Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: I have known “Molly” for 10 years. One of her roommates is my current girlfriend of five years. Molly has always been a good friend to both of us, but now I’m seeing a different side of her. She is short-tempered, passive-aggressive and a complainer.
Molly nit-picks everyone to near provocation. She constantly complains about the small, well-behaved dog that belongs to the third roommate. When Molly lobbied for a fence, I was given authority to purchase the fencing. I fronted the cost of the material, installed the fence and landscaped. Molly not only balked at paying her $26 share, but was shocked to hear that in order to finish the landscaping, it would cost another $15 apiece. Meanwhile, I’m donating all the labor.
This is how every situation goes. We are all tired of tiptoeing around trying not to provoke her. Apparently, her boyfriend of eight months saw the change, too, and they broke up, but not before Molly was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She allegedly is taking medication, but she disclosed to my girlfriend that she is constantly depressed and suicidal. When she’s not depressed, she is angry and confrontational.
Since my girlfriend is the only one to whom she divulged this information, I think she has a responsibility to take the necessary steps to ensure that Molly doesn’t harm herself. At the very least, shouldn’t she tell Molly’s mother? — Concerned in California
Dear Concerned: Yes, assuming Molly’s mother will be a source of help and not an additional problem. Molly’s current behavior indicates she may not be taking her medication, or she may need it to be adjusted. Please contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (dbsalliance.org) for information and suggestions.
Dear Annie: For the past 20 years, I have sent my nieces and nephews birthday cards with $50 checks — until they graduated college. I have also sent high school and college graduation, shower, wedding and baby gifts.
My kids are in their early teens. This practice is no longer reciprocated by one sister-in-law. The kids will say, “Auntie forgot my birthday again.” I tell them it’s nice to get a gift, but they shouldn’t expect one. But it makes me furious that this particular sister-in-law has stopped sending gifts. Money is not an issue for her. She is just rude and thoughtless.
If it were my own sister, I would say something, but I don’t feel it is my place to address my husband’s sister. How do I get over feeling slighted and hurt for my kids? — Nicer Aunt
Dear Aunt: We would hope that you gave your nieces and nephews gifts because you wanted to, not because you expected a reciprocal arrangement. And your sister-in-law’s financial situation may not be as flush as you believe. We know you think she copped out as soon as her kids got everything from the relatives, but even so, you cannot dictate to someone whether to give presents to your children. But it would be nice if she sent a card, and you or your husband can tell her that much.
Dear Annie: “Stressed Out from Loud TV” complained that her husband’s hearing loss is giving her headaches because he turns the TV up so loud.
I also thought I was losing my hearing, so I went to the doctor, who took one look in both of my ears and told me my ear canals were impacted with wax and bits of tissue paper that I had used to try to clean out the wax. After the nurse irrigated my ears, I could hear clearly again.
The doctor told me never to put anything, even Q-tips, into the ear canals. She suggested letting the force of water clean them during a shower. Hope this helps. — I Can Hear Again
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, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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 5.04.12