Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: I am no longer speaking to my best friend of more than 20 years. I thought “Katie” and I were friends for life. She is even godmother to my daughter.
Two years ago, we invited Katie and her husband to my 50th birthday party. My husband offered to let them stay with us so they wouldn’t need a hotel. They did not attend, stating that the 10-day RSVP time frame was not sufficient notice to travel the four-hour drive from their home to ours. Yet two weeks before, they made a six-hour drive to see other friends for a mini-vacation. I understood that they might not want to take another road trip, but I certainly expected a card or phone call. I received neither.
After a month, Katie called just to chat. It was an uncomfortable conversation. Afterward, she wrote me a letter detailing her excuses for ignoring my birthday and said her card must have been lost in the mail.
In January, we invited Katie and her husband to my daughter’s sweet 16 party. They declined, but sent her a magazine to read. In June, we sent them an invite to my daughter’s confirmation. Since Katie is her godmother, we thought she’d want to be there. She declined again via email, and there was no card.
It is unfortunate that my daughter has become a victim of my strained relationship with Katie, who is now ignoring both of us. I keep hoping she will make some type of good-will gesture, a card or a phone call, and all will be forgiven. For my daughter’s sake, I want her godmother to be connected. What would you suggest? — Peeved and Perplexed in Pennsylvania
Dear Perplexed: We don’t know if Katie wants to sever the friendship or if she is just overwhelmed with other things and has been inattentive. But she is your child’s godmother, and this implies religious responsibilities. Please call Katie and tell her nicely that you understand it’s been difficult for her to stay in touch, and if she would like to be relieved of her obligations to your child, you will release her and name another godparent. Her response will give you a better idea of where you stand.
Dear Annie: My sister, “Jackie,” has multiple children with multiple men. She has been using government assistance for the past 10 years. She tells her caseworker that she’s unemployed and lives with her kids, when she actually lives with her current boyfriend and has three different jobs that pay cash.
Jackie was recently charged with fraud and was denied this month’s benefits and fined for the benefits she received over the past five months. Now she, her boyfriend and her children want to move in with my husband and me because they can’t afford their bills.
My husband and I have been married less than a month. We need some time alone together. How do I tell Jackie no? — Stuck Between
Dear Stuck: In plain English. Jackie needs to learn how to be more responsible instead of scamming the system and taking advantage of her relatives. Moving in with you will only postpone this, and you will be writing us again in a year wondering how you got into this mess. Please set your boundaries now, and tell your sister that you love her, but you cannot support her.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Married to an Octopus,” whose husband can’t keep his hands off of her. Been there!
I found out later that his doctor said my ex-husband not only was a sex addict, but also suffered from bipolar disease. “Married” needs to get her husband in for a thorough physical. — Used To Be Married to an Octopus, Too.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, 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 8.14.12