DEAR ABBY: I am from a large family all teetotalers and non-smokers. We all get together for reunions and celebrations, and alcohol is never a part of it.
Our daughter is engaged to a young man who also has a large family here in town. Most of them drink and smoke. (The women even drink beer straight from the can!)Our daughter and her fiance plan to be married this summer. We knew they wanted a home wedding here in our home, and we were planning the reception (no alcohol); we have lots of room and were looking forward to it. But recently, they casually mentioned that they would like to have everything at his parents' home. I know what the reception would be like - lots of drinking and smoking.
Abby, if they insist on doing this, I don't think I could bring my family - especially my elderly parents - who would be horrified at a reception of this kind.
If I don't invite my parents, they will be very hurt. Do you have any suggestions on how to get through this and keep everybody happy? - IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: There is no way you can mix non-smoking teetotalers with smokers and drinkers and "keep everybody happy."
Whoever hosts the celebration has the privilege of doing it THEIR way. You could compromise by having a smokeless, non-alcohol wedding at your home, followed by a reception at the home of the groom's parents, where there will be no restrictions.
DEAR ABBY: I am married, but I am very much in love with a man who is 20 years older and also married. I believe he cares very deeply for me. Neither of us has any intention of divorcing our spouse. We are extremely close, share intimate moments when we meet, speak to each other two or three times a day, but we do not sleep together.
When we meet clandestinely we hug, talk, hold hands and kiss passionately. We respect each other deeply and have a very unique relationship. My question: Can two people who do not have sex with each other be considered to be having an affair? We are physically attracted to each other, but for a host of reasons, we do not have sex together.
I think we are having an affair, and he thinks we are not. Is there such a thing as an "emotional" affair? When two people are having an affair, is sex always involved? - "GLADYS"
DEAR "GLADYS": You are emotionally bonded. And since you care deeply for each other and express that caring in physical ways - holding hands, hugging, kissing, even though you have never slept together, but meet to carry on clandestinely - I would say you are "having an affair."
DEAR ABBY: I have been reading your column for years. Some of the letters you get sound so far out, I wonder if people make them up just to see them in print. How can you tell if a letter is real or fake? - CAMDEN, N.J., FAN
DEAR FAN: Fake letters usually sound like soap operas with verbatim accounts of conversations, and the writer goes on and on - "creative writing" isn't hard to spot. A name and address is never given, and the writer NEVER says, "Please don't print this."