DEAR ABBY: I am a male reader with a complaint. Have you noticed that women hardly ever compliment men? On ANYTHING! They expect men to compliment them but never reciprocate.
If you move furniture, take them out for a nice dinner, buy tickets to their favorite show, buy them a gift, they don't have enough manners or couth to say thank you or express appreciation. Getting a compliment is like pulling teeth from a great white shark while he's feeding.
Don't women ever think, "Maybe I should say something to HIM instead of expecting him to say it to me"? Where do they learn this behavior? Are they taught this growing up? Or do they just not care or even realize? — SHAKING MY HEAD IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR SHAKING: My late mother, God rest her soul, once commented to me that people with "class" never use that word. In this case, I will make an exception and tell you that individuals of both sexes who have class were taught from early childhood the magic words "please" and "thank you," and to express gratitude.
I don't know what kind of women you are involved with, but I'm suggesting it is time to upgrade the quality. Do not spoil anyone who isn't willing to spoil you right back.
DEAR ABBY: I've been going to the same poke joint for more than five years now. Several of the employees have worked there for years. I feel at this point, I should know their names, but they don't wear name tags, and I'm embarrassed to ask what their names are after so many years. They don't know mine either, but they know enough about me to ask how my son is doing or how my work is going.
I like calling people by their names, but I'm a little shy and awkward and don't know how to ask. Should I just keep our weekly exchanges at surface-level chitchat without worrying about what their names are? — FRIENDLY IN THE WEST
DEAR FRIENDLY: You can certainly do that. It has worked for you so far. However, if you would like to know the employees' names, just say that you are "terrible with names, and embarrassed to even have to ask after all this time, but what is your name? My name is (insert name)."
DEAR ABBY: I'm getting married next month, and I'm so nervous. What can I do to not be scared? — COLD FEET IN FLORIDA
DEAR COLD FEET: I wish you had been more forthcoming about what you are worried about. Is it the wedding ceremony and your wedding day? If that's the case, have faith that you and your fiance will make it through together because you WILL. Is it your wedding night? A talk with your doctor should allay your fears.
Is it that you are unsure about the person you are marrying? If that's the case, postpone the wedding and schedule premarital counseling for you and your intended. In some religions, the clergy recommend this type of counseling so issues like money and child-rearing can be discussed and not cause serious problems later.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in "The Anger in All of Us and How To Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)