Q: I've been going to a lot of singles events and I've noticed something: Nobody seems to make eye contact anymore. Even when men are talking to an attractive lady, their eyes are running around the room. I can speak only for myself, but it makes me uncomfortable. Not only does it say the guy's not interested, it makes me feel like 2 cents.
A: Now those fast-forward fellows know why they never connect with a decent woman. No female worth her designer jeans stands for that kind of treatment. And the ones who do -- well, they're too insecure to hold anyone's interest for long. Maybe your letter will jolt them into reality and convince them to keep their eyes on the woman they're talking to.
Q: I'm a big fan of yours, but I have to say that a recent Single File was disappointing. The letter was about a wife who no longer wanted to be married and decided to leave her marriage so she could go out at night. After her divorce she'd leave her kids with a sitter four nights a week and expect her ex to pay the costs. Why didn't you tell him he should have custody because he probably would make a better single parent than his ex-wife?
Two years ago I found myself in exactly the same situation. I agreed to a divorce but with one big exception . . . I kept the kids. She agreed, I bought her half of the house and now I'm a single parent.
I did it for my kids since I couldn't see living my life without them. They miss their mom very much and look forward to seeing her often. But they're glad they live with me, in our house, in our neighborhood, with their friends and still attending their school. Your reader could have done the same thing, and it's not too late.
As for the "waiting period" you mentioned -- it wouldn't help any more than a driver's license helps prevent auto accidents. Because no one can predict the future: People change, lives change. Strange things happen when people reach their 30s and 40s. Some can't cope with growing older and have a need to escape life without regard for their spouse or their kids. No waiting period before marriage will help people like this.
Susan, please advise fathers facing divorce to do what's right for the kids no matter what the cost. Men should not automatically give up their kids to their ex-wife.
A: Too many men give up the ghost when it comes to fighting for custody, discouraged by the logistics of single parenting and unenlightened judges. Your letter is a beacon of light for men teetering on the brink of the custody struggle. Because of your experience, more men will accept the challenge and win. Many Thanks.
Questions for Susan Deitz should be addressed to Susan Deitz, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore, Md. 21278. All correspondence is confidential. Ms. Deitz welcomes letters from readers and will answer all those accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.