Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Need Him To Go on Vacation in Eastern Washington

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I have started dating a divorced Jewish man with a teenage daughter. I, too, am Jewish. "Simon" has been divorced for many years, and has continued to celebrate the important high holidays in the company of his daughter and his ex-wife (who has not remarried).

Simon and I have a lot in common, and everything is going so well between us that I seriously would like to cultivate this relationship into something long-term. But what happens to me when the high holidays come around? Do I tag along to temple services with his family? Do I bow out and attend services elsewhere? Is it fair to expect him to change his family arrangement?

Maybe I should just look elsewhere for a serious relationship before this one gets any more involved. Truthfully, none of these options makes me happy. Please advise. -- Odd Woman Out

Dear Odd Woman: Slow down, honey. Unless you and Simon have made a commitment to each other, there is no reason to attend services together.

It makes perfect sense that Simon would attend synagogue where his daughter does, and where he likely has been a long-term member. If you wish to join his synagogue to be with him, that is entirely up to you, but we think Simon might consider it pushy. You are expecting too much too soon. Allow Simon to continue his family tradition on the holidays, and perhaps you can get together after services.

Dear Annie: My husband, "Joel," was a school counselor and retired a year ago. He has lots to do at home to keep him busy. He also has a wide circle of friends and is involved with church and a men's group. The problem is that since most of his friends still work, I'm frequently his only human contact for the day.

When I get home from work, Joel wants attention. It's a switch on the stay-at-home mom. I never understood until now how hard it is to work outside the home and then be "on" for the person who has been without adult contact. I've tried scheduling a half-hour of downtime when I first get home, or telling him I need to study or make calls. Nothing works. His feelings get hurt.

When our daughter comes home after school, we love to chat during dinner and while cleaning up. But as soon as I start getting ready for bed, Joel starts talking about his feelings, and this takes us right through lights out. If I go into another room, he calls for me like a little kid, even when I'm in the bathroom.


He is driving me crazy. Any suggestions? -- Need Him To Go on Vacation in Eastern Washington

Dear Eastern: Since you know he is craving your attention, why not give him some as soon as you walk in the door, and then schedule a few minutes for yourself later? Also, suggest to Joel that he meet his working friends for lunch once or twice a week, and do some volunteer work now and then. It will add adult contact to his day, while alleviating the pressure you feel to supply it yourself.

Dear Annie: At my sister's daughter's wedding, we were having a family picture taken, and my niece looked at me and said, "Pretend you're family."

I was very insulted by this. I stopped payment on the check I gave as a gift, and my family now refuses to talk to me. My sister told my husband it was just a joke. I know the stop payment was drastic. What should I do? -- Michigan Aunt

Dear Aunt: We think you should develop a thicker hide. Granted, the comment was in poor taste, and directed at someone who didn't find it amusing, but we doubt your niece intended to hurt you. Call your niece and tell her you were hurt by her comment and you hope she didn't mean those unkind words. Then, please stop holding the wedding gift hostage.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




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