Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 10:27 am
Dear Annie: Our 23-year-old daughter, “Shawna,” recently decided to get married in May. She is living at home while attending graduate school. She has at least one more year to go.
For years, we’ve been telling Shawna that when she has her master’s degree and can get a decent job to support herself, we would give her any kind of wedding she wanted. Her boyfriend, whom neither my husband nor I like, was responsible for her losing her job. He was accused of theft, and because he worked with Shawna, she was also terminated due to their relationship. In the short year she has been with him, he has managed to get her heavily in debt. Now Shawna’s credit is damaged, too. She would have to go to work full time, which would delay finishing her education.
We have told her that we will not enable her choice to marry until she has finished her education. We hope that if we stand our ground, she will back down and wait. We do not want her to have a cheap, tacky wedding, but we can’t in good conscience support this. Please help. — Torn in Louisiana
Dear Torn: You do not have to give Shawna a big, fancy wedding under any circumstances and certainly not if she hasn’t fulfilled the conditions you originally set up. But there is no guarantee she will back down, and if she goes ahead with the marriage without your emotional support, your relationship will suffer.
We agree she is making a mistake, but she is an adult and must face the consequences of her decisions. Do your best to welcome this man into your family. If he’s not the right guy, Shawna will have to see that for herself.
Dear Annie: I am a middle-aged, slightly overweight, menopausal woman. I have a message to retailers: If you want our group to buy clothes, please give us something we want to wear.
We don’t want large flowers, psychedelic prints (that we already wore in the ’60s), empire-waisted shirts, ruffles and things that tie in the back. I don’t want low-cut, see-through fabrics I can’t wear to work or cute blouses with matching undershirts that have spaghetti straps that can’t be worn with a bra.
Is it too much trouble to produce simple blouses in pretty colors and cool, breathable fabrics? What about short sleeves or three-quarter length? Our arms aren’t made for sleeveless things, and hot flashes make long sleeves uncomfortable. And why are navy shoes so difficult to find? — Won’t Be Shopping Until Things Change
Dear Won’t Be Shopping: We’ve seen plenty of navy shoes, and long-sleeved cuffs can be unbuttoned and rolled up, but a lot of your complaints are valid. Most styles are created with young, slender women in mind, so we hope some enterprising designers will remember that there are thousands of menopausal baby boomers out there who would like to look fashionable in appropriate, flattering clothes.
Dear Annie: I have to respond to “Confused Out West,” whose husband loves to referee. About 20 years ago, I was in the same boat. My husband refereed both football and basketball games, plus we had four kids. I, too, was at my wits’ end and thought he should quit. However, a wise person said to me, “Why do you want him to give up something he loves so much? Find a compromise.”
We discussed it and decided he would ref on Friday or Saturday night, but never both nights in one weekend. The night he was gone became a special time for Mom and the kids. Now the kids are grown and my husband still refs. I enjoy having one weekend night to myself. I can work out, watch a chick flick or relax and read. The night he is home we try to do something together. As an added benefit, he is in better physical shape than most 60-year-old men. — Glad He Refs
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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 12.19.08