Dear Abby: We have a problem — our pastor. He uses the pulpit to criticize, put people down and offers no compassion. A person can only take so much.
The problem is, if you say anything to him, you can bet the next sermon will be about what you discussed. How can I talk to him without making him angry? —ALL FIRE AND BRIMSTONE
Dear A.F. And B.: Your pastor's behavior gives new meaning to the term "bully pulpit." Rather than approach him yourself, you and others who feel as you do should take your complaint to the governing board of your church. And if that doesn't fix the problem, you should seriously consider finding another "flock" to join because it appears your shepherd has lost his way.
Dear Abby: I have been dating "Claude" for eight months. We are planning a trip in the fall to visit his family's chateau in France. Claude has long legs and refuses to travel in coach because it's uncomfortable, so he will buy a business-class ticket for himself and a coach ticket for me.
While I'm grateful Claude is paying for my ticket, I feel that since we're a couple, we should travel together. I don't want to be upgraded to business class necessarily, but I'd like him to sit in coach with me. When I brought this up, he refused and is now calling me "ungrateful."
My feelings are hurt, and Claude can't understand why I am upset. My friends and family think he is acting rude and selfish. I can't help but agree. Do I have a right to be upset? I am so uncomfortable with this arrangement that I'm considering not even going. —NOT UNGRATEFUL IN SAN DIEGO
Dear Not Ungrateful: San Diego to France is a LONG flight. It's a long time to expect a tall person to fold up like a praying mantis just so you won't be sitting alone in a coach seat on your way to an all-expense-paid vacation. Claude has good reason for wanting to sit in business class. So be a sport and offer to pay for an upgrade to business class and sit with him.
I agree that you shouldn't be seated "10 paces behind him," and this way you would both be comfortable.