Posted: Friday, January 2, 2009 8:54 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been married to “Clem” for two years. I have a full-time job and a part-time job, plus I cook, clean, do laundry, wash dishes and take out the trash. Many nights I only get four or five hours of sleep.
Clem works part time and is home a lot. He expects me to pay all the bills, including the house payment, utilities, cable, phone and Internet, as well as our vehicle insurance and health insurance. I am also expected to pay for the groceries. When we go out to eat or to see a movie, I usually pay for that, too.
I don’t feel this is fair, but whenever I mention money to Clem, he goes into a rant about how he has to do everything and maybe I should just find another place to live. Annie, my name is on everything and I am financially responsible for all our bills. I don’t want bad credit. I can’t leave. Am I wrong to feel like all I am is a cash cow and a maid? I could sure use some advice. — Moo Laa in Iowa
Dear Iowa: Even though Clem contributes little to the household, he still controls your money and then uses anger and threats to make you behave the way he wants. Is there a reason Clem doesn’t have a full-time job? Is he incapable of doing household chores to lighten your load?
You don’t mention love and apparently there are no children, so if Clem is simply unmotivated and emotionally abusive, we aren’t sure why you want to stay in this relationship. Get counseling, with or without him, and figure out your next step.
Dear Annie: This will sound petty, but I absolutely hate it when someone tells me I look like my sister. She is 10 years older and, to be frank, looks much older than that. Plus, I don’t find her very attractive, so to be told I look like her is an insult. Worse, we live in a small town and she doesn’t have a very good reputation. My sister, of course, thinks it’s terrific when people think we look alike.
I realize there is a slight family resemblance, but people gush, “You look so much like your sister,” and I just want to hide. I try to be tactful, but when they go on and on, I usually say, “Well, maybe a little, but I’m much younger.”
I know I sound stupid, but it’s hurtful for me to be compared to her. I’ve even grown out my hair, changed the color and lost weight, but it doesn’t stop. What is a tactful way to nip this in the bud? — Not Her Twin in Tennessee
Dear Not Her Twin: This won’t stop as long as people know you are related. For some reason, folks will find a resemblance even when the only thing you have in common is height. Unless you are planning to move away, the best you can do is sigh, smile ruefully, say, “I constantly hear that,” and keep moving.
Dear Annie: I sympathize with “Have Medicare but no Doctor.” I live in a tiny community in the high desert, and we don’t have many choices for medical care. Recently, my doctor moved to another practice and suggested I switch to another health company. I did. I then received a call telling me my doctor was no longer going to take me as a patient because my insurance didn’t pay as much as others.
I had to find a new doctor and so far haven’t been able to get an appointment with him in the six months I have been registered as his patient. I, too, feel deserted when I most need health care. Doctors seem to wash their hands of the elderly. I feel thrown out with the garbage. — Medicare Dump Out
Dear Medicare: We have printed information on locating doctors who accept Medicare patients (medicare.gov or 1-800-Medicare) and those who serve rural areas (www.cms.hhs.gov/MLNProducts/Downloads/rhsfactsheet.pdf). We wish there was a better solution to this problem.
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 1.2.09