Annie's Mailbox: Just About Had It
Dear Annie: Last month, an old boyfriend contacted me. I hadn't seen "Bud" in 30 years. We had a wonderful conversation. I visited him at his home. He even sent me a large sum of money to help pay off a mortgage bill. We now talk at least twice a day and always say "I love you." Bud speaks of a future together, but I told him that I want a commitment before I will sell my place and move to his town 300 miles away.
Here's the problem: Bud has had a female companion for 20 years. He told me that there is no longer any physical intimacy with "Jane," but they have a deep friendship. Bud is now going through some health issues that may prove to be quite serious. He asked Jane to go with him to an upcoming appointment for tests. I was disappointed that he didn't first ask me, even though I live out of state. I explained that I want to be there in good times and bad. He says he needs to get through this difficult time and then he will end the relationship with Jane.
If Bud's health deteriorates, I fear he never will be able to leave her and I will lose this loving man. Worse, he and Jane had arranged a week's vacation before we reconnected, and he's still planning to go.
Bud tries to reassure me, but I feel frustrated, depressed and helpless. I don't want to nag him or push him away. Should I give him a deadline? -- P.H.
Dear P.H.: You have been with Bud for a month. It's not enough time to know his true motivations. We'll assume he didn't break things off with Jane because he wanted to be certain you were interested first, and now he is reluctant to rock the boat because she will be a source of support. As much as you'd like that role, you live too far away to be helpful. You need to step back. Send cards to wish him well, but understand that you are not his girlfriend. Jane is. Let him know that you might be amenable to rekindling your romance if he is ever a free man -- but not before.
Dear Annie: I work in an office with five other women. Our customers are primarily men. The problem is, all the other assistants dress provocatively, flirt and laugh loudly at our customers' lewd jokes. I am not like that, but every time I greet a customer with a smile, the girls say, "You must be in a good mood today," giving the impression that I'm otherwise a real witch. Co-workers within earshot snort and laugh. This really rankles me, because I am always in a good mood. I just don't fawn over the guys like the other women do.
This is happening more and more, and I am tired of it. Is there something I can say that will shut them up for good? -- Just About Had It
Dear Had It: The co-workers tease you because they are guaranteed a flustered reaction. The best way to put a stop to it would be to laugh off these comments. That would not only defuse your anger, but also minimize their enjoyment.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "A," the caregiver for her paralyzed mother. My mother also could be verbally abusive. After her doctor recommended putting her in a nursing home, she became worse. One day, my daughter said she wasn't going to listen to Grandma talk to me that way and dragged me out of the room. After that, whenever mom became abusive, we left. It took three times, and she never did it again.
No one should feel guilty about placing a parent in a nursing home when caregiving becomes impossible. What children should feel guilty about is never going to visit. -- Monticello, Ind.
"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. 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.