Posted: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 9:34 pm
Dear Annie: I am a college senior set to marry in the spring after graduation. I have an absolutely wonderful fiance who I love unconditionally. Even though he lives three hours away, we talk on the phone daily and see each other as often as possible.
The problem is my best friend, “Phil.” Phil and I have known each other since freshman year. We have been through a lot together and I value his friendship. We never dated or had any sort of intimate contact. The problem is, recently I’ve found myself being strangely attracted to him. I want to kiss him.
Let me be clear that I have no actual desire to be with Phil. We are both very different, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that a relationship with him would never work. I realize my attraction is probably just cold feet, but how do I get over this sudden, ridiculous infatuation without jeopardizing my engagement or alienating my best friend?
Please help knock some sense into this suddenly senseless head of mine. — Being Ridiculous in Pennsylvania
Dear Being Ridiculous: Your problem is actually quite common and involves the knowledge that marriage ends all other romantic possibilities (hopefully). It is natural to fantasize about available alternatives as long as you don’t act on those fantasies — and you don’t seem likely to. Every time you think of Phil in an inappropriate way, substitute your fiance’s face and remind yourself of his wonderful qualities.
Dear Annie: My daughter is 9 years old and a little heavy for her age. “Beth” tends to eat too much, but what really worries me is that she hides how much she’s eating and when she’s doing it.
The fact that she feels the need to conceal her eating disturbs me. I am not in a position to take her to a therapist or anything like that. What are some things I can do to help the situation? — Concerned Mom
Dear Mom: Hiding food is symptomatic of an eating disorder, and it’s possible Beth is feeling some emotional pressure about her weight at home or at school.
Please make an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss the matter and also talk to the school counselor. Be sure Beth is getting enough food through nutritionally sound meals, and if you also encourage her to get regular exercise, it will help her feel better about herself, especially if you do it with her.
Dear Annie: I must take exception to your not recommending name tags at funerals. I have been to numerous services for work acquaintances, business associates, military service members and distant friends. Many times I had no idea who the family members were, and often there were no receiving lines or front-row pews to indicate who was related. I sometimes wondered why I drove the miles to attend when I could have simply sent a sympathy card.
When my mother died, my siblings and I wore tags saying, “Joe (son)” and “Jan (daughter-in-law).” Countless mourners told us they were glad we had done this since we had moved away from our hometown decades ago and they no longer recognized us. When they knew who we were, they were more comfortable talking about Mom instead of wandering aimlessly about, trying to figure out if they knew anyone from the family. I think we do a disservice to guests by expecting them to know us on sight after many years. It’s far too awkward. — Minnesota Reader
Dear Minnesota: It makes us feel like we’re at a convention, but many readers wrote to say they like it. To each his own.
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 1.7.09