Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I regularly go camping with several other couples. There is usually drinking going on throughout the day.
The wife of one of the other couples seems to pay a great deal of attention to my husband. Recently, we were sitting on the sand together, and “Colette” sat down in front of me and, ahem, lost her balance. She put her hand on my husband’s thigh to steady herself and left it there for approximately an hour.
Colette hangs around him a lot and is clingy. When I mentioned her behavior to my husband, he said I was overreacting and that she was just drunk. He claims she is the touchy-feely sort with everyone. But I don’t see her doing it with anyone else.
I think Colette is crossing the line, and it’s causing some problems between my husband and me. Should I be concerned or just let it roll? — Wondering Wife
Dear Wondering: Drinking lowers inhibitions, but it doesn’t mean Colette isn’t aware of her flirting. And your husband probably enjoys it. He should put a stop to it, but since he apparently has no intention of doing so, you could take a more proactive stance.
If Colette trips and falls on your husband’s lap, grasp her hands and pull her up, exclaiming, “My goodness! I hope you’re OK.” Then make sure you sit down next to your husband and place Colette on your other side. If she puts her hand on his thigh, bring her a fresh, non-alcoholic drink and put it in that hand. We’re sure you can think of other “innocent” ways to make sure she keeps her hands to herself.
Dear Annie: My mother has had Alzheimer’s for more than eight years. At first, I moved her into my home and took care of her, but it became impossible. My sister, God bless her, then moved Mom to a nursing home in her state, where they take great care of her.
When my mother was well, I spent a lot of time with her, took her to Europe and enjoyed a three-week vacation with her. But I haven’t seen Mom since she moved into the nursing home. I want to remember her my way — happy, laughing, just being herself before Alzheimer’s overcame her.
My sister feels that I should see Mom at the nursing home. But, Annie, she wouldn’t know who I was, and I couldn’t take the heartbreak of seeing her like that. My sister is at her wits’ end with me. Am I wrong not to want to go? — Pam
Dear Pam: Please go see your mother. This isn’t about what makes you comfortable. It’s about showing respect for Mom and alleviating the stress that your sister has taken on by being the only family member to visit. Mom deserves to be acknowledged and loved in all her incarnations. You will still remember the wonderful, happy times you had with her, but you will never have another opportunity to say goodbye.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “At a Loss,” whose mother compulsively hoards at home, yet manages to be well-organized at her job. That situation is similar to one my late father encountered some years back. He frequently used the services of “Louise,” a 50-something secretary who did exceptional work and typed neatly. She corrected my Dad’s spelling and punctuation errors, as well. When she came to the office, she was dressed to the nines — tasteful and sophisticated.
When I hired Louise to type my master’s thesis, I needed to visit her home several times, and it was a dump with garbage and trash stacked everywhere, with only a narrow path leading from one room to the next.
Two years after that, Louise broke down entirely and stopped caring for herself. She had no family nearby, so my father and several people from her church ended up having her committed in order to protect her. — Sad Story in Michigan
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 11.23.10