Posted: Thursday, December 4, 2008 12:17 pm
Dear Annie: The holidays are fast approaching and I need your advice. Six years ago, our youngest son was living out of state. He met a young woman, married her, and they now have two children. We met her briefly before the wedding, and she has been to our home twice for a short Christmas holiday.
Two years ago, they had three weeks of vacation during the holidays and stayed with us. It was three weeks of living hell for me. The first evening, as we were sitting down to dinner, our daughter-in-law announced that she could not eat anything we served because she was a vegetarian. This was the first I knew about it. I tried to fix something she could eat, but she ended up going to a drive-through to get her supper. The rest of their visit, we ordered out.
We were recently advised that they will be visiting us for two full months. What can I do to make this easier? My daughter suggested that I fix dinner as I normally would and if she cannot eat it, we can go get her something else. That seems a bit cold to me, but I am willing to do anything. I can put up with the two of them sitting around my house doing nothing, because it’s their holiday, but this eating thing is driving me crazy. Please help me out. — M.E.
Dear M.E.: There are hundreds of delightful vegetarian dishes you could make for your daughter-in-law. Pick up a cookbook at your local bookstore or look up recipes online. Every meal should include at least two dishes that she can eat.
You also ought to ask for her help in the kitchen so you can learn how to cook what she enjoys. Take her to the grocery store with you. Let her be part of the preparations. Suggest she cook a meal that incorporates her preferences into a family dinner. Two months is an awfully long time for your son and his wife to lounge around doing nothing and taking advantage of your generosity.
Dear Annie: My husband and I recently purchased a nanny cam. However, instead of catching our nanny doing something wrong, we viewed a trusted neighbor taking our prescription pain medication. He has a key to our house and just let himself in.
What is the best way to handle this? — Perplexed about Pills
Dear Perplexed: You could call the police, but we’d try a different tack. Tell your neighbor what you saw. You and your husband should talk to him privately.
Express your concern that stealing pain medication could indicate an addiction and that he needs help. He can discuss it with his doctor, or contact Alcoholics Anonymous (aa.org) or Narcotics Anonymous (na.org). In the meantime, get your house key back or change the locks.
Dear Annie: I’m writing about the letter from “Worried Grandmother,” whose daughter owns a pit bull that has bitten four people, and now she and her dog have moved in with her sister who has a 7-month-old baby.
I’ve owned dogs all of my adult life, including one that was attack trained. Dogs that bite people for no reason need to be put down. Period. Although some breeds have a tendency to be more aggressive, it is my experience that the owners are inevitably at fault. There is something wrong with their upbringing when they bite like this.
Many communities have laws regarding dogs that bite and can actually force owners to put them down. That grandmother should take her concerns to the local authorities where the dog is now living and insist something be done before that baby ends up scarred for life — or worse. — Cambridge, Mass.
Dear Cambridge: Hundreds of readers told us the dog is a menace and should be reported to the authorities. Our thanks to all who wrote.
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 12.3.08