Dear Amy: I am engaged and have a wedding date set. My fiance is a wonderful, sweet and successful man — a total catch. However, I feel nervous. I still keep wishing things had worked out with my former beau, "Jeremy." We broke up because he didn't have a stable job or any fulltime income and couldn't ask me to marry him and take on those responsibilities.
My current fiance is successful and I feel empowered working with someone who is equally driven and educated. But I miss the passion, joy and love I felt with my old beau, who was so much less successful. Jeremy said he wanted to do right by me but couldn't afford to get engaged. I told him any ring was good enough as long as it came from him.
My current fiance swooped in, and before I knew it, I was engaged and planning a wedding. If Jeremy was not in a position to take care of me, does that mean he was just the wrong guy?
My fiance is the best ever, but sometimes I just miss the quiet, simple and sweet joys I shared with Jeremy.
My heart is really torn — do I move forward into a wonderful life waiting for me right now? Or do I wait for something with Jeremy, who might not be able to take care of me?
Hooked on a Feeling
Dear Hooked: First you need to figure out which movie you're in. Is it the Julia Roberts movie where she skips from groom to groom, or is it the one where she lets rich guy Richard Gere climb up her fire escape and take her away in a limo?
After you determine which Julia Roberts movie you're in, you should find the remote and turn off the TV.
Marriage is not a contest wherein various men compete over who can take better care of you. Marriage is (in part) about what you can give — in good times and bad.
Each of these prospective grooms might be perfect for you. But you are the problem. You need to figure out how to take care of yourself. If you are at all torn, then you are not ready to get married.
Dear Amy: A year ago a family from South Asia moved in next door. I welcomed them, and we are neighborly.
The father is a professional and their children are bright. They seem very decent and likable.
The other day I received mail intended for their address, so I took it to their front door. Where the doormat would ordinarily be there was a small depiction of two bare feet with a swastika in the center. At first I was aghast, naturally, as this symbol in our country (and many others) represents unspeakable cruelty.
I did a little research and found that this symbol, for my neighbors, is actually benign and represents good luck.
Should I engage my neighbor and gently mention that this symbol may cause considerable offense to some who may see it? Or should I simply keep out of it, as these people are aware, educated and have a right to adorn their domicile as they choose?
Dear Torn: Yes, the swastika design has some benign antecedents — but your neighbors are now living in a place and a culture where this symbol is universally reviled.
If you moved to another country and placed a culturally offensive symbol outside your home, it would be appropriate for a neighbor to gently point that out.
The next time you pop over to their house you should say to them: "Hey — a swastika. What's up with that?" Let them explain it to you. Then you can explain that it is a symbol that might offend their visitors.
Then they can make an informed choice about what to do about it and you can let it be.
Dear Amy: Thank you for your recent column where readers shared their suggestions for how to offer condolences. I found these very helpful — and touching.
Dear Reader: I thought the most helpful suggestion was also so simple: to share a memory of the person who died.
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