Dear Annie: My husband has a female friend who makes me uncomfortable. Even though he says they are only friends, I don’t like it. I have tried to accept the friendship because they are co-workers, but I just can’t.
We have always had a good marriage. Since this woman entered the picture, 90 percent of our arguments are about her. I trust my husband, but I’m realistic. I know friendships can turn into something more after a period of time. I won’t hesitate to say I am afraid that could happen in this instance.
I’m losing sleep over this and my dreams are terrifying. Their friendship is like a cancer eating away at me. What do I do? — Desperate in Illinois
Dear Desperate: Something about this particular woman is setting off your alarm bells. Your intuition is telling you she is hazardous to your marriage, and we are in favor of trusting your instincts. Your husband should not prefer any co-worker to his wife or any friendship to his marriage. Tell him he needs to cool it. Even if nothing is going on, for the sake of your peace of mind, he should arrange to see as little of her as he can manage. If, however, he gives you a hard time about not seeing so much of her, it means he values the friendship more than he ought to and that is not a good sign. The next step is counseling.
Dear Annie: Here I am retired, past 60 and ready to become a recluse. Why? Because people are uncouth slobs lacking in social skills.
My daughter and I went to the theater, front row center. We wore fancy clothes. To my left was an older gentleman in shorts, T-shirt and sandals. At intermission, he proceeded to clip his toenails — all 10!
Last week, our senior center bus took us to a nearby casino and we received a coupon for a free buffet. In the center of the dining room sat four women who, I’m sure, all needed hearing aids because they were talking loud enough for the entire room to hear. The topic of conversation was irritable bowel syndrome. Can you imagine? Several of us motioned for them to be quiet, but obviously they needed glasses, too, because they acted like they didn’t see us.
Don’t people know how to be civil? Or do they get to a certain stage in life and think they can do whatever they want, as if old age gives them some kind of privilege to be rude and disgusting? — Caring in Covina, Calif.
Dear Covina: Although we’re sure some folks believe age entitles them to be exempt from normal rules of behavior, public rudeness is not, unfortunately, confined to any particular age group. And often, those who are the most inappropriate are the same ones who don’t care that you think so. Being seated next to someone who talks too loudly in a restaurant is often unavoidable, but we’d have called the usher about the toenail clipper. Yuck.
Dear Annie: You recently printed a letter from a reader who asked about support groups for organ recipients. You responded with some good information, but didn’t mention TRIO.
Transplant Recipients International Organization is an organization for the advancement of organ donation but also acts as a support group for donors and recipients. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
I had my liver transplant in 1990, and at that time, doctors discouraged you from trying to contact the donor family. Direct contact was prohibited. I’m glad that policy has since been changed. — C.S.
Dear C.S.: Thank you for the additional information for our readers. For those who are interested, contact TRIO (trioweb.org) at 1-800-TRIO-386 (1-800-874-6386).
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.2.08