Dear Annie: For the past year, our son and his wife of three years have chosen not to be part of our family. We all made mistakes, but anything we do now is interpreted as evil. He refuses to talk things over. He blocks all calls and e-mails and sends back gifts I mail to their children. I haven’t seen my grandchildren in over a year.
My son teaches at the school where I substitute and won’t have any communication with me. He sees me and turns in the other direction. He won’t eat lunch if he knows I am in the cafeteria. I try not to cause problems for him, but it truly hurts for him to ignore me the way he does.
Should I quit subbing at this school? I’ve taught here for 13 years and enjoy seeing the kids, and some of my friends still teach here. It is obviously causing a lot of strain. — Stressed Mom
Dear Mom: We don’t know what happened to cause such an estrangement, but it’s possible the breach can be patched up if someone will act as an intermediary. If your school has a counselor, make an appointment to discuss this and also ask the counselor to talk to your son and find out what you need to do to make things better. The counselor may be willing to get involved for the sake of the school. Two teachers who cannot get along create tension for everyone, including the students.
Dear Annie: I have been dating “Cathy” for the past two months. We are very attracted to each other and get along great, except for one major problem.
Cathy and I recently started sleeping together, and I discovered that she snores like a lion. I am awake nearly all night. It’s impossible to sleep in the same room with her. We have run out of ideas to resolve this.
I used different kinds of earplugs without success. Sleeping in separate bedrooms seems logical, but I enjoy cuddling and don’t want to sleep apart for the rest of my life. We are both 55 years old and plan to spend our golden years traveling. Separate bedrooms on vacation doesn’t seem like much fun. Cathy tried sleeping on her side and used those nose patches that are supposed to keep your nostrils open, but nothing works. Surgery is out of the question. We are actually considering breaking up over this. Any suggestions? — Sleepless in N.Y.
Dear Sleepless: Cathy needs to see her doctor. Anyone who snores that much may have sleep apnea, which can be quite serious. Not only are both of you getting too little rest, she is putting her health in danger. If she doesn’t want surgery, she should ask her doctor about a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine.
Dear Annie: Thank you for being “weight un-bigots.” I love it when you remind people that extra weight is not a reason to divorce someone, nor does it give you permission to flirt with a married person whose spouse is heavy.
My husband and I were both normal weight when we married over 32 years ago. Over the years, I have gained several pounds. My husband has, too, but not to the extent that I have. We have a lovely daughter, a nice home, family and friends and a wonderful relationship. We both have master’s degrees and fulfilling careers and are active in our church.
Recently, I was aghast to learn that some people are trying to write “weight control” into their prenuptial agreements, even though pre-nups are about control over property, not personal characteristics. One attorney I know said if a person uses a pre-nup to control your weight, you should re-evaluate whether you want to enter into a relationship with that person. — Trying My Best
Dear Trying: The need to control someone else’s physical appearance is a bad sign. You never know what life will throw at you.
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 on 12.06.07