Posted: Tuesday, October 2, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: I am an 88-year-old father with three grown daughters. I have a substantial amount listed in my will, which originally was to be equally divided.
A year ago, my youngest daughter and I had a falling out. I said something that irritated her, and she said I am not allowed to bring up that subject again. I replied, “Don’t tell me what I can talk about. If you don’t like what I say, don’t call,” and I hung up. She took that literally, and even though I made numerous attempts to reinstate myself into her life, I was rebuffed.
I recently had major surgery. My daughter neither called nor visited. But her husband sent several emails blaming me for the estrangement, saying I should have apologized and what he really thought of me. Frankly, if my daughter had simply acted like nothing happened, it would have been over. Considering how I’ve always helped her financially, you’d think she would have cut me some slack.
When my daughter made no attempt to end this hostility after six months, I had my attorney remove her as an heir to my estate. I have since learned that my son-in-law is quite upset about this. I think he’s been very instrumental in influencing my daughter’s behavior. I also believe the only reason he was ever pleasant to me was to ensure my daughter’s inheritance.
Wills can always be changed, and if my daughter behaves better, I’m happy to reinstate her. But right now, I’m still angry and hurt by her intolerable treatment. Even if this gets resolved, I doubt I will ever feel the same toward either of them, and time is running out. — S.W. in California
Dear S.W.: Somehow, this altercation has developed into an argument about money. We agree that your daughter and her husband are behaving terribly. However, your age doesn’t absolve you of everything. A good first step toward reconciliation is to apologize for hanging up on her instead of thinking she should treat it as if “nothing happened.” We hope she will accept this and allow the relationship to mend. We suggest asking one of her sisters to act as an intermediary. If she refuses to budge, however, there is nothing more you can do.
Dear Annie: My entire family attended my cousin’s wedding in another state. One of my children flew in with his wife and two kids, and the others drove a long distance to attend. The wedding was quite elegant, and we had a nice time. We each sent lovely gifts that we spent a great deal of time selecting.
After two months, we each received a generic preprinted thank-you note that didn’t mention the gifts specifically or say anything about using them. The notes weren’t even signed.
What do you think of this “new” way of writing thank-you notes? I am so disappointed in my cousin. I hope the bridal couple sees this. — Disheartened Michigander
Dear Michigander: We hope the preprinted note was not the actual thank-you note, but just a placeholder letting you know the gift arrived and they will thank you properly later.
Dear Annie: After reading numerous stories of married couples saying the passion has left their marriages, I had to put in my two cents’ worth.
My husband and I have been married for 28 years. I, too, felt that we were in a rut. A couple of months ago, I texted a topless photo of myself to my husband while he was at work. That night, we had the most “fun” we’ve had in years. Now I keep the pictures coming on a random basis, gradually increasing the raciness. This one little step has been a lifesaver for our marriage. — Somewhere in Virginia
Dear Virginia: As long as no one else uses that phone and those photos don’t go viral, we’re all in favor of using whatever spice helps.
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, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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 10.02.12