Posted: Friday, October 17, 2008 9:30 pm
Dear Annie: I’m a 17-year-old boy. My girlfriend and I have been dating for a month and are extremely happy, but we have one problem. Her friends and my brother are all trying to pressure us to have sex, even though we made the decision to wait.
My girlfriend is getting extremely stressed. Should we lie and tell everyone we’ve had sex just so they’ll stop bugging us? Any advice would be extremely appreciated. — Arizona Guy
Dear Arizona: We admire your discipline. Do not let anyone pressure you into having sex. Your brother and those friends don’t want to believe you are different (or better) than they are. When they ask, simply say with a smile, “It’s none of your business.” Do this every single time and they will eventually get tired of the question.
Dear Annie: I went on a mini-vacation with my good friend of over 30 years. We were both very limited as to what we could spend and booked a budget hotel for three days. She gave me her share at the beginning of the trip. On the second day, she had to cancel because her mother ended up in the emergency room.
Until then, we’d had a blast. I e-mailed her the photographs we’d taken before her mother became ill. I phoned her a couple of times when I got back, but she never returned my calls, which isn’t like her. Since then, I’ve been pretty busy. My mother broke her hip and I’ve been taking care of her every weekend for two months.
I have a strong feeling my friend expects me to refund the money she gave me for her share of the trip. My family says I am not obligated to return it since I had no control over what happened and the hotel didn’t refund anything.
So should I give her the money for the one night she didn’t stay? I pinched pennies to save up for that weekend. — Jax
Dear Jax: Since the money didn’t go into your pocket, you are not obligated to reimburse her. And your friend may simply be preoccupied with caring for her mother, or she may feel guilty that she was off enjoying herself while Mom ended up in the ER. However, it might clear the air if you brought up the topic. Call or e-mail and say, “I wish the hotel had refunded your money for that last day. It doesn’t seem fair that you had to pay for something you didn’t use.” That will give her the opportunity to let you know if it’s been bothering her.
Dear Annie: Your comments to “Her Sober Friend” were right on the money. I could have written that letter about my dearest friend.
After an evening where she embarrassed me terribly, I calmly told her that I love her and would do almost anything for her. Then I added, “But I don’t think you realize how much you’ve been drinking lately. Nor do you see how much you change when you’re under the influence. When you’re sober, you’re bright, witty, funny, warm and a joy to be with. But after that third drink, you turn into a bawdy person who embarrasses herself. Please think about curtailing the amount you imbibe.”
She sat in silence and finally asked, “Am I really that bad?” I nodded. She took a deep breath and said, “All right. I’ll cut back. Thank you for telling me.”
The next time we went out, she had two drinks then switched to soda. I haven’t seen her overindulge since. A couple of years later, I was going through some stress and started to put on weight. She sat me down and said, “Remember the time you talked with me about overindulging in alcohol?” — Wanda
Dear Wanda: It’s fortunate your friend was able to listen with an open mind and control her drinking. You’re lucky to have each other.
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 10.17.08