Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: My husband, my son and I live with my mother-in-law. She’s been divorced for nine years. I know Mom deserves companionship, but one night last month, she went out with the girls and decided to bring a guy home. We thought it was going to be a one-night stand, but “Stan” hasn’t left since that night.
Stan is only two years older than my husband. He’s been eating our food and using our toiletries and seems to have made himself quite comfortable. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and while my husband and his mother are at work, Stan hangs around making moves on me. I’ve told my husband, but he refuses to believe the guy is hitting on me.
Stan is also sneaky. The other day, I caught him siphoning gas from my husband’s hobby hotrod in the garage. I know he is taking advantage of us. My mother-in-law insists he’s harmless. What do I do? I’m tired of keeping my mouth shut. — Annoyed and Ignored
Dear Annoyed: Why are you keeping your mouth shut? You have a child living with you, and he should not be subjected to any of this nonsense. Have your husband tell his mother that this is an unhealthy arrangement for everyone, particularly her grandson, and that you want Stan out. The longer he stays, the harder it will be. If she refuses, we hope you will start saving your money. Your family needs its own space.
Dear Annie: My younger brother just celebrated his 18th birthday. He’s smart, personable and a decent-looking guy, although a bit nerdy. My concern is that he’s never had a girlfriend or even indicated any interest in the opposite sex. He says he is dedicated to his schoolwork, so we seldom, if ever, bring up the topic.
What I fear is that he may be secretly gay and afraid to come out. I’d accept my brother regardless of his orientation, but I worry he may have some anxiety. Is it unusual for someone his age to have no interest in either gender? Should I be worried? — B.C.
Dear B.C.: You are making a lot of assumptions that seem unwarranted. Yes, your brother could be secretly gay, and there is also a small percentage of the population that is asexual — not interested at all. But we suspect your brother is simply biding his time.
Many 18-year-olds aren’t ready to date, and a guy who is “a bit nerdy” may have difficulty approaching and attracting girls and may be too embarrassed to discuss it with his family. These guys often do better socially when they are in college. We suggest you occasionally offer him some pointers to help him be more confident. Otherwise, just be his friend. If he needs to talk, he’ll come to you.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Devastated and Frustrated.” When our son married 32 years ago, our family welcomed his wife with genuine love, but it soon became apparent that she wanted little to do with us. After our grandsons were born, contact became even less frequent. They moved far away. The grandsons visited us without their parents twice in 12 years.
Their last visit ended when I asked my son if his kids could visit their great-grandma in the nursing home. He exploded and stormed out, and we haven’t seen them since. They told the boys and his in-laws that I kicked them out of our house. That was 20 years ago.
We assume our son is still alive. We pray for his family every day, asking God to change their hearts. I am 74, and my husband is 77. We hope to see them again before we die. — Another Devastated Grandma
Dear Grandma: How heartbreaking for all concerned. We can only hope and pray that your son sees this letter and picks up the phone.
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 7.9.10