Reader claims many obituaries are missing key information
DEAR ABBY: This may seem inconsequential, but there seems to be a growing trend of omitting a woman's maiden name in obituaries. As someone in my 70s, I read the obits more often, but I know I have missed opportunities to send condolences and offer childhood stories to family members of former playmates because I didn't know their married names. Often, parents are just mentioned as "deceased." It's as though the woman's life did not begin until she got married.
I have sent cards to many of the families of male classmates, but only to a handful of the females'. I realize that column space in newspapers is expensive but, surely, a name and perhaps even the mention of a high school wouldn't be a problem.
— MISSED CONDOLENCES
DEAR MISSED: If this is a "trend," it hasn't hit my local newspaper. The contents of obituaries are provided by the deceased's family unless the person is a celebrity -- in which case the article is written in advance by a reporter. If the maiden names of the women who died are missing, it is probably because they weren't mentioned by the grieving relatives.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a private duty nurse in my 50s and have two grown children. It's hard work. I have one big problem, which is very embarrassing. I used to work in a hospital and, because of the hectic work schedule, I had to eat fast. Our lunch break was only 30 minutes, and I had to stand in line to get my food. I never broke the habit.
I was eating at a restaurant recently and some people sitting across from me commented about it. The man said, "She eats like she's starving!" Now I feel insecure about going out to eat. Can you make a suggestion? I don't like takeout.
— FAST EATER IN TEXAS
DEAR FAST EATER: I do have one. When you take a bite of food, make a conscious effort to chew it 10 times. It will slow you down and it's better for your digestion. However, if you are unable to do that, then I suggest you stop listening to rude comments aimed in your direction by strangers.
P.S. Having a small snack an hour before mealtime may help you to eat more slowly because you won't be quite as hungry.
DEAR ABBY: Recently, family members have started texting to inform me about personal, private matters. When they do, I text back, which sometimes leads to lengthy paragraphs. I wish they'd just call me! I'm beginning to wonder if that's what they are avoiding. I should add that I am not feuding with my family. Am I wrong?
— PERPLEXED IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR PERPLEXED: No, you are not wrong. People have become so enamored of their electronic devices they seem to have forgotten that sometimes it's more efficient to just TALK to the other party. I know from personal experience that emailing and texting can take far more time than a spoken conversation.
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