Amy: Daughter, 45, is rushing to altar

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • October 29, 2012 - 3:22 PM

Dear Amy: Our daughter is 45. She has never been married or lived with a man. She has a conservative demeanor. One month ago, she met a divorced man her age. He has two adolescent daughters. They seem in an unreasonable haste to get married.

Our concerns are many. He is a laborer, and she is a gifted classical musician and has done well in her life. She owns her house free and clear. We worry about her having to bring up two girls of a broken home (the parents share custody).

We also worry about the difference in social standing between them (although we do respect any hardworking person). We advise her to look for a more compatible mate, but she will not listen.

What is your advice? What would be a reasonable time span for getting to know each other before deciding to marry?

Amy says: At 45, your daughter is old enough to make up her own mind about the life she wants to live -- and with whom she wants to live it. Love has no timetable, and sometimes the longer you wait to find love, the faster and more certainly it sweeps you up.

"Broken homes" are not always broken in the way you seem to think, and I give your daughter credit for being willing to take on the challenges of marriage and motherhood.

There is no real way to prepare for these challenges, other than to know your partner well. In this regard, your daughter probably needs more time, but when love hits, it can feel like a sure and instant "Yes!" A line from the great Nora Ephron about instant love resonates here: "At that moment, I knew. I knew the way you know about a good melon."

Your judgments about your daughter's situation are harsh; you would be wise to keep them to yourselves and instead spend your energy supporting her emotionally and hoping for her success.

Strict curfew

Dear Amy: I have my first homecoming coming up soon, and my parents and I disagree on the time I need to be home. The dance is over at 12, but they say I have to be home by 11.

I have said everything I know to try to change their minds -- including the fact that teachers are everywhere at this dance. I just wish they'd give me a rational reason for this restriction.

Do you have any advice on how to convince them to let me stay out later? Is it really that unreasonable to want to stay out until the dance ends?

I am going with a large group of friends who are planning on staying together at the dance, and I don't have a boyfriend for them to worry about.

Amy says: I agree with you that it is reasonable to stay at the dance until it ends, but I'm assuming you are in ninth grade and your folks want to be careful and prudent until they figure out how you handle these situations.

If they won't bend their rules, use this as an opportunity to prove to them how well you handle yourself. If things go well at this dance, they may change their restrictions in time for the winter semiformal.


B.O. at gym

Dear Amy: As a nonsmoking female, I have been "blessed" with an extraordinary sense of smell. While this may come in handy (for sniffing out gas leaks and such), it puts me at quite a disadvantage at the gym.

I understand that all gyms have members that reek of body odor, but what I don't understand is people who don't launder their workout clothes between workouts. When people sweat heavily in clothes that they've already sweated heavily in, the odor is unbearable. There is such an offender at my gym.

How does one go about dealing with this? Should I say something to him? I don't want to be rude, but his odor ruins my workout. My gym is one of those unattended, 24-hour types, so there is no one to complain to.

Amy says: A response that is quick, frank and nonodorous is called for, e.g.: "Hey pal, you want to give your workout clothes a spin in the washer tonight?"

I don't know if you are capable of this level of honesty (I probably would not be). If not, I suggest you practice avoidance and hope that someone else who is bolder does the deed. I'll happily run nonstinky suggestions from other readers.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at

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