Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008 9:22 pm
Dear Annie: My sister, “Vera,” is 53 and recently met a man 13 years younger. They have known each other six months and he has already proposed.
Vera is a divorcee with no children who owns her own home and is doing well financially. I am sure she is lonely, but I worry about this relationship. No one in the family has met this man. We know nothing about him except what she has told us. He has been in our country less than a year and has held a low-paying job in a warehouse for five months.
Vera told us he gave her a one-carat diamond engagement ring. I told her she should see a jeweler to find out if it is real. She became angry and now isn’t speaking to me. Was I wrong to make that suggestion?
I love my sister and am trying to look out for her welfare. I think this guy is a phony out to swindle her. What do you think? — Big Sis in California
Dear Big Sis: We think it’s more likely this man is looking to get a green card, but that doesn’t preclude true love. In any event, your sister is old enough to make her own mistakes, and you run the risk of alienating Vera completely if you keep up the negative criticisms. You have told her of your concerns. Now you have to tell Vera you love her and you’d like to meet your new brother-in-law-to-be so you can get to know him. Try to do it with an open mind. If it’s a mistake, you’ll need to be there for her.
Dear Annie: I have been seeing “Trevor” for a couple of years. He is very intelligent and wonderful to my family and me. He tells me he loves me and wants to be with me. But the other day while I was at work, I saw him across the street, talking to a woman. He kissed her on the cheek before walking away. It bothered me a lot.
This woman told me Trevor said he wasn’t married. This lady is separated from her husband, but not divorced. Should I talk to them both, or should I just leave it alone and not worry about it? — In My Dreams
Dear Dreams: A kiss on the cheek could mean anything. But if Trevor made a point of telling this woman he is unattached and available, you have a problem. Leave the woman out of it. Talk to Trevor and ask him to explain himself. If you can’t trust him now, it’s not going to get better later.
Dear Annie: I am a 58-year-old woman who faced a problem similar to that of “Never (Ever) a Guy,” the woman who has a masculine appearance.
My situation ceased to be a problem for me when I accepted that I would never seem “normal” to some people and those are the ones who need to find an explanation for my differences that meets their own requirements and expectations. Now I dress and behave in the ways I believe are appropriate for my body and my personality. When people hint at my private life, I just smile at them. If they get too pushy, I say, “Are you interested for yourself or inquiring for a friend?” I’ve never had to say more.
It doesn’t pay to go overboard to look more feminine or show your birth certificate. People will just think you’re protesting too much and therefore must be hiding something.
Her appearance has little to do with being accepted. Everyone has differences. She needs to accept herself for who she is and respect others for who they are. Then she will be accepted and respected by others. It’s tough work when you’re accustomed to thinking of others as your enemies and yourself as a victim, but it’s worth it. — Not a Guy, Either
Dear Not: You sound like a secure woman who has her priorities straight. Others can learn from your healthy attitude.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 6.20.08