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Ask Amy: Randy widower worries daughter

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • March 17, 2014 - 2:56 PM

Dear Amy: I’m concerned my widower father is turning into a slut. My mother passed away seven years ago, and then my father had the unfortunate luck of having a girlfriend who succumbed to cancer a few years later.

I understand that he’s lonely and needs affection that only a female companion would give, but he’s currently courting three women, none of whom knows about the others.

I know it is none of my business, but I am frightened these women he met online who so easily jump into bed with him will leave him with an STD.

I’ve heard that the spread of STDs is actually more prevalent among the older generation these days. What would you suggest I do to convince him that these trysts may be more than he bargained for, without overstepping boundaries?

He’s quite headstrong and rarely listens to me.

Amy says: I shared your question with a spokesperson for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who responded: “While CDC continues to find that STDs disproportionately affect younger people in the U.S., it is important to understand that many older Americans face unique prevention challenges (e.g., discomfort in discussing sexual behaviors with physicians and partners and discomfort discussing condom use). It is also important for physicians to assess older patients’ risk.”

Older men may not have gotten the memo about wearing a condom. In their randy youth, condoms were used for birth control; now they are vital disease control devices. Your father could become infected and/or infect his partners.

On to his sluttiness. There is not much you can (or should) do about his choice to sleep around. The women he is seeing may also be mutually consenting (slutty) elders, and while this prospect isn’t quite what you want for your dear dad — you may have to accept it and only remind him to speak to his doctor about his risks.

Sexual promiscuity can be a sign of depression, however. If you feel he is out of control, you must do your best to urge him toward a mental health evaluation.

Needled by gift

Dear Amy: I have been a creative needleworker all my adult life. I have earned a fair amount of income selling to others.

Recently a new member of our church who is also a needleworker (and also sells her work) gave me one of her pieces as a thank you for something I’d done for her.

It is beautifully made and I’m sure would sell for a substantial amount of money, and I greatly appreciated the gesture.

However, it is absolutely nothing I would ever wear, so I did something awful: I removed some embellishments and now I like it a lot better.

I don’t know what to do besides not wearing it to church functions (which may prompt her to ask why I am not). What if I do wear it somewhere else someday and unexpectedly run into her?

It was so sweet (and quite unnecessary) of her to do this, and I don’t want to diminish her generosity of spirit, but what can I say to her without ruining a nice relationship?

Amy says: Because you are an expert needleworker, you are in a unique position to understand the impact of your choice on your friend’s creative ego. If someone altered one of your pieces, how would you feel?

Sometimes the best way to handle a sticky situation is to admit the truth and throw yourself on the mercy of the court: “I am so touched and grateful for your generosity! I absolutely love the sweater. But I also have a confession to make: I removed some embellishments, and I hope that’s OK with you.”

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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