Dear Abby: I am a senior citizen and an above-the-knee amputee. I wear a full-leg prosthesis and use crutches. I love being out and about, going to theaters, restaurants, outdoor markets, etc. How should I respond to the many people who ask me what happened? Did I break my ankle, have knee surgery or what? I know telling them the truth would embarrass them. Abby, please ask your readers to think twice before asking a stranger such a personal question.
– Amputee in New Jersey
Dear Amputee: OK, I’ll try. Readers, I have advised many times that you not ask strangers personal questions, and this is yet another example. Now that I have repeated that advice, I’ll offer some to you: Please do not worry about embarrassing the questioner. Feel free to tell the truth if you wish. It might teach the person a needed lesson when he or she gets more information than was bargained for. However, if you don’t want to divulge, all you have to say is, “That’s very personal, and I’d prefer not to discuss it.”
‘Perfect’ – but too tall
Dear Abby: I met a woman who seems to be everything I have been looking for. We have similar interests and share many of the same goals. My problem is I’m only 5 foot 9 and she’s 6 feet tall. Am I foolish for feeling like less of a man when in her company? What will people think?
– Not So Tall in New Jersey
Dear Not So Tall: If you would allow a 3-inch difference in height to keep you from pursuing a woman who “seems to be everything you’re looking for,” then you ARE foolish. Being taller than a woman doesn’t make a man more manly. What makes a man manly is his level of self-confidence, which you appear to lack. Until you understand and accept that what other people think is THEIR problem, I’m not sure you’ll find the happiness you’re looking for.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.