Posted: Monday, April 26, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I have always dreaded taking a bath or shower. Baths always leave me chilled, no matter how warm it is. I dislike showers because I nearly drowned as a child and, as a result, cannot tolerate getting my head wet.
It has gotten so bad that I go for weeks without washing. Friends have noticed and commented on my unpleasant body odor. I don’t want to offend them, but I cannot overcome my washing phobia. I’d rather be dirty. I am seeing both a psychiatrist and a counselor, but I’m ashamed to bring this up to them. — Need Help in the Midlands
Dear Midlands: There are ways to shower without getting your hair wet, and chills are the reason there are bathrobes. Your problems go much deeper. If your friends have noticed your lack of hygiene, your psychiatrist and counselor certainly have, as well. If you are writing to us, it means you are getting ready to open up on the subject. Please don’t be embarrassed to discuss it with the very people who can help you most. And believe us, they’ve heard everything.
Dear Annie: Is it unusual for a 25-year-old to not know her sexual orientation?
In her senior year in high school, our daughter told us she thought she was gay. She then had a relationship with another girl that didn’t turn out well. When she was a college sophomore, she had a long-term relationship with a guy who treated her beautifully. It was the happiest we had ever seen her. However, that relationship broke up, too, because he wasn’t the right guy for her. (We agreed.)
Since then, she has dated men who have treated her poorly and women with whom things haven’t “clicked.” She told me she is not opposed to dating men as long as they are decent guys.
We will accept her for whoever she is. But tell me, Annie, isn’t this kind of confusion unusual at this stage of the game? — Confused Parent
Dear Confused: Not necessarily. There is often a lot of experimentation at this age, and it is also possible your daughter is simply bisexual and attracted equally to both sexes. Her bigger problem seems to be choosing inappropriate partners, which may contribute to her vacillation about whether she’s better off with men or women.
We are glad you will accept her regardless, so please allow her to sort through this on her own, and help by encouraging her to find partners who will respect her.
Dear Annie: Your response to “Frustrated in Pa.” was not my favorite. He said she was more interested in sex after a night out with the girls. Along with other advice, you gave the impression that something else might be going on. Assuming this woman is in her 40s, she is just like me. I, too, have a tendency to be more “vibrant” after being out with the girls. Certainly a few drinks loosens anyone up, but the time away from dishes, laundry, children, homework, bills, etc., along with time to be myself, makes me feel younger and sexier than anything.
It is sometimes hard to be in the mood at the end of a long day. “Frustrated” is probably tired and stressed. To insinuate that she is doing more than decompressing offends me. Instead of blaming everything on menopause, maybe you should have suggested he talk to her honestly to see how he can help put her in that relaxed mood more often. — Glad My Hubby Understands
Dear Glad: We are all in favor of a girls’ night out and understand how it can help relax an overworked, stressed-out wife. That wasn’t his problem. It was that the only time they had sex was after such a night out, when the wife was completely drunk and her sexual appetite was voracious. Your situation sounds normal. Hers does not.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 4.26.10