Posted: Thursday, September 22, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I have been seeing “Captain” for three years. His 13-year-old daughter, “Rosie,” is horse crazy after riding at summer camp and is now taking lessons locally.
As a former horse trainer, I am thrilled at her interest. However, she expresses resentment with the sparse guidance I have given. So now when I take her to lessons, I stay out of the way. I understand this is not unusual.
My problem is, Captain wants to provide a facility with horses at his home. Due to my experience, he expects me to be the person who manages the barn, provides guidance to Rosie and acts as her riding partner.
I am reluctant to assume this position. Rosie and I have a peaceful relationship, mostly because I am consistently pleasant and supportive. I sense this is a fragile time for Rosie, who is a little spoiled, but who I know will someday become a thoughtful young woman. I don’t want to risk the little compatibility we have.
Captain will likely follow my stance on whether or not to proceed with a barn at his home. What do you say? — Montana Gal
Dear Montana: You have a good grasp of the boundaries a girlfriend should respect when dealing with her partner’s teenage daughter. Although it is possible the barn will bring the two of you closer, it’s equally likely that Rosie will chafe if you are in a position of authority over her. Ask yourself whether you can maintain the necessary boundaries if you accept this responsibility, and explain your concerns to Captain. It is OK to say no. But if you decide to do it, we recommend bringing Rosie into the conversation. After all, her father is doing this for her benefit, and she should have some say in the matter.
Dear Annie: I’ve been with my girlfriend for seven months. She is incredible, and I can easily see myself spending the rest of my life with her. The only problem is that she is still listed as “single” on Facebook.
This makes me feel ignored and hidden away. My girlfriend says she likes her status to be private and doesn’t pay that much attention to her Facebook page anyway. I explained that it hurts me to feel nonexistent, but she won’t change it. What should I do? — Tom
Dear Tom: Find a new girlfriend. Listing her status as “single” is no more private than listing it any other way, and she can keep it hidden if she chooses. The fact that she won’t change it after you have told her it is hurtful indicates that she doesn’t much care how you feel. We’d say she does not consider your relationship as promising as you do. Sorry.
Dear Annie: “Cold in Michigan” said his family always makes him sleep on the sofa when the other relatives use the bedrooms. I understand his dilemma. Being a single 40-year-old woman, my family thinks the couch is OK for me. What they forget is I need privacy like any other normal adult.
Why should my teenage nieces or my younger brother and his girlfriend have more privacy than I do? I would like to lay out my clothes, toiletries, contact case, etc. and wake up on my time, not necessarily when the 4-year-old wants to watch “Thomas the Train” at 6 a.m.
Also, since I am in the living room, I am hostess from morning until night, and everyone else uses the space where I am expected to relax and sleep. So I started staying in local cottages. My family says I am a snob. I say I saved my sanity. — Black Sheep of N.H.
Dear Black Sheep: We agree that everyone needs privacy, but homes can only provide so much of it. You are smart to stay elsewhere. We would, too.
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 9.22.11