Annie's Mailbox: Shocked Senior
Dear Annie: My father-in-law died four years ago. He had struggled with some health issues for a while and then went into the hospital for what was supposed to be a simple procedure and never made it out. It broke my heart. And it was the first time I ever saw my husband cry. Both of his parents were like the parents I wish I'd had. I adored his father.
Here's the problem. A few months ago, my mother-in-law started dating a nice guy from her church. He's a widower, and she and my father-in-law were friends with him and his late wife. Last night, my mother-in-law arrived home from her date and announced that they were engaged! We were floored. My husband congratulated her, and he seems genuinely happy for both of them.
But not me. I feel upset. I feel like my own mother is remarrying after my father died, and I don't like it. I am happy that my mother-in-law has found love again when we are lucky to even find it once, but I feel sad and hurt at the same time. I know this is totally crazy, so how do I move past these feelings? -- Daughter-in-Law
Dear Daughter-in-Law: Your letter is actually very sweet. You love your in-laws, and you recognize that your reaction is unwarranted and want to change it. Good for you. First, we are glad that no one is taking advantage of Mom. She has been friends with this man for years. Second, like many children, you fear a new marriage will diminish Dad's position in the family. But rest assured, this won't happen. A new marriage doesn't erase Dad or the wonderful memories all of you have. This is an entirely different relationship. But it allows Mom to have a companion and be less lonely. In years to come, you will be grateful. Try to fake being happy for her until you discover that you truly are.
Dear Annie: Recently, I attended a three-hour cooking class for seniors. While waiting for the class to start, I chatted with the person next to me, who was the only other person there. A few minutes later, a third class member walked in, came right up into my face and loudly exclaimed, "I hope you are not going to be obnoxious!" I looked at her and said kindly, "What did I do to make you say that?" She turned away, ignored me and walked to her seat. Even the instructor was taken aback.
At the end of the class, I approached this woman and asked, "I'm curious. Why did you make the comment that you hoped I was not going to be obnoxious?" She replied, "Oh, I do that all the time! Sometimes I'll go to a movie and say, 'I hope you aren't going to laugh at lot.'" She told me she does it "for fun" and suggested I try it. My reply was a firm, "I would never say anything like that to anyone."
Annie, I was shocked by this woman's behavior, especially in a class for seniors. (The class was fabulous, but I left shaking my head.) -- Shocked Senior
Dear Shocked: This is a woman whose ego demands that she be the center of attention. She believes her outrageous behavior makes her important, but it's simply obnoxious. Toddlers and teenagers do things to shock others because they can be very self-focused. Most people outgrow it. You gave her the response she wanted, but she deserved to be completely ignored.
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.