Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am in a relationship with a caring man and hope to spend the rest of my life with him.
“Dan” is friends with a married couple he has known for several years. We spend quite a lot of time with “Paul and Dora.” However, when we are in their company, Dan spends most of his time in conversation with Dora and I feel forgotten and excluded. Dan is not overly affectionate, but when it comes to Dora, it’s a different story. They frequently hug and kiss each other — more than seems appropriate.
When I brought this to Dan’s attention, he said I was imagining it. He then told Dora I am jealous, which has made spending time with them even more uncomfortable. I’ve tried to connect with Dora, but I get the distinct impression she is not interested in developing a friendship. She is not rude, but she puts all her attention on Dan. When they are at our place, Dan dotes on her.
Dan assures me he would never cheat and that Dora isn’t his type, but I still can’t shake this uncomfortable feeling. What makes it worse is that Dora and Paul are having marital problems. I worry she may be trying to fill that void with Dan’s hugs and kisses and a line might be crossed.
Am I wrong to ask Dan to respect my feelings? — Lorelei
Dear Lorelei: A serious boyfriend should acknowledge your insecurities, justified or not, and reassure you. Dan dismissed your concerns and, worse, told Dora you are jealous — making her an ally against you. It’s OK to give a hug or kiss on the cheek to friends, but not so much that it makes your girlfriend uncomfortable. If you wish to spend your life with Dan, he must put you first. If not, it’s never going to work.
Dear Annie: My husband, “Horace,” is highly allergic to dairy products, and medication doesn’t help much. Year after year, we are invited to join his family for meals. Every dish is always full of cream, butter, cheese and milk, even though they are well aware of his food allergy.
We have taken along nondairy dishes, but the hostess puts them away because they aren’t on her planned menu. We have eaten before we arrive, only to have the hostess be upset with us for not eating. We’ve tried asking what we can bring, but are told “nothing.” We’ve reminded them ahead of time about his allergy, only to be ignored.
I don’t expect people to cater to my husband’s dietary needs, but shouldn’t a family member be considerate enough to have one dish he can eat? — No Cheese in Southern California
Dear No Cheese: This seems deliberately thoughtless. Eat beforehand, and if the hostess is offended, say with a smile, “You know Horace cannot eat these things, but we wouldn’t want to miss your company.” Otherwise, let Horace handle it as he sees fit.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Desperate Doctor in a Harsh New World,” the 30-something physician crying about people who expect affordable medical care.
I was laid off a year ago. I was thrilled to find a job for $12 an hour. Two months later, I was laid off again. My unemployment has run out, the bills still have to be paid and no one is hiring.
My question to the doctor is this: Are you in the health care industry for the money or to help people? Things are much worse for many who only wish to have affordable health care. — No Light at the End of This Tunnel
Dear No Light: It’s not the doctor’s fault that people don’t have affordable health care. Impoverishing him won’t help your situation and will discourage future physicians from paying the high costs (emotionally and financially) of medical school. Then we all lose.
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 2.24.09