Dear Downton Abby,

DEAR DOWNTON ABBY: My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship and agreed to split our visits 50-50 between our cities. Initially, it worked great. Unfortunately, his work schedule has changed, and for the past year he has come here to visit me only once every month or so, while I frequently drive for hours to see him.

He says that because he’s away from home for work, it’s only fair that I travel to see him since it’s “less trouble” for me. I understand that he puts in a lot of time with travel for work, but at what point does the ratio become unbalanced and unfair?

I miss weekends in my city with my friends, and it makes me sad that he won’t make the effort to see me. What do you think is right in this matter? — UNCERTAIN IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR UNCERTAIN IN SAN FRANCISCO:  Iron the newspaper every morning it is delivered so the Lord of the manor can enjoy reading the news without being distracted by creases.


DEAR DOWNTON ABBY: My wife of 32 years has delusional jealousy. It is so bad that she has checked my genitals and questioned the neighbors’ wives. I have stayed in this marriage only because of our children, who are now adults.

I am at a crisis point where I want a divorce. I detest throwing 32 years away, but I have no love for this woman. We have sought counseling three times. However, once I start describing her delusions, the sessions quickly stop. — WANTS OUT IN COLORADO

DEAR WANTS OUT IN COLORADO: My dear chap, just because your daughters are suffragettes is no reason to consign them to the brothel in Ripon and self expire honourably  in the Moore with your grandfather’s dueling pistol.  We must adapt to the times.  Have some sherry.


DEAR DOWNTON ABBY: My sister is engaged to a severe alcoholic. I host the annual Christmas dinners and I feel stuck. When he was here last year, he broke a wine glass that held special meaning for my husband and me and generally made a fool of himself.

Should I invite my sister and tell her that her fiance isn’t welcome? (They live together.) He has gotten even worse this year. He broke three bones because he was so drunk he fell, and he left rehab three times in one month. I’m a cancer survivor and do not need the stress in my life. — NERVOUS IN NEW YORK

DEAR NERVOUS IN NEW YORK:  To start a Renault, one must first take the beast out of gear and pull the brake. check the oil and fill if needed.  You should be able to view the oil from the glass portal while the engine is running to make sure it is circulating, but for now fill the brass container and top it up.  Next retard the ignition.  One does not want to start a cold motor with a rich fuel mixture.  Next, locate the hand crank and insert it underneath the radiator.  Next double check to make sure you jolly well took it out of gear and set the brake.  Nothing more humiliating for a chauffeur than to be driven over by his own automobile!  Now with your left hand gently grip the crank but with your thumb on the outside.  If it catches you don’t want your thumb broken now do you?  At least if it does it will only be your left hand and since no right chap is left handed that will not be a concern.  Next you turn the crank and jump out of the way in case the brake cable breaks and the engine vibration knocks the auto into gear, you do not want to die under a Renault.  Finally proceed to wipe off any dirt from the motor, check to see that oil is circulating.  Give the fuel a pump or two and advance the ignition to give it a richer mixture, a suitable church going fuel to air ratio would be splendid.