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Wife takes over whole home with remote work

DEAR ABBY: My wife works from home, and we are having a disagreement about the home workspace. She says I interrupt her too much and shouldn’t talk to her so often. While I agree with that, I don’t agree with her roaming around the house with her laptop while she’s in meetings. If I turn on the TV, listen to music or talk on the phone, she gets upset.

I have been digging my heels in saying I’m entitled to enjoy my own home and she should either stay in her home office or go to a coffee shop. To me, what she’s doing is like taking your laptop into the work break room and telling people to be quiet because she’s in a meeting.

I know her job is stressful and she gets anxious, so now I’m torn. Am I unrealistic to expect her not to make our entire house her office? — WALKING ON EGGSHELLS

DEAR WALKING: People create home offices for a reason. It’s a dedicated, organized place to work. Your wife should not be “roaming the house” with her laptop and insisting you maintain complete silence. Ideally, some physical boundaries should be set that equitably divide the house between her “office” and the “rest of the house.”

Another suggestion might be for you to find some activity away from your home a couple of mornings or afternoons a week — a part-time job, a sport or volunteering — while she’s busy in meetings. This might provide you with more social contact. The two of you should have a (calm) discussion and see what works for you.

DEAR ABBY: I got engaged a while back. In the midst of wedding planning, the question of who will walk me down the aisle has come up. My fiance despises my father (he’s witnessed the damage my dad has done to me), but I forgave Dad and feel neutral about his presence. My mom has voiced — begged, actually — that I allow her and Dad to give me away since she didn’t have either parent there for her wedding.

I don’t have an opinion on the subject. My mom for sentimental reasons does. But my future husband can’t bear the sight of my dad. This is causing me so much anxiety, I have thought about calling the whole thing off on more than one occasion.

If I oblige my mom, my fiance will be unhappy (to say the least), and if I oblige my fiance, I’ll break Mom’s heart. I can find no middle ground here and feel as if I lose on both sides. Any advice on how to proceed? — TORN BRIDE-TO-BE

DEAR TORN: This is your and your fiance’s wedding. It should not be influenced by your mother’s history. I do have a suggestion: Rather than make yourself sick with anxiety, walk YOURSELF down the aisle. Many modern brides do it these days. Your mother could give a reading or sit with your father in the front row and cheer you on. Who escorts you down the aisle should not be decided by her.

P.S. Have you thought about how your fiance’s antipathy for your father may affect your marriage? What’s happening now isn’t conducive to a happy marriage. Before you step foot on that trip down the aisle, it needs to be resolved. Family counseling might help the four of you, because once you tie the knot, your fiance will be part of the family.

DEAR ABBY: Should aging parents have to pay their children to take them to appointments or elsewhere? — WONDERING PARENT

DEAR WONDERING PARENT: I’m guessing you and your spouse did plenty of “chauffeuring” before your children had driver’s licenses. The “child” who suggested it should be ashamed of themself.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


Baseball Hall of Famer Whitey Herzog is 90. Actor Robert David Hall (“CSI”) is 73. Bodybuilder-actor Lou Ferrigno (“The Incredible Hulk”) is 70. Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is 62. Rapper Pepa (Salt-N-Pepa) is 57. Rapper Scarface (Geto Boys) is 51. Blues singer Susan Tedeschi is 51. Actor Eric Dane (“Grey’s Anatomy”) is 49. Singer Nick Lachey (98 Degrees) is 48. R&B singer Sisqo (Dru Hill) is 43. Country singer Chris Lane is 37. Actress Nikki Blonsky (“Hairspray”) is 33. Actress-model Analeigh Tipton is 33.


Establish what you want to accomplish. An organized approach to life, love and financial matters will alleviate stress. Look for unique pastimes that will stimulate you mentally and physically and promote contentment and confidence. A passionate, inquisitive mind will bring about positive change.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — It’s OK to mull over options, but you must take action as well. Do your research and move forward with your plans, and you’ll leave a lasting impression on people.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — Trust your instincts, not what someone leads you to believe. Focus on what’s important to you and where you can gain the most ground financially. Be direct and leave no room for error.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Seize the moment and take care of business. Gain experience and knowledge through observation and discussions with experts. Develop your style by implementing the best of what you encounter.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Through adversity comes strength of vision and an enriched sense of what you are capable of accomplishing. Stand tall and do your own thing, and you’ll discover what works best for you.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Be careful how you handle money matters and joint ventures. Make your voice heard and stay in the loop. Don’t leave money and essential decisions in someone else’s hands. Make important changes.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Do what’s necessary, then get on with life. Finishing what you start will be a relief and lift a burden that’s been weighing you down. Alter your lifestyle to encourage a healthy and happy future.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Promote what you have to offer instead of dwelling on what you can’t do. Be the first to make a move, change your direction or incorporate something new and exciting into the mix.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — Look at the good, the bad and how to find the middle ground when dealing with peers, relatives and anyone in a position of authority. Knowing who you are dealing with will be your ticket to success.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Get involved in something that concerns you or will help you get ahead. Raise your qualifications and eliminate any knowledge-based restrictions that are holding you back.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Refuse to let change cause stress. Analyze the situation and get an expert opinion. Aim to stabilize and secure your position, life and relationships.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — You have everything in place; don’t procrastinate or hold up progress in pursuit of perfection. Striking a balance between quantity and quality will lead to success.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Keeping the peace is essential if you want to finish what you start. A steady pace forward with an optimistic attitude will help surmount any obstacles you encounter.


By Chuck Sheppard

Sprinklegate: Don’t mess with a man’s sprinkles. The owner of a U.K. bakery went viral for ranting about regulations that are cutting into his bread and butter — or rather his cake and frosting. Rich Myers, 32, of Leeds, can no longer sell his most popular items because they featured “illegal sprinkles” imported from the United States. The sprinkles contained an additive called E127, which has been linked to “hyperactivity disorders and tumors in rats,” reports the Mirror. An anonymous customer tipped off West Yorkshire Trading Standards, the local regulatory agency, about the infraction. Myers swears he won’t switch to the approved sprinkles from his home country, claiming they don’t hold their colors during the baking process. “If I can’t use (the imported sprinkles), I won’t use any,” he said. “I will be on sprinkle strike and won’t budge for no man.” The contraband goodies aren’t exactly hard to come by, he added: “We buy them from a shop in London, so it’s not like we’re getting them from a cocaine haulage in Mexico.”

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