Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham

Just Behave


Just Behave: Don’t Fret the Cards

I’ve been married for almost two years, and my husband has children by his first marriage. I adore his girls, but I am completely baffled that he buys them cards for what seems like every occasion yet won’t even buy a card for me for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t know this until after we got married. Now, I feel he cares more about their feelings than mine. Should I feel slighted? —Cathy, Naples

Dear Cathy,
I say celebrate your husband for treasuring his daughters enough to send those cards. And maybe he wants to show them extra care because he feels a little guilty over the divorce. Does he take you to special dinners, treat you to gifts, show his love in other ways? If you’ve got his heart, why worry about his cards? Let him pay the postage for his girls as long as you’ve got his stamp of approval.

I recently bought new chairs for my balcony and mentioned to a neighbor that I was going to sell my used chairs and pillows. She expressed interest but wasn’t sure how they would look on her balcony. We agreed that she could take them and try them. It’s been two weeks and she has kept them without paying for them. Do I say something? Or should I take the high road and just let it go?—Frank, Naples

Dear Frank,
Appropriation here is not appropriate. I’m not sure what you mean by high road, but it seems as if it was a friendly business deal to me. Call your neighbor or text or stop by. Ask how the furniture is working out. If your neighbor plans on keeping it, simply say, “That’s great, and you can pay with check or cash.” This is not an event with free seats for all.

My boyfriend keeps hinting around that he’s ready to get married, but I’m not so sure yet. With Valentine’s Day approaching, I’m worried that he might get crazy and propose. I hate to squash his romantic vision, but I do not think I’d say “yes” at this time. Is it wrong for me to feel this way? Should I say something?—Cheryl, Fort Myers

Dear Cheryl,
Yes, Cheryl, this is a time to engage to avoid the wrong kind of engagement. Have an honest talk with him before Valentine’s Day. Be kind, but be honest. If you’re not ready to be engaged, then even all the red rose petals, bubbly Champagne and a bright, shiny diamond ring aren’t going to make it right. You may even get caught up in the moment and say “yes,” only to wake up in the morning and realize it was a big mistake. It’s harder walking back an engagement than having this conversation. May your Valentine’s Day have all the glam of sweets and flowers and none of the sparkle of diamonds.

Have a question for Suzanne? Email justbehave@gulfshorelife.com.