Life Advice



The End of an Engagement

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I'm in a situation where I'm not sure what to do. I've been in a relationship for six years, and we were engaged; however, now he says that it's not going to happen because I am bipolar.

I do everything for him and always think of him more than myself. Then he calls me a baby and doesn't appreciate anything I do for him. I wait on him hand and foot. I try so hard to make things right, and I want things to go further, but it's never going to happen because he now doesn't feel the same way.

I'm tired of all the name-calling and have blocked out the outside world and am living in my own little planet. What am I to do? Please help. -- Feeling Terrible

Dear Feeling Terrible: What you are to do is take all the energy you have been using to try to convince your ex-fiance to be with you and put it into taking care of yourself. He is not right for you, and the quicker you are able to get over him, the quicker you can move on and find the right man who loves and appreciates you, bipolar and all.

Before any of that happens, make sure that your illness is under control and that you have a good psychiatrist who specializes in bipolar disorder. It's time to try really hard to start loving yourself enough to see that you deserve to be with someone who appreciates what an incredible person it sounds like you are. Best of luck to you.

Dear Annie: You published a letter from "Customer Etiquette" about a client who made a three-hour hairdressing appointment and then didn't show. Her excuse was that she "forgot."

My father, a psychoanalyst, always said, "You only forget what is forgettable." If Brad Pitt invited her for supper, I doubt she'd forget it, but the hairdresser's time is expendable. Sometimes, it's a good idea to ask people to define what they mean by "forget."

Usually, people cannot answer for the simple reason that "I forgot" has become a one-size-fits-all excuse.

Respect for other people's time is something I learned in junior high. The class was to go somewhere at a fixed time. When we got up to leave, one student wasn't ready. While he got his act together, the teacher looked at his watch and then said, "Smith, you will have a 50-minute detention." When asked why, the teacher explained that there were 25 students and he had kept them waiting for two minutes. Simple arithmetic.


Obviously, the client had never accepted that other people's time is just as important as hers. I believe the word is "narcissism." -- Annoyed by Inconsiderate People

Dear Annoyed: You make many good points, and I especially like your Brad Pitt example. Read on to see some solutions from another salon.

Dear Annie: If we don't hear from a client by their appointment time, we proceed without them. Fifteen minutes after the appointment time, we start taking walk-ins or other appointments.

If and when the no-show arrives, she waits her turn just like any other walk-in. This usually cures the "forgetfulness." If she goes to another salon, we count that as a win for us and a loss for the other salon.

We are professionals, and we expect to be treated as such. Clients only respect us as much as we respect ourselves. Your good clients do not "forget." -- Not Playing That Game

Dear Not Playing That Game: Thank you for your letter. Sounds like a sensible solution.


"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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