Dear Annie: I am a senior in high school and have been lucky enough to find myself in a relationship with a loving, caring and amazing young man.
I do not do drugs and plan to stay clean for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, “Kevin” often smokes marijuana with his friends. I don’t think he smokes so much that it affects his life or his education, but it is an illegal drug and I am afraid of the consequences if he were to be arrested.
I have asked him to stop many times. While I know he respects my opinion, I don’t think it’s enough. I am trying to trust he will make the right choice. Yet whenever he goes out with his friends, I find myself constantly anxious about him. Annie, how do I ease my worried mind? — Layla
Dear Layla: You can’t force Kevin to give up pot if he’s unwilling. You also cannot protect him from being caught with an illegal substance. Either break up with him and find someone who shares your idea of clean living, or accept that whatever happens is of his own choosing and beyond your control. Worrying accomplishes nothing. Indifference can make the inevitable easier to endure.
Dear Annie: I have several friends who always say, “I can’t afford that.” What is a good response to this statement? — Like to Know
Dear Like to Know: It depends on the circumstances. If they say it when you have suggested going in on a gift for a friend, the response should be, “Then we’ll get something else.” If they say it when you have just purchased a fancy stereo system, the response should be, “I feel very fortunate.”
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Terribly Confused,” who had fallen for her gay friend, “Geoff.” Here’s what this situation looks like from a gay man’s perspective: Geoff, as is true of many gay men, probably likes women and enjoys having them as friends. If a gay man spends a lot of time with female friends, straight women sometimes interpret this as “confusion about their sexuality.” Most often, that is just wishful thinking. Most men are not confused about their sexual orientation. Either men turn you on or women do.
Here’s what’s frustrating: Gay men often clearly tell women friends that we are gay, always have been gay, have never been turned on by women, but would like to be friends. The woman often says she understands, but acts otherwise.
I have one such friend now. I’ve told her parts of my gay history and joked with her like a woman would with a girlfriend when I see a guy in a restaurant I find attractive. It makes no difference. She incessantly calls me “Sweetie” or “Darling,” is coy and seductive and puts her hands on me in ways that make me cringe.
Women should ask themselves: How many times have you told a guy you are just interested in being friends, only to have the guy constantly hit on you, touch you or eye you lasciviously? It feels like sexual harassment. And then he accuses you of “leading him on.” Makes you want to scream, doesn’t it? Often you have to end the friendship if he won’t accept boundaries.
Most men are pretty direct, whether gay or straight. If Geoff wanted her, he would have made his move. She shouldn’t delude herself. You gave her good advice, Annie. If she can’t accept Geoff as a friend, she should stop seeing him. Staying emotionally connected to a man she can’t have may keep her from being hurt by someone else, but it also keeps her lonely. She deserves better. — Gay Shrink in Texas
Dear Texas: Too many women think all friendly men are flirting, and some women are challenged by the prospect of getting a gay man to be attracted to them. Thank you for spelling out the truth so clearly.
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 2.8.08