Dear Abby: "Ethan" and I have been married 36 years. He's a good and caring husband, but he has a habit that irritates me no end. He opens our mail — whether it's addressed to him or not.

I have nothing to hide and I always show or mention what I receive. I don't open mail that's addressed to him and would appreciate the courtesy of being able to open mail that's addressed to me. However, Ethan won't stop and insists that there is nothing wrong with what he's doing.

I'm about to the point of opening a post office box in my name and having my mail sent there, but it seems silly to go to that extreme. Am I being overly sensitive?

Frustrated In Gilmer, Texas

Dear Frustrated: If this were just about Ethan opening your mail, I'd say that after 36 years you might be overreacting. However, it seems to me that what's really bothering you is less about your mail being opened and more that your husband continues to disregard your wishes and does it over your objection. THAT'S what you need to get across to him, and if opening a post office box in your name will make the point, then that's what you should do.

Dear Abby: I have a question that isn't earth-shaking, but concerns a lot of people my age. Each year as I grow older and read my friends' obituaries I think about my own and how I would personally like mine to read. I would like to spare my family the difficulty of trying to sort through the details of my life.

I'm wondering just what is supposed to go into an obituary. As a professional, I have information about that side of my life. It's the personal part I'm wondering about. Are there any rules on this? What is expected or accepted? I'm sure there are others who would also welcome suggestions on this.

Thinking Ahead In Eau Claire, Wis.

Dear Thinking Ahead: Most obituaries are paid advertisements, and they can be as long or brief as the family wishes. Some are simple, mentioning date and place of birth, the names of the deceased's parents, as well as spouse, siblings, children and grandchildren. Business and personal achievements are often, but not always, included. However, I have also seen obituaries that were excerpted from eulogies. To find out more information, you should inquire at your local newspaper.

Dear Abby: I have been searching for a new job (unbeknownst to my current employer), and have been fortunate enough to get a few interviews. For the most part, they have been scheduled during business hours. I feel guilty making excuses to get out and attend them.

What would your advice be for someone in my position? Is there a better way to get around having to make up excuses to my employer?

Feeling Guilty In Texas

Dear Feeling Guilty: I can think of two. When your interviews are being scheduled, let your prospective employer know that you're still working and ask if your interview can be before or after work or during your lunch break. If that's not possible, then rather than lie to your boss, ask to come in later or leave early and have it subtracted from your "personal time."

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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