Dear Annie: I recently dated a woman who never offered to pay for a meal, a movie or so much as an ice cream cone. We went out several times.
We're both in our late 50s and earn good incomes. She says she won't pay for things until she is in a committed relationship. I have no problem paying for anything that I invite her to. But she would suggest things for us to do and never offer to pay. What's the etiquette these days? -- Ron
Dear Ron: This is often a generational issue. Women who were brought up to believe the man pays for everything sometimes have difficulty sharing the costs. And some men resist it, as well. But women who feel uncomfortable paying half the tab in a restaurant can reciprocate by inviting the guy over for a home-cooked meal or getting tickets to a play or a concert. A woman who refuses to make any effort in that direction is not playing fair.
Dear Annie: Last fall we had a baby girl, and at the last minute, I decided on the name "Jane." Unaware of this, my husband's cousin's wife commented that she had always loved the name "Jane" and that she and her husband had picked it out as the name they would someday give their child. Had I known this, I would have selected a different name for my child.
Well, this cousin is now pregnant with a girl. And even though our child is named "Jane," they are planning to name theirs the same. I know I can't tell them to change it because I had it first, but it still upsets my husband and me. I believe, out of respect, they should pick a different name. After all, there were a lot of names I wanted, but they were already taken, so I chose something else.
Am I wrong? How do I calm down about this? -- I Picked It First
Dear Picked: No one has a monopoly on baby names, even if you are close relatives. This cousin picked "Jane" independently of you. And you admit selecting "Jane" at the last minute. No one is intentionally trying to hurt someone else or deprive them of being special. We agree that it is easier when close family members choose different names, but truly, it is not as important as you think. In fact, in some families, cousins are named after the same grandparent and carry the same name across generations. It is considered an honor.
Here's how you calm down: Your child was born first. People already know her as "Jane." When the cousin's child is born, people will be inclined to give her a nickname in order to differentiate between the two babies. Adopting a lighthearted attitude about this will smooth everyone's ruffled feathers, including yours, and will allow your child and her newest cousin to become good friends. They will think having the same name is amazing and wonderful. Please don't be so upset that you inadvertently teach them otherwise.
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.