Posted: Monday, March 9, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My parents treat our oldest son with extreme favoritism. I’ve asked them not to do this, and they have apologized in the past, but they soon ignore us and are back to the same old tricks. I became suspicious when our son, who is still attending college, was buying extravagant gifts for his girlfriend and splurging on “la vida loca,” and we wondered where the money was coming from. Granny and Grandpa have been secretly giving him thousands of dollars.
Mom and Dad know we are working very hard to treat all our children equally. There is no excuse for the extra strain this is causing within the family. We teach our children to be honest and open, while their grandparents are teaching them to keep secrets from us.
Why do some grandparents lose all sense of fairness? Nothing justifies this behavior. I want them to think about the long-term damage this dishonesty and favoritism have on the other grandchildren who are not as privileged as “the favorite” — and they always find out eventually.
I am trying to forgive my parents, but trusting them is a different story. What can I do? — Baffled By Their Betrayal
Dear Baffled: Not much. It’s their money. But their behavior will take its toll. The other grandchildren will be less affectionate toward your parents, and your older boy is likely to become incapable of managing his own money as long as Granny and Grandpa keep funding his lifestyle.
Don’t ask your parents to treat all the grandchildren the same. They are not going to do it. Instead, make it clear that they are hurting your older son enormously by making him irresponsible, and that the other grandchildren will find it difficult to forgive the favoritism. They need to see this is not love. It’s selfishness.
Dear Annie: I am an 18-year-old college student. For years, I’ve suffered from incredibly bad PMS (mood swings, bloating, exhaustion and increased appetite). I also get my period every 19 or 20 days, rather than every 28.
I’ve been on the pill, which regulated my menstrual cycle but did nothing to reduce my PMS. My doctor tested me for hyperthyroidism, but my thyroid seems to be normal. I know some women just have to deal with this, but my almost constant PMS is starting to interfere with my life. Any suggestions? — Getting Cranky
Dear Cranky: You may have what is known as polymenorrhea. Ask your ob-gyn for a very thorough checkup to be sure the frequent menstruation is not caused by anything worrisome. (You also should be tested for anemia.)
Some women have found relief from PMS through regular exercise and decreased caffeine consumption, among other possibilities. There are also medications that decrease the number of periods you have in a year, and you might discuss that option with your doctor.
Dear Annie: You were off the mark in your response to “Never Again,” who complained about people who had the audacity to stand at a rock concert.
As a former rock musician, I can assure you that not only is it allowed for people to stand — it is expected. We feed off the energy of the audience and don’t want them to behave as if we were the New York Philharmonic.
Those you call “rude and inconsiderate” we call “fans.” Perhaps it would have been better to suggest “Never” just buy the CD. Then they can sit quietly in their living room and listen. — Still Jamming in D-Town
Dear Jamming: You’ve made an excellent point and we’re going to modify our advice. At rock concerts, it is expected that audience members will stand. Those who prefer to sit should look for seats in unobstructed areas like the first-row balcony. At less informal venues, however, please sit down.
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 3.9.09