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Dear Dawn

Sounds Fishy

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By Dawn Bright


Dear Dawn,

My wife and I moved here a couple of months ago, and it turns out she’s deathly afraid of fish. We had a beautiful spring day recently so went to the beach, where I was caught completely off guard by the hysterical scene she made. Why? Because when she waded into the water (up to her ankles!), she swore fish were touching her. We’ve been together for five years, and I had no idea she was afraid of fish. Is she nuts or what? 

– Tony M. from Crystal Beach



Fear is a funny thing. I, for example, am deathly afraid of spiders. I’m positive if one touches me I’ll die from a heart attack, which is fairly ridiculous when you think about it. But it doesn’t make me nuts, and your wife probably isn’t nuts either. What’s nuts is you don’t know your wife’s fears after having been together for five years. Do you even talk to her? And then moving here and taking your wife to the beach when she’s deathly afraid of fish just adds to the nuttiness. You can’t really get in the water if you’re afraid of fish. When my family goes out on the pontoon, we get in the water and immediately fish are nibbling at our toes. It’s actually very pleasant…if you aren’t afraid of fish!


Fish are everywhere. And you don’t just “get over” a fear. It usually involves some kind of therapy to deal with the fear, and lots of exercises to expose yourself to the fear and learn how to react appropriately. This can take years. If your wife is interested in getting over her fear of fish, I suggest getting her some professional help. And in the meantime, talk to your wife, be supportive and stay out of the water!

Dear Dawn,

I work with a bunch of men, and they can say the darnedest things. This one guy, for example, said, “I haven’t seen a shirt like that since the ‘90s” one day when I wore a cute blouse in that had little sparkles on it. That was kind of funny, but this other guy, every time he sees me he says, “You look tired.” I’m sorry, but telling a woman she looks tired is a giant faux pas. Do you agree?

Jackie from 30A



Yes, I completely agree with you, Jackie. Don’t tell a woman she looks tired. It’s very insulting. For one thing, women typically get up much earlier than men because women wear makeup, fix their hair and adorn themselves with earrings and such. Men just roll out of bed, throw on the clothes their wives laid out for them the night before and head on in.


Then, rather than being rewarded with a compliment about how lovely she looks, she’s greeted with how tired she is. I have a guy at work who does that. The last time he said, “You look tired,” I replied, “Yes, because I am tired. I’m 63 years old, don’t sleep, and feel like hell.” He didn’t have much to say after that, for which I was grateful. Guys, take note. If a woman looks tired, there’s no need to notify her of that. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say nothin’ at all.

Dear Dawn,

My husband and I have a few shows we like to watch together, which we DVR and then at a planned time sit down to watch. The problem is he falls asleep almost as soon as he sits down. I’ve suggested sitting up a little taller in his chair as he’s practically lying down, but he won’t do it. I’ve suggested he make a doctor’s appointment for a checkup to see if there’s a medical issue, but he won’t do it. I’d like to watch the show with someone, and this behavior really irritates me. What should I do?

– Penney from Destin



Sounds like it’s time for a new husband. The problem is they’re all about the same anyway. I’ve had three of the buggers, and one was no better than the other. They’re fairly illogical creatures.


If he won’t sit up, and he won’t go to the doctor—and I’m sure from the sounds of things he won’t do anything else you’ve suggested either—I’d suggest watching the show alone when he isn’t around, and when he says, “Let’s watch it,” tell him you’ve already seen it. I have a feeling this might just be the wake-up call he needs. And I do mean wake-up call!

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