Posted: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I are both military. Recently, two of our oldest friends (also military) announced that they are splitting. “Emily” was cheating on “Roger” while she was deployed and now believes there is someone out there who is better for her.
When Emily returned home, she was very angry because none of her friends would speak to her. She accused Roger of turning everyone against her. To my knowledge, he has done nothing but answer people’s questions honestly. Now she says no one will listen to her because they’re already on Roger’s side.
Annie, I know there are two sides to every story and every marriage. But I’m very upset with Emily for her behavior, especially because it’s not the first time it has happened. To be honest, I don’t think I can be unbiased about her side of the story because I don’t see how she can justify cheating. Do I owe it to her to listen? — Torn Friend in Rapid City, S.D.
Dear Torn Friend: We think you should take the time to listen simply to put the issue to rest. After all, she has been a friend for years, and even if you don’t agree with her, friends are supposed to lend an ear. Let her have her say, and then you can make up your own mind about whether the friendship is worth saving.
Dear Annie: At the request of our daughter and her fiance, we invited two gay gentlemen to their wedding. When the bride and groom motioned for people to join in for their first dance, it never dawned on us that the two men might wish to slow dance together. Needless to say, many guests, including us, were uncomfortable and unprepared for that situation.
As host, I felt disrespected in that I was not asked if it would be OK. I think my wife and I deserved that consideration. My wife later asked that we forget about it because the party went over well and it was only one dance. I agree. But I would like to know exactly what the protocol is for these types of situations. I always felt that hosts who foot the bill should have some say over anything inappropriate that might occur. — Dad
Dear Dad: We understand that watching two gay men dance together was difficult for you, but we are going to ask you to be tolerant. These gentlemen are a couple and, like any other, when invited to dance at a wedding, wanted to do so. We doubt it occurred to anyone that you expected to be asked for permission. And the fact that it was only one dance indicates the two men were aware of your disapproval and did not wish to cause offense. Hosts cannot possibly control every aspect of an event. Your wife is right. Please forget about it.
Dear Annie: I had to comment on the letter from “Confused in California,” who justifies shoplifting because he can’t find a good job. He needs to understand the impact an arrest for theft will have on his future.
With over 25 years in the staffing industry, I can state credibly that such an arrest, whether he serves jail time or not, will preclude him from employment even for unskilled, menial jobs. In the last five years, criminal background checks have become mandatory for all positions, so even a minimum-wage job that requires no secondary education, training or skills will require a relatively clean criminal background.
This grad better cease his criminal behavior, or he will most certainly lose the grocery store job, never obtain a position in his field and have very few employment opportunities for the future. As you said, he should move to an affordable neighborhood and get a roommate. He also should move somewhere that has good public transportation and then sell his car to pay down his debt. — V.P. of Operations in Reading, Penn.
Dear Reading: Thanks for laying the facts on the line. We hope he is listening.
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, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.22.09