Annie's Mailbox: Brokenhearted in Florida
Dear Annie: Our daughter and her husband have two young children. Over the years, we have been very close to our grandsons.
We recently found out that our daughter has started a relationship with my son from a first marriage. Forty years ago, I gave up this son for adoption when he was 4 years old. This son contacted me when he was 28. I told him I felt he should have contacted me earlier and that I did not want to start a relationship at that time. I never heard from him again. He is now 44 years old.
We phoned our daughter as soon as we heard about this new relationship and told her we weren't too crazy about it. She became angry. They are adults and can have whatever relationship they want. We didn't forbid it. But they phoned us later and left a message on our answering machine saying we are "dead" to them and will "never see our grandsons again." We could hear the kids crying in the background.
My daughter will not speak to us at all. It has broken our hearts. How do we get our grandsons back into our life? -- Brokenhearted in Florida
Dear Brokenhearted: While we agree that your daughter is treating you harshly and not doing her sons any favors, we are having a hard time sympathizing entirely. You gave up a son when he was 4 years old. We assume you had good reason, but still, he must have felt abandoned. And then, when he finally worked up the courage and tracked you down -- which undoubtedly took much effort -- you blamed him for not contacting you sooner and abandoned him again. This is undoubtedly your daughter's reaction, as well, after having heard her half-brother's version of the events. In order for you to reconcile with your daughter, you may need to first reconcile with your older son. Please consider it, for everyone's sake. Family counseling will help.
Dear Annie: My granddaughter is a nice 21-year-old virgin and wants to stay that way until she is married.
She was engaged to a nice guy her age. She occasionally allowed him to sleep in her bed, but didn't permit him to touch her. Well, apparently he did, and she became angry. Her fiance was also upset and asked for his ring back and stormed out the door. What is wrong with this picture? -- Grams Born 1937
Dear Grams: There are two things wrong: The fiance should not be touching his betrothed without her permission. Period. But she should not be inviting him into her bed for the night without understanding how such intimacy undermines her resolve, as well as his, making the situation quite unfair. Back in your day, this used to be called "teasing" and was frowned upon. We hope your granddaughter and her ex-fiance can work this out, although the fact that he would break up with her over his sexual frustration makes us question his original commitment.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Midwest," whose husband buys her terrible gifts, including a bug-suction machine. I had the same problem with my husband.
After about 10 years of thoughtless gifts, I took the matter into my own hands. While out shopping last December, I saw a pair of earrings that I liked. I bought them, wrapped them and put them under the Christmas tree.
The kids passed out the gifts and handed me the one I had signed, "From Your Loving Husband." I unwrapped it and was so excited to find the earrings that I wanted. Of course, my husband was surprised, but I showered him with praise for his lovely gift. He got a kick out of it, and I got what I wanted. Now, each time an occasion comes around, he asks, "What did I get you?" -- Problem Solved
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.