to share a cup of coffee with him?
DEAR SLURPED: I ran this question past my husband, who suggests that on one (special) morning, you should slurp your own coffee in order for your husband to experience what it is like for you.
My own solution is for you to say to him, "OK -- you know that this drives me crazy. So how about this: You choose one thing I do which drives you crazy. I will try very hard to stop doing that thing, if you will try hard to stop doing this thing." If your husband chooses "bugging me over how I slurp my coffee" as the one thing he wants you to stop doing, then you're out of luck. Then it's on to the ear plugs.
DEAR AMY: About four years ago, I met a great woman and we pretty much put the relationship pedal to the floor. After a couple of years, she was putting pressure on me to get married. At the time, I was also dealing with putting my mom into a nursing home. I was feeling overwhelmed and not ready to make that level of commitment. I ran into her recently. We talked for a bit, and I realized that I want to spend the rest of my life with her. I told her as much. She went back and forth on the idea a couple of times, but has said that she doesn't want to dive back into "us." I understand her reluctance. I told her my heart is open if she wants to talk. I don't know what else to do at this point. I love her and feel that she is the one.
DEAR HOPEFUL: No other experience or emotion will inspire personal bravery quite like the feeling of loving someone. Approaching this with honesty and an open heart is the perfect way to express how you feel.
I hope you two are able to eventually move toward each other. Give it time and respect her choice.
DEAR AMY: Responding to the letter from "Bowled Over by PC-ness," I have a 19-year-old son who has high-functioning autism and bipolar disorder. He is also a bowler who carries a 178 average, with a high score of 279! I was appalled by the attitude expressed by Bowled Over. My son has been mentored and championed by exceptionally kind and encouraging bowlers. I've never seen a sport where participants were more encouraging of one another than in bowling. I applaud the management's insistence that all are welcome, and agree that another bowling center might be a better fit for this "exclusive" league.
Denver Bowler Mom
DEAR MOM: I've received scores of responses (pardon the pun) from readers singing the praises of bowling, bowlers, and all of the generous and kind people who are willing (and happy) to share athletic experiences with those of various abilities.
I understood "Bowled Over's" frustration at being forced to open up his league, but I do hope that he and fellow members embrace the opportunity to do things differently. Judging from the responses to his letter, he'll be better off if he does.