Dear Annie: I’m an 18-year-old girl who is smart, funny, cute and kind. The problem? I’ve never had a boyfriend or a date until now. I’m the oldest child in my family, so I’m kind of new to the whole thing.
I met “Jacob” and we hit it off right away. We met face-to-face two weeks ago. Jacob is nice, quiet and only a year older than I am. I’d like my parents to meet Jacob, as kind of a reassurance thing, but I don’t know how to tell them that we met online. I know they are going to ask and I don’t want to lie, but they aren’t crazy about the idea of meeting people by computer because of all the horror stories you hear. Is there a way to bring it up without them going completely nuts? — Wanting Him
Dear Wanting: Your parents should indeed meet Jacob, and the sooner, the better. Tell them about the new man in your life, and when they ask how you met, show them the site and let them see for themselves what’s there. It might be more acceptable than they expect. (We trust it isn’t a chat room for, say, vampires.) Either way, explain that you want them to get to know Jacob and hope they will give him a chance. We’re betting they will. And if they like him, how you met will become irrelevant.
Dear Annie: My husband is a medic serving in Iraq. I recently got a call from his 69-year-old mother letting me know she had been to the doctor with a bladder infection and a few more minor things. She didn’t say whether the doctors thought it was cause for major concern.
She told me not to tell my husband because she doesn’t want him to worry. Do I respect her wishes and not say anything? His parents are country folk who don’t understand a lot of medical jargon, and my husband is usually able to explain things to them. I think he’d want to know. He’s not a worrier, especially about illness. What should I do? — Army Wife in the Know
Dear Army Wife: Say nothing to your husband for the moment. Mom needs to know she can trust you. Her problems seem manageable, especially since she is under the care of a physician. However, please encourage her to tell her son. Explain that he would want to know and that his medical knowledge will be helpful. In the meantime, keep tabs on her health and make it clear that if things worsen, her son will need to be informed.
Dear Annie: Yesterday, I received a recorded phone message from a candidate who wanted my vote. I am on the National Do Not Call Registry. I realize that political candidates are not legally obligated to honor the list, but if this candidate cannot respect the preferences of his or her constituents in such a simple matter, how can that person represent our preferences if elected? I will not vote for this candidate. — Mississippi Voter
Dear Mississippi: We hope you phoned the candidate’s campaign headquarters and explained why he or she was not getting your vote. But you might want to reconsider. According to the Federal Trade Commission, calls from political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors are still permitted, as are calls from companies with which you have an existing business relationship — that means any company from which you’ve purchased something or have called to request information. Political solicitations are not considered telemarketing and are exempt, so we doubt they even bother to look at the lists. In fact, we’re surprised you only received calls from one candidate.
By the way, although registration was set to expire after five years, the FTC now plans to make the Registry permanent. Those who want more information, or who want to add their phone numbers can call 1-888-382-1222 or go online to donotcall.gov.
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 3.10.08