Dear Annie: I am going out with a great guy. He has a good job and a nice car, gets along with my family, everything. He is only a year older than I am. The problem is, he is an alcoholic.
“Todd” drinks almost every night when he gets off work and sometimes in the morning, too. I have asked him to stop, and we have gotten into numerous fights because of his drinking. He’s already lost his license once because of his driving under the influence.
Annie, I would do anything for Todd because he has helped me get my life back on track. Thanks to him, I have a decent job and am saving to get an apartment.
Is there anything I can do to help him, or am I better off letting him go? — Confused
Dear Confused: You can contact Al-Anon (al-anon.alateen.org) at 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) for support and information. However, we strongly urge you to keep your distance from Todd unless he gets help for his alcohol addiction. You cannot “fix” him. He has to do it himself. And he should do it before you get more involved with him.
Dear Annie: I am a 16-year-old male and consider myself very social. The problem is, I am not good with names. I often run into people who know me, but I can’t remember who they are or how I know them.
I feel very awkward and do all I can to dodge saying their name. I try to jog my memory by asking how their family is or if they remember the last time I saw them. I don’t want to offend the other person by admitting I don’t recall who they are. Is there some polite way to ask? — Owen in Vermont
Dear Owen: Most experts agree that the best way to remember someone’s name is to repeat it after being introduced. Then, if possible, try to associate the name with some characteristic about the person, or with someone you are reminded of who has the same name. Some people even make a short rhyme (“Tall Paul” or “No-Meat Pete” for example). If you can repeat the person’s name several times during your first encounter, it will help.
However, if you do forget (and we all do), it’s OK to say, “I’m really sorry, but I have a terrible problem remembering names. Can you please tell me yours again?” If you are upfront and noticeably embarrassed by your gaffe, you are more likely to be forgiven.
Dear Annie: I’ve been married for 22 years. As soon as I said “I do,” I was kicked to the back of the closet like an old shoe. When I saw the letter from “Craving Intimacy in Indiana,” I read it to my husband, along with several of the brokenhearted responses from your readers explaining how they felt so rejected and unloved.
When I finished, I asked my husband if this is what he wanted for me. He said, “No, I’ll talk to my doctor.” But he forgot. Twice. So the third time, I went with him to his regular checkup and asked his doctor, “Is there anything you can do to make my husband more interested in having sex?” The doctor looked at my husband’s curly biker beard and said, “I’m glad you said something because I wouldn’t have checked that.”
It turns out his testosterone levels were way low, so the doctor began giving him shots — one every two weeks for 12 weeks. Now my husband is chasing me around the house. And he helps with the housework and in the garden. He’s losing weight, getting stronger and growing back his armpit hair.
I don’t know what happened to my old husband, but they can keep him. I’m hanging on to this new guy. Thanks to everyone who wrote in to share their pain. It was the catalyst for change in my life. — New Shoe in Michigan
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, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 6.18.08