Dear Abby: I'm a single mom in a serious relationship with a divorced man who has children of his own. Between us, we have seven, ranging in age from 7 to 17. I'm in my early 30s; he's in his early 50s.
My dilemma: I'm interested in having another child if we get married. He definitely isn't.
Is it unreasonable for me to want to add to this already large potential blended family? I love the idea of experiencing motherhood again with a little more experience and age under my belt, and I'd love to share that intimacy with him. While he likes the abstract possibility of "our" child, he says he feels too old now and he wouldn't be able to be the kind of father he would want to be.
If neither of us had kids of our own, this would be a deal-breaker for me, but how do I know if my maternal longings are just the last, painful tickings of my biological clock, or a real desire that I'll end up resenting him for if I ignore it and we stay together? – Is Seven Enough?
Dear Is Seven Enough?: Because your boyfriend is in his 50s and has made it clear that he isn't interested in becoming a father again, I think you should count your many blessings and consider that seven is a lucky number.
Dear Abby: My godmother passed away in January 2011. My godfather, "Jim," remarried last year. I am still mourning her loss and have not been able to get myself to call and speak to Jim, even though I did send him a congratulatory wedding card.
I love him. Jim is a wonderful, kind, attractive man. I knew it wouldn't be long before another woman would take an interest in him or he'd find love again. My siblings have tried to get me to make contact with him, but I'm still not ready to accept that he has moved on with another woman. Please advise me. – Can't Face It in California
Dear Can't Face It: I am sorry for your loss, and I'm sure your godmother will always live in your heart. However, if you love your godfather, you should be glad that he has been able to move forward in his life. That he was open to finding love again speaks volumes about the quality of the marriage he shared with your godmother.
Of course seeing Jim with someone else won't be easy for you, but it is sad that you would sacrifice the special relationship you have with him because you are reluctant to face reality. For both of your sakes, I hope you'll reconsider. If you do, you may find that you like the new lady in his life.
Dear Abby: Is it ever appropriate for a diner to lick his/her fingers in public, like when eating finger food or barbecue? It drives me nuts! I equate it to a cat cleaning itself.
When I try to get the person in question to use a napkin, I'm looked at as if I've lost my mind! At the very least, our hands are covered with germs, and who wants to stick them in their mouth? Yecch. – Grossed Out in Ohio
Dear Grossed Out: I think it depends upon the circumstances in which the food is being served. If someone is eating canapes at a cocktail party, licking the fingers is a no-no. And most barbecue joints provide moist towelettes to their patrons.
On the other hand, Col. Sanders used to call his fried chicken "finger lickin' good." At a picnic or informal gathering, it's purr-fectly acceptable to lick one's fingers, and I confess this tabby has probably done it, so I'm not going to cast aspersions.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.