Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 8:03 pm
Dear Annie: I have not had a real relationship with my 42-year-old daughter for years. “Susan” claims I was never supportive, and that no matter what she did, I was never proud of her. She says I always put her down. I told her I tried to do my best bringing her up, but that isn’t enough for her. I don’t know what she wants from me.
Susan has a 14-year-old son and is married for the second time. Her first husband was her childhood sweetheart. When we were on the outs eight years ago and she didn’t let me contact my grandson, I e-mailed my ex-son-in-law to ask him to please tell my grandson that we love him. When Susan found out I e-mailed the ex-husband, she went crazy. She said we are not allowed to keep in touch with her ex — that as part of a divorce, you also divorce your in-laws.
We had a fight a couple of months ago, and now, once again, I am not allowed to get in touch with my grandson. I admit some of the things she accuses me of may be true, but I would not deliberately hurt her. I told her no one is perfect. We both agree too much has been said on both sides to move forward, but I can’t seem to let go. I move around in a daze and have lost my appetite. My husband keeps everything in, but I know he is hurting, too.
How do I get on with my life? I am 68 years old and want to enjoy the years I have left. — Arizona
Dear Arizona: Some children are more sensitive to slights than others, and a few, like Susan, find it difficult to deal in a productive way with the slings and arrows of life. Please ask Susan if she will come with you for family counseling. It could help all of you have a more positive relationship. If she won’t go, counseling can still help you come to terms with the situation and move on with your life.
Dear Annie: My daughter lives with her fiancé in Mexico, and they plan to marry soon. We would like to have the wedding here, but unfortunately, her fiancé cannot legally come into this country and may not be able to for several years.
She has always dreamed of a big wedding with a white dress, with her sister and mother helping with the preparations and a festive party with music and dancing. But all her friends and family live in the Northeast.
Her mother and I will pay for a wedding in Mexico. Should I advise her to simply invite everyone, knowing that only the immediate family and a few close friends will attend, or do I tell her to have a small wedding in Mexico and a big reception when she returns to the United States? — Questioning in New York
Dear N.Y.: If your daughter and her fiancé will be returning to the Northeast within a year of their marriage, save the big reception for their homecoming. If, however, they are likely to stay in Mexico longer, have the festivities there. You’d be surprised how many guests will consider attending a destination wedding. Those who don’t make it to Mexico can be invited to a casual get-together at a later date.
Dear Annie: “Need Help in the Midlands” has a fear of bathing because she gets chilled and doesn’t want to get her head wet. I suggest she replace the fixed showerhead with the handheld variety with a shoulder-high mounting bracket. This would allow her to have greater control over the spray. — B.B.
Dear B.B.: Several readers made similar suggestions, and a few also recommended body wash products for sponge bathing that do not require immersion in the tub. Those who are interested can check at their local drugstores. Our thanks to all who wrote to offer assistance.
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, 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 6.17.10