Posted: Monday, September 19, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: My wife said I should ask for your advice. We have a next-door neighbor, “Dee,” whose husband died 10 years ago. She’s become my wife’s best friend and confidant. I help with maintenance on her house and car. We both think the world of her.
My doctor has a small practice with one nurse. I’ve been going to him forever, but he’s getting along in years. He has a hard time keeping up with the patient charts and taking notes, so he has his nurse stay in the exam room after prepping the patients in order to assist the doctor. I’m a modest guy, but I’ve tolerated this extra woman in the room. This worked out fine until recently.
The nurse left when her husband relocated. Dee is a nurse, and she applied for the position and got it. I’m now faced with the prospect of having Dee in the room while the doctor examines me.
I’m not comfortable with this. I can’t ask for a different nurse because there isn’t one. My wife thinks I’m being silly. She says seeing men undressed is part of Dee’s job and no big deal. She also told me that before Dee applied for the job, she asked if this would be a problem and my wife assured her it wouldn’t.
I don’t want to cause any hard feelings with Dee. She’s a great person, but it disturbs me to think she and my wife might be discussing my health over coffee. I’ve already canceled and rescheduled a complete physical. My new appointment is coming up soon. I don’t want to switch doctors. What can I do? — Modest Mike
Dear Mike: Please inform your doctor of your concerns so he can make sure Dee follows professional standards and doesn’t discuss your health with your wife or anyone else. It is also OK to ask your doctor to examine you without Dee present or to have her leave before you disrobe. Perhaps he can record his notes if he has difficulty remembering them.
Dear Annie: My husband and I were close friends with “Jane” and her husband for more than 40 years. We even spent vacations together.
A few years ago, Jane’s husband died. A couple of months later, a gentleman was paying a great deal of attention to her, and I said, “If I didn’t know better, I would wonder about the two of you.”
Jane said I insulted her and told me to never contact her again. I wrote anyway and apologized. I’ve sent birthday cards and Christmas cards, but haven’t heard from her, although she keeps in touch with my kids. She said she expected me to come to her house. She recently told my daughter that the more she thought about it, she realized my comment wasn’t so bad, but she just isn’t ready to make up with me.
Now I wonder if perhaps she never really liked me, but was close only because of our husbands’ friendship. Should I try again or let it be? — Missing My Friend
Dear Missing: Let it be. We assume Jane was ultrasensitive to your comment because her husband had only recently died. But you have done everything possible to be forgiven, and Jane has made it clear that she isn’t ready. If she wants to repair the friendship, let her make the next move. Then you will know she is genuinely interested in renewing the bond.
Dear Annie: You printed a letter from “Sexually Frustrated,” whose wife isn’t interested in intimacy. Here’s another option: She may not be into men.
After 32 years with my husband, I, too, wondered why he wasn’t interested. For years, I thought it was me. I wasn’t pretty enough or sexy enough. Then it came out that he was really attracted to men.
Please tell “Frustrated” that his situation may not improve unless his wife is open and honest about what is up with her. I wish I had known earlier. My husband and I are great friends, but my needs go by the wayside. — Monogamous and Unfulfilled
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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 9.19.11