Annie's Mailbox: Coach on a Budget
Dear Annie: I'm a little confused about a recent development in my life. I'm a 69-year-old male. My wife died last summer after being in a nursing facility for nearly two years.
I recently went on a trip to visit some buddies. On the way, I decided to see a woman who was married to my wife's cousin. Her husband also died after a long illness. I found that I enjoyed the short time we had together. At the conclusion of the trip with my buddies, she agreed to see me on my way back. The second visit seemed even better than the first. I thought we had a real connection.
I'm not sure where to go with this new friendship. I really like her a lot. Should I stay in contact? Do you think I'm just lonely and looking for companionship? I don't want to simply fill a void. Should I continue with letters and texting, waiting to see whether anything happens, or should I be straightforward and ask how she feels about me? -- Confused
Dear Confused: Yes, you should stay in contact, and yes, you should let her know you are interested in spending more time with her. Are you lonely or looking for companionship? Most people are. We might caution you if you were desperately looking into mail-order brides, but that's not the case. You know this woman. She is already a friend. You enjoy her company, and she seems to enjoy yours. We say go for it.
Dear Annie: With graduation season coming upon us soon, I am wondering what to do.
I am a high school sports coach. Over the past few summers, I have been invited to multiple graduation parties. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy the parties, and I love my players. I am honored to be invited and to have had a positive impact on their lives. But I can't afford to give each party honoree a gift. That would add up pretty quickly, and it's not fair to give one player a gift and not another.
Is it rude not to give gifts, or is it better not to attend any parties? -- Coach on a Budget
Dear Coach: We have mentioned in the past that the best gift a teacher or coach can give is a letter expressing positive thoughts about the graduate. Write something that indicates personal knowledge of the player's attributes and strengths, his or her sense of humor, teamwork, compassion, efforts or talent. These letters are cherished and saved for years and are more meaningful than any material gift you could buy. And you also will feel free to attend the parties, which the players will also appreciate.
Dear Annie: In your response to "Al," who found three dusty books inside some ductwork, you told him he could trace the owner without "pouring" over the personal content. Oops! The word should have been "poring." -- Ken Hooton
Dear Ken Hooton: You weren't the only reader who caught that mistake, which our overworked editors also missed. Thanks for hauling us up short.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of 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.