Posted: Friday, April 2, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am 33 and have a 16-year-old daughter. I’m currently in a loving relationship with a 44-year-old man. I adore him with all my heart. He treats me well and shows me lots of affection. “Al” is a great father to his four children, but my problem is that he is still legally married.
Al knew when we started dating that I wanted to settle down. Every time I bring up his pending divorce, he talks about how it’s “not that simple” and “takes time.” He goes on to say that his wife wants every last dime and he’s not going to let her take everything he worked so hard for.
I don’t know if he’s holding on to the past, or if he’s mad that she left him to be with another man and thinks the other guy should take care of her now. He tells me he wants to be with me and that there is no way he would ever get back together with her. What should I do? — New York
Dear New York: This is actually your decision — how long are you willing to wait? Do you want to be with Al even if the divorce takes 10 years?
Either Al is harboring mixed feelings about his wife, or he is too wrapped up in the money to put you first. That type of battle can take years to resolve, and in the meantime, there is tremendous acrimony on all sides, which is terrible for the children. If Al truly wants to marry you, he will find a way to push the divorce through, even if it costs him more money than he would like. Otherwise, please get out of this mess.
Dear Annie: Please allow me to address two growing problems: morbidly obese people in clothing that does not fit and adults who do not bathe.
I was at a restaurant recently, and a hugely fat man walked in. He wore a T-shirt that barely covered his massive chest and left his giant stomach (which hung to his knees) exposed. From the back, you could see a nice portion of his rear end. Needless to say, I lost my appetite. You could feel a rumble of shock and disgust go through the other patrons, as well.
The next week, two men came into the same restaurant. They looked OK until I got within three feet and was nearly knocked over by the rancid sweat stink. These were men in their 50s. It’s hard for me to believe they couldn’t smell themselves. Their stench permeated the whole room for the duration of their meal.
What has happened to the simple rules of behavior? If you are so fat that your clothes don’t fit, get a bigger size or have them custom made. If you smell so bad that you’d choke a pig, take a bath.
Please don’t tell me to find another restaurant. This one is convenient, and the food is good. Instead, would you print this so people who sleep, work out and dine in the same clothing will see themselves? — Grossed Out in the Silver State
Dear Silver State: Everyone, even if they think they smell like daisies, should take a shower after working out. Otherwise, stay home. There is no excuse for assuming others will not notice or care. There are, however, people with body odor problems that are physiological in origin and difficult to treat. They do the best they can and shouldn’t be lumped in with people who practice poor hygiene. As for those who wear ill-fitting clothes that unintentionally expose body parts, we hope your letter will wake them up. It’s not pretty.
Dear Readers: We are carrying on Ann Landers’ tradition that April 2 be set aside as Reconciliation Day, a time to make the first move toward mending broken relationships. It also would be the day on which we agree to accept the olive branch extended by a former friend or estranged family member and do our best to start over.
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 4.2.10