Posted: Wednesday, December 21, 2011 8:04 pm
Dear Annie: I usually do the cooking in the house, but occasionally, my husband likes to surprise me by preparing a meal. I’m glad he wants to relieve me of the kitchen duties, but he has a bad habit of wrecking my cookware.
Recently, I came home from work, and he was beaming from having made a big dinner. But then I saw that he served the meal in plastic bowls that he had placed in the oven to keep warm. He permanently damaged them, and I jumped on him for ruining the bowls. He got upset because he was expecting praise for making dinner.
I know I should not have become upset over some plastic bowls, but he does this all the time. He’s ruined nonstick cookware by scratching it with metal utensils, burned pans by heating them when they were empty, microwaved non-microwaveable containers, and on and on.
Please tell me how to overlook the fact that we have to replace so many kitchen items and just be happy that he cooks. I don’t want him to stop. I just want him to use some common sense. — California
Dear California: You need to explain these things to your husband when you aren’t angry. He doesn’t know any better because no one has taken the time to teach him properly. Try cooking together, showing him by example how to create a dish in the kitchen without ruining everything. Treat his gaffes with affection, and make sure to appreciate his handiwork when he’s finished. If this doesn’t help, keep in mind that it is much easier to replace pots and pans than a loving husband who cooks for you.
Dear Annie: I’m a teenager. My brother and I live with my mother, one uncle and my grandparents. I love them all dearly.
My mother works, but on the weekends she does all the cleaning. The thing is, my grandmother is sick and sometimes cannot do what she used to do. Then she gets mad at us for no apparent reason. We try to take care of her, but she still gets angry. We can’t talk to her about it, because we worry she will get sicker.
My grandmother often says she doesn’t like living in our house. How can I get everything back to being a family again? — Need of Peace in California
Dear Need Peace: Talk to your mother about this, and ask for her suggestions. We think your grandmother’s anger has nothing to do with any of you. She is lashing out at her family because she doesn’t like feeling too sick (or too old) to do the things she used to do. She wants to be valued and appreciated. Ask Grandma to help you cook one of her special dishes. Or talk to her about her favorite book or a city where she traveled. Ask her to tell you about her parents. Find out what interests her, and do your best to show her that she still matters.
Dear Annie: I wrote the letter signed “Alone in Omaha,” telling you that I was having major brain surgery and no one would be in the hospital with me during this time.
Thank you for your advice to call my family and tell them. I did that. I let them know it would be good to have someone here, and they came through. My father is coming, my sister is driving 10 hours from Oklahoma, and my brother will be here, too. I also joined an epilepsy support group, and the people are all so kind and said they will help me out. — No Longer Alone in Omaha
Dear Omaha: Thank you so much for letting us know, and we hope your surgery is successful. Hundreds of our readers, even those not from Omaha, wrote to say they would sit by your side during the surgery so you would not be alone. God bless every single one of them.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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 12.21.11