Family can’t stomach dad’s kitchen creations

Published 8:32 am Tuesday, October 24, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: My husband loves cooking for the family. Unfortunately, he’s a horrible cook. My kids hate what he prepares, so most of the food goes in the trash.
I have had many conversations with him about this, begging him not to do it and telling him if he wants to cook, he should make something for himself. His reply is always, “I’m not forcing you guys to eat my food. You are welcome to eat something else.” But when we do that, he sulks and ruins everyone’s day, so we end up giving in. I don’t know how to get through to him about this. – TASTES BAD IN THE EAST

DEAR TASTES BAD: You can talk till you’re blue in the face, and your husband still won’t get the message because he doesn’t want to hear it. He doesn’t CARE about the waste.
Of course, you and the kids could explain EXACTLY what you don’t like about what he has prepared, and offer suggestions about the seasoning, etc., which might help him. And perhaps you could all cook together from time to time.
In the future, when your children achieve independence and the family gathers, each family member may want to bring their food with them. However, while they live under your roof, they’ll have to accept what their father insists on giving them.
DEAR ABBY: My son is getting married in Mexico in six months. I would like to take a special friend with me as my plus-one. My wife has dementia. It is quite severe, and she has been in a care facility for two years. She no longer recognizes anyone, including me. Would it be wrong to take my lady friend to Mexico? We haven’t been intimate yet, but romance at the beach in Mexico is very possible. What do I do? – UNCERTAIN IN IOWA

DEAR UNCERTAIN: Your son’s wedding is not the time to “surprise” anyone with this lady’s presence. Depending upon how large your family is and how close you all are, some people may already be aware that you’re involved with someone and why. But ask your son and his fiancee if bringing her would be disruptive, and gracefully base your decision on their response. A wedding is supposed to be about the bride and groom on their special day with no distractions.
DEAR ABBY: I heard my old high school boyfriend was arrested. It made the news. I hadn’t seen or heard from him in more than a decade. While I’m relieved that I dodged a bullet (I am happily married to someone else now), I feel terrible for his mom. We are still friends on social media and keep up with each other. Should I reach out to her in what must be a humiliating and concerning time, or should I keep to myself? – HESITANT IN TEXAS

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DEAR HESITANT: Because you and this woman have a relationship that extended beyond the one between you and her son, by all means reach out. Tell her you heard what happened, and that you care about her and want to be supportive. She may or may not contact you, but she’ll know you care about her. Knowing someone cares could make all the difference for her.
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $16 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)