by ABIGAIL VAN BUREN
DEAR ABBY: I am a young woman on a predominantly male college campus. One morning, while walking to a class, I had the misfortune of walking a few feet ahead of a pair of boys who were having an incredibly offensive and loud conversation about their sexual interests. It was extremely derogatory toward women, and just plain disgusting.
In a situation like this, would it have been inappropriate for me to turn around and say something, or was it better to just hold my tongue and walk faster? I have discussed this with some of my sorority sisters and we are anxious to hear your answer because I’m not the only one who has encountered this. — OFFENDED IN GEORGIA
DEAR OFFENDED: You were right not to challenge them. Because this isn’t an isolated incident, what you have described could be considered a form of sexual harassment. You and your sorority sisters should — as a group — bring this to the attention of the dean because you are a minority on that campus and the boys apparently haven’t learned to function in an integrated environment.
DEAR ABBY: Can a sexless marriage last? My wife and I have been married for 17 years and our sex life has been slowing for a long time. We have sex less than 10 times a year.
We get along great and are the best of friends. My wife is attractive and fun to be with, and I don’t know what happened to us. What causes women to lose their sex drive? (Then they wonder why their husbands have affairs.)
My wife is in good health. There are no medical issues. We are more friends than lovers. I don’t think she’s involved with anyone else. I want a fun, active sex life, but I don’t want to upset her or lose the closeness we have. It’s just that I’m watching our sex life evaporate. Please help. — MIKE IN MISSOURI
DEAR MIKE: As women age, their hormone levels decrease, which can cause the sex drive to diminish. The reduced hormone levels can also make sex painful. If your wife would discuss these changes with her gynecologist or an endocrinologist, there may be a solution that would put some spark back in your marriage. However, that won’t happen unless you are able to speak frankly with her about what’s bothering you.
DEAR ABBY: I have been studying my whole life to become a classical singer. Many people have put great effort into helping me to succeed, especially my mother, who wanted to be an opera singer when she was my age. She is not a pushy stage mother, though. I chose to pursue music myself.
However, I have recently realized my heart is not fully in it and that I’d rather go to law school. I’m afraid to tell my mother and the other people about my decision because they have invested so much in me as a performer. I don’t want to disappoint them, but my passion is now constitutional law. How do I share the news without breaking my mother’s heart? — SINGING A DIFFERENT TUNE
DEAR SINGING: Your mother may be disappointed, but her heart will heal. If your passion is not in opera singing, the truth is you won’t go very far in the field. (Even people who are passionate about it don’t always succeed.) Wanting to be a lawyer is nothing to be ashamed of. Follow your dream.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)