Dear Annie: I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for a few months. I love being with “Duke,” but when he’s back in his hometown, my mind goes crazy. I think about the worst possible situation and worry myself sick. I have this trust issue, and it drives me nuts.
My suspicions started when I found out Duke had a MySpace page but never told me about it. He shares a lot with me, so that seemed strange. He finally let me see it, and I realized he has pictures of himself with his ex still posted there, and he states that his status is “single.”
I understand that he and his ex are still friends, and that doesn’t bother me, but he told me once that he’d like to forget about her. So why does he keep the pictures up? He also has told me that his ex calls him every so often.
I don’t want him to think he has to hide stuff from me. Am I just over-thinking the whole situation? Should I worry? — Stressed and Frustrated
Dear Stressed: If your instincts are telling you that Duke is hiding things, he probably is. It’s possible Duke hadn’t updated his MySpace page and knew you’d be upset to see the pictures of the ex, so he postponed showing them to you. Has he since removed them and changed his status? If not, he is giving you information about his level of commitment — and you may indeed have something to worry about.
Dear Annie: My wife and I are both in our 80s and have been married for 60 years. Between us, we have 11 siblings, 22 nieces and nephews, 28 grandnieces and grandnephews and three great-grandnieces. And the family is still growing.
We wish to inform them that we will not feel slighted if they don’t send us invitations to their birthdays, graduations, weddings, etc. We are retired with fixed incomes, on strict diets and don’t drive at night. When we receive invitations, we feel compelled to decline and send a gift.
There also are funerals. We were recently asked why we didn’t attend the service for the sibling of a nephew’s spouse, whom we barely knew. That’s because we have to narrow our attendance to services for numerous close friends and relatives. Otherwise, we would be constantly attending funerals with requests for donations. To spare our elderly friends and relatives, my wife and I have decided not to have any service when our time comes.
Thank you for letting us use your column to convey our message. — Not So Grateful Uncle in Honolulu
Dear Honolulu: We understand your position, but perhaps you could think of these invitations in a different light. Your extended family is trying to stay in touch and keep you informed of family events. You are not obligated to send a gift, but perhaps you can manage a card or note with your best wishes.
Dear Annie: I, too, have a husband who starts projects he never finishes. I think a “Husband Swap” is in order. Not for sex, just for household repairs.
My husband is more than happy to work on someone else’s home projects, but not ours. A few weeks ago a co-worker needed some help with plumbing and moving his washer and dryer. As usual, my husband was eager to help and really enjoyed himself. When I suggested the “swap” to the co-worker, he thought it was a great idea.
So how about it, ladies (and gentlemen)? Get together with some of your friends and start a household projects co-op. It works for baby-sitting, why not painting and hammering? — Blessings From Pastor Diane
Dear Pastor Diane: You may be onto something here — as long as no one is held liable for damages or injuries that may result. But this could catch on. Thanks.
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 on 10.04.07