Dear Annie: “Lynne” and I have been dating for over two years, and her parents and I get along very well, but a continuing situation with her mother has me perplexed and angry.
Lynne, 17, has been working part time for the last three years, trying to save for college. Several months ago, she confided that her mother has been taking money from her bank account. This amount now totals in the thousands of dollars. I do not feel this action is justified or fair.
If her mother needed money so badly, why didn’t she just explain the financial situation and ask for help instead of going behind Lynne’s back? I think Lynne deserves to be reimbursed, but at the very least, she should get an explanation and apology. This money is crucial to Lynne’s academic future. Is there anything I can do? — Mad in Michigan
Dear Mad: We don’t know why Lynne’s mother is taking money from the account, or why she still has access. She certainly should not be going behind her daughter’s back. Many parents supply the seed money for a child’s savings account, and it’s possible Mom has been taking money she believes is her own. Or, Mom anticipates that she and Dad will pay for Lynne’s college tuition and considers the money an “advance.” In any event, this is truly not your business. You should encourage Lynne to discuss the matter with her parents and visit the bank to set up an account in her own name.
Dear Annie: Well, it happened again. I have trouble forgiving my dear women “friends” who beg to be introduced to my new beau and then, in some offhanded way, remind him that I’m older than he is. You can’t believe what lengths they go to in order to make this point in front of him.
I’m so tired of comments like, “Fifty years ago, when you and I graduated from high school” or “Remember that women OUR age have to consider ... blah, blah, blah.” They are otherwise really good ladies whose company I enjoy — but not when I’m with my men friends.
Please do me a favor and print this so they can see why I don’t like to invite them to my parties. — Fit and Beautiful from the Midwest
Dear Fit: If you think having younger boyfriends is a sign of fitness and beauty, this could be part of the problem. Either you’re preening too much over your ability to attract these men, or your female friends are jealous. By forcing your boyfriends to acknowledge your age, they are attempting to level the playing field. We suggest you ignore the not-so-subtle sniping.
Dear Annie: I had a different take on the letter from “Desperate in Illinois,” whose husband is friendly with a female co-worker. She sounded quite insecure.
Men and women work together all the time. It is wrong to assume they will have affairs. If the marriage is healthy, nothing will happen. I went through the same thing. After the indignities of being escorted to work, having my home phone tapped and my male friend treated to a telephonic tirade, the result was, I lost a dear friend and broke off a seven-year relationship that had deteriorated into accusations, mistrust and arguments over something that never would have happened.
Jumping to conclusions is the Olympic sport that many of us, unfortunately, are pretty good at. If “Desperate” continues to insult her hubby by not trusting him and makes his home life unbearable, she will lose him and it will be her fault for driving him away. — Secure and Single Lady in Pennsylvania
Dear Secure: We believe in trusting one’s intuition. If nothing is going on, Hubby should have no problem reassuring his wife by offering to see this woman only under work-related circumstances. But if he gives her a hard time about it, it means he values that friendship more than his wife’s feelings, justified or not.
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 6.19.08