Posted: Monday, November 8, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 45-year-old woman, married to a wonderful man for 23 years. But for the life of me, I cannot get over meeting “Ted” through my husband’s business 16 years ago. The second I shook hands with him, fireworks went off. It was as if I had known him all my life. I was so blown away that I met him for lunch a few times. (Nothing else.)
My husband soon left that job, and although I often thought about Ted, I never went out of my way to find him. Then, as luck would have it, my husband took a position at another company, and guess who else works there.
For the past couple of years, Ted and I contacted each other only through e-mail. But I saw him at a co-worker’s birthday party, and it was as if we were never apart. My friends told me that his face (and mine) glowed when we saw each other.
I know Ted has feelings for me. Neither of us has children. How do I tell him I believe we are soulmates? Or should I tell him at all? I love my husband, but this is a force I have never felt before. What do I do? Please help. I feel like a stupid little schoolgirl. — Lost
Dear Lost: It’s obvious that you are swooning, but please put your adult brain in gear and consider the consequences. What do you hope to get out of this? An affair? A divorce? A powerful attraction is no guarantee that there is a solid relationship underneath it. Are you willing to gamble your marriage on a fling? Your husband has done nothing to deserve the pain you are contemplating.
The idea of finding your “soulmate” is romantic in the movies, but in real life, the situation is messy and complicated and may be nothing like you imagine. Either be honest with your husband and ask for a divorce so you can pursue another man, or seriously adjust your attitude to convince yourself that Ted is not so desirable, and recommit to your marriage.
Dear Annie: Multiple acquaintances and family members (including my mother) are frequent smokers. Thankfully, they all go outside to smoke, but the problem occurs when they return to socialize inside. I dislike talking to anyone who has such a strong odor on their breath and clothes that I can smell it from five feet away.
It is becoming difficult to continue breathing in those noxious fumes and keep a straight face while listening to whatever it is the person is saying. Do I offer them some chewing gum, or do I excuse myself from all conversation? — Gagging in California
Dear Gagging: Smokers cannot smell cigarette odor on themselves. So be diplomatic, but honest. Tell them so sorry, but you have a tough time breathing around smokers because of the lingering odor. Then politely excuse yourself. Even though it is difficult to hear, most smokers would prefer to know the reason you are avoiding them.
Dear Annie: I would like to add my personal experience to the letters you’ve printed regarding photographs being taken of loved ones in caskets. My mother tried to get all of her children to line up in front of our father’s casket for a group picture. We let her know we disapproved, but months later, she presented each of us with a framed photo of our father in his casket with us in front. It was her idea of a loving gift. We were all extremely upset. What do you think of this, Annie? — Miss Dad
Dear Miss Dad: Obviously, your mother is one of those people who believe such pictures are a caring tribute to a loved one. But it would be nice if she were sensitive to the fact that not everyone shares her opinion.
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, 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 11.8.10