DEAR ABBY: I’m a pansexual female and open about it with my friend and also my brother. The rest of my family is super Christian. I tried to bring up the “gay” word, but they’re all against it and have strong opinions about the subject. I just want to feel accepted for who I am, and not keep anything from them. I need your opinion on when I should tell them – or should I just not tell them at all? Your help would be appreciated. – Pansexual in the USA
DEAR PANSEXUAL: According to Wikipedia, the definition of pansexuality is “the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction toward people regardless of their sex or gender identity.” While it may be empowering for you to disclose this information, it should be clear to you that your family – with the exception of your brother – is not open to hearing it. Respect that. However, you are free to live your life, so live it and be happy. You do not need their approval, and you shouldn’t let their approval – or lack thereof – affect how you live.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I own a coloring business. We color unicorns and rainbows and other pictures. They are beautiful and sell well. Recently, my mother-in-law started begging us to let her join our team. Abby, I’m sure she would do fine and that she could color within the lines, but we do not need any help. My husband suggested hiring her to run errands – to buy crayons and coloring books, perhaps – but I doubt she would be satisfied with that. I love our company as it is now. What do you think we should do? – Coloring for You
DEAR C.F.Y.: Because you love your company “as it is now,” do not hire your mother-in-law to fill a job that doesn’t need filling. To do so would be a recipe for disaster because getting rid of her would cause lasting hard feelings. Instead, you and your husband should explain that “the company” doesn’t need another colorist right now, and see if you can help her find a part-time job elsewhere if she needs money or has time to fill.
DEAR ABBY: We recently lost a beloved family member. My question is, how long do I wait before we deactivate his email and Facebook accounts? Some people say immediately, or wait a year. Others have said to leave them active indefinitely. Do I need to send a message to his Facebook friends in advance? Also, would it be offensive or tacky if I downloaded pictures from his Facebook account and cellphone before we deactivate everything? There are some pictures of my nieces and nephews I would like to keep. – How Long do I Wait?
DEAR HOW LONG: There are no hard and fast rules covering a situation like this. Some people deactivate the accounts immediately. Others leave them live indefinitely. However, you might wish to post a comment to the effect that, “For those friends who might not know, our beloved ‘Joe’ passed away on (date of death).”
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.