New American Wants to Get Customs Right
DEAR ABBY: I went through a divorce recently and have already found a woman I love. I have children — three boys and a daughter — I love very much. I’m currently paying child support to my ex for my 15-year-old daughter. The boys are grown and on their own.
I’m a first-generation American from Latin America, and I have a question regarding holding hands with my daughter in public. I spoke with my mother about it and she told me she hugged, kissed (pecks on the cheek) and held hands with her father until the time she moved away from home. My significant other says holding hands with my daughter is not appropriate in public.
As a father, I want my daughter to feel she can hold my hand if she’s inclined. I will not discourage her because I love her. I understand that one day she may no longer want to do that, and I would accept her wish. Because I live in the United States, I need to know if the custom of daughters showing affection for their fathers is acceptable here in the U.S. — DIVORCED DAD IN COLUMBUS
DEAR DIVORCED DAD: I’m glad you asked. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with a girl holding her father’s hand or demonstrating affection by hugging or kissing him on the cheek!
Your new love interest may be jealous of the relationship you have with your daughter. And if that’s the case, it is a red warning flag. Explain to your girlfriend that this is how people act in the culture you come from.
And one more thought: You mentioned that you are recently divorced. Please take PLENTY of time before you plunge into another marriage — with her or anyone else.
DEAR ABBY: After 10 years and good relations with my prior hairdresser, I switched to a new beautician. The shop is an hour closer to my home and less expensive. Both stylists do a great job, and I’m always pleased.
On my most recent visit to my new hairdresser, she was putting color on her first client of the day. I waited patiently for a half-hour past my scheduled appointment time. When she was done with that client, she asked me if I was in a hurry. Trying to be polite, I said, “No, not really.” (I’m retired.) So she went into the back room and then outside with coffee and cigarettes in hand for a break. I was dumbfounded.
After waiting 15 more minutes, she finally took me. How should I handle this the next time I see her? Should I continue to see her? Should I speak up or just chalk it up that she was having a bad day? Your opinion, please. — HURRY UP AND WAIT IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR HURRY UP AND WAIT: An experienced hairdresser usually puts color on her first client and then, while the color is processing, starts her next one. Your mistake was not having told the stylist how you felt about being kept waiting for half an hour. Also, when asked if you would mind if she kept you waiting even longer, instead of being “polite” and fuming, you should have been honest. Clear the air at your next appointment.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.