Dear Ann: My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We have twin boys who are now 6 years old. I had a vasectomy reversed, and for three years, we tried to get pregnant (without success) and were very discouraged. I was thrilled when the doctor finally told me, "All signals are go."
My wife and I are now expecting triplets. Her obstetrician gave us the news two months ago. We were both so excited that we told our family members and friends immediately. We were certain they would rejoice with us. We were wrong. The comments went like this: "You are really going to have your hands full," or "I hope you will have plenty of help." And, "Catch up on your sleep now because there's not going to be much down the road."
Why are people so mean? What can we say when we get such comments? Rejoicing East of the Rockies
Dear Rejoicing: These people are not trying to be mean. They are overwhelmed by the thought of handling three newborn babies at the same time and assume you would be, too.
Simply smile and tell them, "We are going to manage just fine. So many of our good friends have volunteered to help during the first few months. We hope you will be among them." (That should clear their sinuses.)
Dear Ann: I am a personal fitness trainer and have a client who has recently "come out" to me. He apparently thought I was gay, and discovered, much to his disappointment, that I am not.
This man is a good friend, and I like him a lot, but he insists on hugging me hello and goodbye and often holds my hand on our way to the gym. I am not homophobic, but this much touching makes me uncomfortable. How can I let him know without insulting him or damaging the friendship? Straight in New York
Dear Straight in N.Y.: Level with the guy. Tell him you want to be a friend, but the hugging and hand-holding makes you uncomfortable. Perhaps he'd be willing to substitute a handshake or an occasional pat on the shoulder.
I've always suspected that males who are extremely uncomfortable around homosexuals are not 100 percent sure of their own masculinity. And males who are hostile to homosexuals have a much bigger problem than they may realize. I'm glad you are so secure.
Dear Ann: You recently printed a letter from someone complaining about rude cashiers. In your response, you said, "Your letter could have come from Anywhere, U.S.A., or Canada." Well, it could NOT have come from Hawaii.
When I am in a supermarket line here in Honolulu, I never experience anything but patience and cheerfulness from both cashiers and customers. The best example of the aloha spirit is when there is a tourist in line who wants to buy a discounted item. The cashier will invariably ask a regular customer to use their discount card so the guest can save some money.
And if the little old lady ahead of me is counting out her pennies, that is OK, too. It gives all of us in line some time to chat. Besides, next time, it may be one of us who has to break open the piggy bank. Love Living in Hawaii
Dear Hawaii: While I've never done any supermarket shopping in Hawaii, I have visited Honolulu many times and always marveled at the kindness and courtesy of the individuals I encountered. All the people I've met there have been gentle and kind, and I feel privileged to count many of them as longtime friends.