Posted: Friday, March 19, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: My son and his wife have been married 12 years and have two beautiful daughters. But I am terribly concerned about their eating habits. This is doubly difficult, as my daughter-in-law is the boss in this family and thinks she knows everything. My son is no better. He never ate properly when he lived at home, even though we tried. I hoped he would marry someone with better common sense about food.
I have never said anything outright, but I have often subtly tried to let them know how I feel. They eat nothing but pasta. They cook fresh vegetables, but don’t insist that the children eat them. At Christmas, the 6-year-old wasn’t allowed to have a second dinner roll because it wouldn’t leave room for dessert. The 2-year-old ate olives, pickles and some pie, but wouldn’t touch the ham, mashed potatoes with gravy or carrot sticks.
Our little grandchildren are often sick and on antibiotics. I can’t count the number of times they have had viruses, colds and ear infections. I don’t even want to go to their home because it upsets me so. What can I do? — Worried Mother
Dear Mother: Believe it or not, your grandchildren are eating just fine. Having an extra roll or mashed potatoes with gravy is no healthier than pickles and olives and has no bearing on their colds and ear infections. A lot of adult eating disorders can be traced back to parents who turned the dinner table into a battlefield. Please trust your son and his wife to care appropriately for their children, and turn a blind eye to the food issues. You can’t win — and you could lose a great deal.
Dear Annie: Next year, I am getting married to a very supportive man with a wonderful family and am excited to become a part of that family. However, over the past couple of years, his family has made me realize how unsupportive my own is. His family remembers birthdays and holidays and celebrates life’s events, while mine can’t be bothered to let you know Grandma’s new address.
I’d never met my fiancé’s aunt, but she sent us a card when we bought our first house. It took six months for my own mother to drive 10 minutes to visit us.
Here is my question: How do I enjoy my wedding with his wonderful family, when I don’t really want my own family there? — Drama Free Is the Way To Be
Dear Drama Free: You are fortunate to have found a second family that provides the warmth and support that is lacking in your own. While you are walking down the aisle, keep that happy thought in mind. You also might consider that by adopting your in-laws’ practices as your own, you could, over time, influence your family to do the same and be the catalyst that changes the way things are done. Your wedding is an opportunity to improve the lives of everyone you love. Our congratulations and best wishes.
Dear Annie: C’mon, ladies, give us a break! “Trusting Girlfriend” said her 60-year-old boyfriend, “George,” noticed a 14-year-old girl who was dressed provocatively. You said he was behaving like a “dirty old man.”
Women, regardless of their age, are choosing to show more cleavage. I’ve seen ads for pushup bras for young teens. If a teenager wears outfits that expose part of her breasts, people of all ages will judge her accordingly.
Don’t call us “dirty old men” because we pay attention. We may be middle-aged, but we aren’t blind. As any pet shop owner will attest, if you want to draw a crowd, put puppies in your store window. — CC
Dear CC: We didn’t label George because he “noticed.” It was because he took photographs — and only from the neck down — of a young woman he didn’t know. We don’t care how old he is.
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 3.19.10