Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2008 9:52 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 40ish divorced woman. Several months ago I met “Daniel” and fell head over heels. One night, I caught him with someone else. I knew she was at his house, so I went over and introduced myself. I had slept with him for the first time the night before and felt she had the right to know about me. Needless to say, this woman was stunned. She left, and Daniel and I continued dating.
Now, six months later, he says he is breaking up with me because he made a horrible mistake. He’s going back to that woman and begging her forgiveness. I found out they had been dating for nearly a year, and that I, in fact, was “the other woman.” He met me while she was out of town.
You have no idea how foolish I feel. I shattered this woman’s world without knowing the first thing about her. I felt so bad that I e-mailed her to apologize and say I would never intentionally hurt her. She responded by telling me that showing up at his house knowing he had a guest looked pretty intentional to her. She called me a stalker and said if I had any respect for other women, I would have insisted that Daniel come clean, but instead I was a desperate woman on a manhunt.
I can’t help feeling the only reason Daniel stayed with me for six months was because she walked out on him that night. I would like to find peace between this woman and me. Should I try again to apologize or accept that she finds me totally offensive? — Derailed
Dear Derailed: There was no reason for you to know that Daniel was two-timing his girlfriend, and you understandably misjudged the situation when you saw them together. The girlfriend is directing her anger at you when she ought to be upset with Daniel. You have apologized already. Don’t beat a dead horse. Move on.
Dear Annie: I have taken care of everyone in my home for 37 years. My husband has diabetes and can no longer work. I also have a chronic health condition that makes me feel sick most of the time.
I promised my daughter I would watch my grandchildren for a year so she can go back to school and finish her degree. Now, my youngest son has informed us that he is quitting his third college to come back home.
I feel like I am being dragged into a pit of despair. We live on disability and I can’t afford help. Also, if I’m around anyone with a bug, I’m apt to get sick. Being around children, that’s likely.
I made this commitment to my daughter and will fulfill it. But how can I get others around me to share some of the load? — Sick and Tired
Dear Sick: Tell your youngest son you expect him to find a job and get his own place. At the very least, he must know you are not responsible for his laundry or housekeeping, and that he is required to pay rent to live with you. Your daughter also ought to pay something, however little, toward the care of her children. Anyone else living in your home should pitch in and keep their rooms clean, their clothes washed and not create additional problems for you. Approach this as a cooperative effort to prevent Mom from having a nervous breakdown.
Dear Annie: Some time ago you cautioned readers not to let children play with plastic bags because of the risk of suffocation. Tell them plastic bags are also dangerous for pets.
My son’s dog found a potato chip bag and put his head in it, apparently to eat the crumbs, but was unable to get the bag off his head and suffocated. My daughter, a veterinarian, said that it is not that uncommon. Please pass this on. — Dog Lover in Florida
Dear Florida: By all means. Readers, please be sure not to leave plastic bags around the house for the sake of your children and your pets.
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 12.4.08