DEAR AMY: I remarried about five years ago; my husband is wonderful. The only problem is that his hearing seems to get worse by the day. (He is 66 and I am 64.)
If he can't hear you, you are mumbling. The TV is loud because he likes it loud. His car radio is loud because classic rock must be played that way.
According to him, his kids all mumble. If we watch a movie or TV show and he doesn't hear something, it is either because they are mumbling or he "wasn't really paying attention."
Amy, I love this guy, but he won't get his hearing checked. He says a hearing aid will make him "look old." I'm afraid he wouldn't be able to hear me if I got hurt and called out for him.
I'm getting tired of shouting, repeating myself and begging him to get his hearing checked.
The hardest part is the isolation for him at family and social events when he clearly cannot follow conversations among the group.
How do I get him to help himself and get his hearing checked? — Screaming Meanie
DEAR MEANIE: If your husband seems to be losing his hearing rapidly, this could indicate a serious medical problem.
The longer he goes without having his hearing loss corrected, the more challenging it will be to recover his hearing, even with an aid. This is a health, social and safety issue for your husband (and for you).
Instead of begging him, you should challenge him: Ask him to write down each time he says "what?" or thinks someone is mumbling over the course of a week.
The self-collected data should demonstrate to him how much of his life he is losing due to a correctable problem.
Hearing aids are no longer the bulky implements we remember from our youth. He should be brave enough to give this a try.
DEAR AMY: How do you tell a fellow employee how to dress?
The receptionist in my office is probably in her late 40s-early 50s, but sometimes she dresses like she's in her 20s. Skirts can be too short, pants and tops can be too tight, too much cleavage can be shared, and her thong underwear is sometimes too obvious.
She has worn fishnet stockings and oftentimes looks like she's going on a date rather than coming to work.
Our office attire is fairly casual, and we don't have any strict dress code. She is married, so I'm not sure what her goal is, but the way she dresses is definitely more cute and sexy rather than professional.
I'd like to tell her to be careful about what she wears because I don't want people to think she's a "cougar." — Vexed in Virginia
DEAR VEXED: Unless this fellow employee reports to you (and you are her supervisor), there is no reason to tell her how to dress — unless she asks for your opinion. If your office has a casual dress atmosphere, her attire might be more or less in line with what's acceptable.
As far as being considered a "cougar" — is this still a thing? — this might be exactly the impression she wants to leave.
DEAR AMY: I'm responding to "Furious," who was angry that her mother-in-law gave her daughter a vibrator. You said that grandma was "not trustworthy," and asked the mother to have a sex talk with her daughter that was "open and nonpunitive."
Perhaps the reason that grandma got involved is because her religious and conservative daughter-in-law cannot communicate about sex with her daughter in a nonpunitive way. She said she "discovered" the vibrator, which probably means she was snooping through her daughter's stuff. No wonder grandma told her to keep it a secret.
Grandma may have seen a young girl in need of information and direction, and though I might agree that a vibrator is a pretty intimate thing to give to a young girl, grandma probably understood her granddaughter's feelings and needs. — A Clear-headed Liberal
DEAR CLEAR-HEADED: This is not a liberal versus conservative thing. This is about respecting boundaries within families. I maintain that this grandmother was a menace, no matter what her intentions.