Annie's Mailbox: Expect Better
Dear Annie: I have been married for 22 years. I started working when I was 14 and didn't stop until I started having medical issues two years ago.
The problem is my family. My husband doesn't think it is important that our two kids, ages 20 and 21, have jobs. I have tried repeatedly to help them find employment because they won't bother to try on their own. But they'll stay at a job for a month or two, and then they leave. My husband doesn't think there is a problem. When I bring it up, my son yells at me, and my husband doesn't care. He says at least our son attends night classes twice a week. Our daughter's self-esteem is very low, and I am worried about her.
I am sick of the arguments about the kids not doing more around the house and not finding work. I have moved out of the house and in with a friend. Was I wrong to do this? How do I make my husband see that the kids should have jobs? -- Expect Better
Dear Expect: Well, if you are out of the house, no one will push those kids to find work, and your husband will be supporting everyone. Perhaps he will then realize that keeping the children dependent and childlike is not in anyone's best interest and insist that the kids contribute somehow to the household. But it won't solve everything.
We hate to sound like a broken record, but counseling could help both of you deal more respectfully with each other and more effectively with your kids. Even if your husband won't go, counseling could help you work out better ways of negotiating so that you have other choices besides frustration and walking out.
Dear Annie: My "Uncle Lucius" is 88 and has lived in an assisted-living facility for several years. He's not crazy about living there, but recognizes that he can no longer live on his own. He also has no interest in senior activities or much else.
Here's the problem: When taking him to a restaurant or bringing him to my home, he frequently refuses to leave at the end of the evening. Uncle Lucius has a normal appetite, but spends most of the time talking instead of eating. When everyone is nearly finished and he's prodded to eat, he routinely says he is too rushed, even if two hours have passed, and that he can't chew his food, even if the meal is soup. He'll demand new food to take home. If he's told there is no food to take, he suddenly has no problem eating everything on his plate within 15 minutes.
Uncle Lucius has become so difficult that I am reluctant to pick him up and take him places. Any suggestions? -- Anonymous
Dear Anonymous: We think Uncle Lucius is lonely and uses these outings as an excuse to be the center of attention, and he wants to prolong the experience. You are a kind soul to pick him up and have him for dinner, but we can see that your patience is wearing thin.
Let Lucius know that any food he doesn't finish at the time you are ready to leave will be put in a plastic bag for him to take home. Then do it. You also might visit with him in his care facility, asking him to show you around or perhaps visiting at a time when there is an activity you can do together that takes the same amount of time as you would have spent having dinner with him. Please try to be tolerant.
Dear Annie: "Frustrated Pastor's Wife" complained that her husband is not paid for officiating. It seems that customs vary among denominations and even among individuals within denominations.
Our last pastor would not accept any payment, saying that officiating at such occasions was part of the pastoral care he provided. -- Mike
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.