Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been in an off-and-on relationship with “Denise” for seven years. We were high-school sweethearts and attended the same college. A lot of the strain on our relationship can be attributed to her family not approving of our interracial romance. In fact, for years Denise was afraid to tell her father about us. Due to this, I have no relationship with her family.
Recently, we embarked on our careers and bought a home together. I think her dad is starting to come to terms with our relationship because I’ve been invited over for some family functions. However, I have not accepted any of the invitations. It’s too hard for me to forget about the past and some acts of discrimination that led to embarrassing situations. I also question the sincerity of these invites and whether I am being offered them out of some feeling of obligation.
I love Denise immensely and would like to marry her someday, but it’s difficult with all this tension hanging in the balance. What should I do? — B.B.
Dear B.B.: It serves no purpose to keep Denise’s family at a distance. They are making an effort to get to know you, and it will be better for everyone if you participate in this endeavor instead of holding grudges. Her family members may have behaved poorly in the past, but they cannot change their ways if you don’t give them the chance. Vow to accept the next invitation. Put on your best face and greet them as if you are starting from scratch. Denise will appreciate it.
Dear Annie: I am good friends with “Jack and Jill,” who have been having marital problems in the last year. Both developed relationships outside the marriage. Jack has ended his extramarital affair, and I was under the impression that Jill had ended hers, as well. But I recently found out she is still talking to this guy.
She met him online, and he lives 1,000 miles away with his parents in Canada. He’s only 18, and Jill is 26. She swears they are just friends, but the things they chat about are not exactly platonic subjects. Jill tells me she knows it isn’t right and understands what she is risking, but she’s made no effort to end this inappropriate relationship.
I feel caught in the middle. I don’t want to tell Jack what I know, and I don’t want to see either of my friends get hurt. I worry about them and hate that Jill continues to lie to me about stopping her online affair. I know what’s coming down the road. The longer she carries on like this, the worse things will be when they end. What do I do? — Still Friends
Dear Still: Nothing. You are not responsible for Jill’s poor choices, and obviously, you have little influence on her decisions. She’s going to have to take her lumps the hard way. You don’t have to blab to Jack, but you also shouldn’t cover for Jill and lie on her behalf. We’d simply spend less time around her and let her know why.
Dear Annie: I was sad to read about how “Grossed Out in Kentucky” was treating the young woman with genital herpes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one out of every five adults and adolescents have genital herpes. Odds are very good that some of the people Kentucky is blabbing to are affected, as well. Most people with herpes don’t know they have it and are unaware they may be spreading it to others. Many have no symptoms or mistake their symptoms for something else, such as jock itch, insect bites, hemorrhoids, yeast infections, razor burn or allergies to laundry detergent.
I hope Kentucky thinks about that next time he has an itch he can’t scratch. Thanks for trying to help enlighten and educate the masses. — Informed in Iowa
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.