Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I desperately need someone to tell me whether or not I am crazy.
My husband and I live in an upscale neighborhood. He has met most of the neighbors by walking our dog. Last year, a neighbor moved out and rented his home to a couple with two little children and two dogs. As my husband walked our dog, the woman came out with hers, and the dogs played while my husband and “Jennifer” got acquainted. He is 71, and she is 46.
I am recovering from breast cancer and at that time was so weak from chemo and radiation that I could barely walk to the bathroom. But I did notice that my husband was now walking our dog 20 times a day. I suspected it was to see Jennifer, but I’m not the jealous type and said nothing.
When I was ready to build up my stamina, I told my husband I wanted to walk with him. I led him in a direction that did not go past Jennifer’s house, but he steered me the other way. She came running out and said, “Thank you for the e-mail. It made my day.” They talked as if I weren’t there, and it was apparent that my husband had a huge crush on her. He started showering, putting on fresh clothes and combing his hair before taking the dog for a walk. As soon as Jennifer saw him, she’d come running out of her house, dressed in tight miniskirts and revealing tops.
I told my husband this was too much and that the e-mailing had to stop. His initial reaction was to open a new, private e-mail account. I finally gave him a piece of my mind, and he promised not to walk by Jennifer’s house again. Apparently, he kept his word, because she asked where he’s been. I told her she was to have no further contact and threatened to speak to her husband about it.
We have heard no more from her. I think I nipped something in the bud, but my husband tells me I’m crazy. My son thinks Jennifer was playing games with his father. Should I have handled it differently? — Kentucky
Dear Kentucky: Jennifer was flirting with your husband, who was flattered and infatuated. It may not have gone any further, but your aggravation levels would have shot through the roof. We think you handled it just fine.
Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 70s, retired and on an extremely low fixed income. We have no savings. We barely have enough money for food and medicine.
Our daughter is a professional who earns more than double what we make. However, every month, we have to help with her utilities. In the past, we’ve given her large sums of money that we had to borrow. With medical costs going up, how can we get her to stop relying on us financially? — Drained Dry
Dear Drained: You must close the Bank of Mom and Dad. Tell your daughter you are so sorry, but you cannot afford to give her any more money. She will learn to take care of her own finances only when she is forced to. There is no reward for putting yourselves in the poor house so she can remain irresponsible.
Dear Annie: I have a simple solution for “Forgotten in California,” whose co-workers forgot her birthday when she returned from vacation. In our office, we all take turns with this responsibility.
It works like this: You must get the card and cake for the person whose birthday falls before yours, and then the person whose birthday comes after yours brings the cake on your birthday. We have a chart with everyone’s birthdays and their “cake baker’s name” so no one has the chance to forget. It has worked out perfectly. — Never Forgotten
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 3.31.11