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Dear Madrone,

My husband and I have been together for a long time, and he has always been kind, never cheated doesn't beat me. He makes a good living. But he wants to move, for a promotion, to another state. On the one hand, it would be a come up for him, a classier operation than the one he is in now, a pay raise, more respect from certain quarters that matter to him. On the other hand, we have a very nice set up here, my friends and family are near and I have a good job. There is no such promise if I move. He says he wants me to be happy, and I won't be happy if I move. But I won't be happy if we don't move and he isn't happy. This whole thing is driving us both pazzu. What can you tell me?

Not wanting to spoil a good thing,

Fort Lee

Dear Wanting,

This is a half dozen of one, six of the other thing. How you've been is a good indication of how you will be, though not always. Can he stay with a gracious heart? Can you go with one? If one of you can come up with the right attitude you will be fine, no resentment. If neither of you can, then your marriage is in trouble, I am sorry to say., no matter how good your jobs or where you live. If you can move without resentment do so. If you cannot, take the heat up front, because it's going to come round and bite you, guarantee. One thing to keep in mind, a good provider who neither cheats nor beats could belong in a museum for display.

God bless, Donna.

Dear Madrone,

I am a teacher in a big university in a state that I will not name, for fear that the big shots up top will not take kindly to my complaint. Keep it in the family they say, only they are not my family, capish? Anyway, in two different classes in the past week, the cell phone rings and a boy jumps up saying to me, I have to take this call, it's my mother. Can you believe it? What can I do to put an end to this? I am prevented, by state law, from wringing their necks.

Anonymous from Anywhere.

Dear AFA,

What are you cracked? You're going to tell a boy not to talk to his mother? And what if he listens to you? That's worse. Two possibilities- mamma is phoning in with the results of major surgery or something like it, so what can you do? Or two, she is just making sure the apron strings are pulled tight around the testicolos , in which case, there is nothing you can do either Of course, it also might be that they just SAY it's their mother so you can not interrupt, this is on their heads, and the time and place of their pay back is not up to you. Just know that it will come.

God bless, Donna

A NOTE TO ANONYMOUS FROM THE NORTH SHORE

Under no circumstances should you serve the salad first, I don't care what they say about you. Where is your pride, and what do they know anyway about the way things are done? Salad is last, and please don't put the dressing on until you are just ready to serve. This will ensure the harmony that is now escaping you.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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