Posted: Monday, August 16, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: A while ago, my husband, my adult son and I attended a family function in a different city. My husband left for home a day earlier, so my son and I ended up sharing a room before our early-morning flight. That night there was a party to which he was invited.
I had a wonderful evening on my own. But by 2:30 a.m., my son still had not returned and there were no messages. I texted him, saying I hoped he was not wrapped around a tree. A few minutes later, he replied, saying he was on his way back.
The next morning, he could not understand why I was upset that he didn’t let me know when he planned to come home, nor was he willing to apologize for making me worry. He said he doesn’t let his girlfriend know if he’s going to be out late, so why should he tell me?
I think this is a basic lack of courtesy. But a friend of mine says I’m expecting too much, and that this is how today’s young adults function. I need to add that I think the world of my son. He’s funny, smart, loving and easy to talk with. So, Annie, am I expecting too much? — Wondering in Santa Fe, N.M.
Dear Santa Fe: No. Although your son is not obligated to tell you his whereabouts on a regular basis, it is a matter of consideration to do so when he is staying with you, since you would otherwise worry. He sounds like a great kid, so we are sure if you explain this to him, he will try harder not to cause needless anxiety to those he cares about.
Dear Annie: My husband’s daughter is gay, and his late uncle, who was like a father to him, was also gay.
My husband’s two sisters ostracized their uncle and have no contact with his daughter, which has created a lot of resentment. My husband has not spoken with his sisters in years, but one sends an annual Christmas card with family photos. They refuse to apologize or change and see no reason to try.
I think deep inside, my husband would like to have a relationship with his sisters. He believes family is important. But he thinks all psychologists are charlatans and would definitely refuse to get counseling. Do you see any hope for this sad state of affairs? — Feeling for Him
Dear Feeling: You cannot change anyone without their cooperation. There is no magic solution to these painful situations. Your husband has the choice of accepting his sisters as they are or leaving things estranged. Your job is to help him understand this, and then be supportive of whatever decision he makes.
Dear Annie: I read your answer to “Devastated and Frustrated,” whose daughter-in-law treats her like dirt. I don’t understand why you often tell the parents to “play nice.” Why on earth should they? This daughter-in-law is a selfish, passive-aggressive, vindictive person.
My heart goes out to this mother who is unable to visit her grandchildren. Since when is it so bad to drop in on your kids? Yet it’s OK for them to ask for money? The daughter-in-law is doing those grandchildren a disservice by not allowing them to see their grandparents. One day, they will understand that there are two sides to every story. You certainly should have at least told that daughter-in-law to play nice with her husband’s parents. — Mrs. R.
Dear Mrs. R.: The daughter-in-law didn’t write to us. While she is not behaving well, neither is “Devastated.” In order to see those grandchildren, one of them needs to “play nice,” and we can only advise the person who wrote.
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 8.16.10