Dear Abby: Last Sunday was my wife's birthday, her first since our marriage in April. I didn't forget it, but the situation is as bad as if I had.
About a month earlier, "Beverly" told me that she would like to spend her first birthday as my wife alone with me. She didn't want anything spectacular - just the day with me and maybe a nice dinner.Abby, it completely slipped my mind! I took the initiative and, being a thoughtful husband (I thought), made arrangements to take Beverly to her parents' house for the day. Well, her mood seemed to dim as the day wore on. When she finally told me what was bothering her, I felt terrible. She said I paid no attention to her request.
I would love to take back that one day and start it all over the right way, but I can't. What can I do to make it better now?
- Guilty in Wilmington, Del.
Dear Guilty: Spend the day alone with her and then treat her to a nice dinner. Apologize for the fact that her birthday celebration is late, and promise that from now on, you'll listen more carefully when she tells you what she wants. Then, for heaven's sake, DO it!
Dear Abby: I know that certain items are supposed to be given on specific wedding anniversaries, but I'm not sure what they are. My mother says she used to have a list, but she thought it had changed and she threw it away. Can you help?
- S. Maloney, West Orange, N.J.
Dear S. Maloney: Your mother is correct. I checked "The Amy Vanderbilt Complete Book of Etiquette," entirely rewritten and updated, and found that the list has been revised over the years. This is a current one:
For the first anniversary, clocks; second, china; third, crystal, glass; fourth, electrical appliances; fifth, silverware; sixth, wood; seventh, desk sets, pen and pencil sets; eighth, linen, lace; ninth, leather; 10th, diamond jewelry; 15th, watches; 20th, platinum; 25th, sterling silver; 30th, diamond; 35th, jade; 40th, ruby; 45th, sapphire; 50th, gold; 55th, emerald; 60th, diamond.
Dear Abby: Many of the letters in your column have interested me, but the one from "Mom in Denver" really caught my attention.
The best advice I can offer her is to show respect for her children, and they will respect her in return. Children are just little people with feelings. No one wants to be told "Shut up" or "Because I said so."
Respect your children enough to explain what they are doing wrong.
- Good Mom in Milwaukee
Universal Press Syndicate
All of the Dear Abby columns for the past several years are available online. Search for "DEAR ABBY" in the Lifestyle section and the Deseret News archives.