Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I’m 24 years old and confused. I have been in an on-and-off relationship with the same woman for the past eight years.
A year ago, I discovered “Samantha” had been having extended, all-night conversations with “Andrew,” the same guy she cheated on me with in high school. I was so hurt that I broke off our relationship.
We got back together a few months later, but during the break, I got involved with “Ava.” Ava recently had a baby boy and told me I might be the father. I have asked for a DNA test, but in the meantime, I’ve become really attached to the child and told Ava she can call on me any time. Even if the baby is not mine, I would still want to be part of his life. The other potential candidate for fatherhood changed his phone number and moved out of town. No child should grow up without a father.
Am I wrong to want to be a father to this boy even though I’m back with Samantha now? — A Man with a Good Heart
Dear Man: Becoming a father to another woman’s child could profoundly change the relationship you have with Samantha. If the child is biologically yours, you have a legal obligation to care for him. If you are not the father, it is kind and generous of you to want to be part of his life, and we hope you will be. But if you intend to stay with Samantha, we recommend you let her be part of the decision. Otherwise, you may have to choose between them.
Dear Annie: My sister, “Crissy,” has been married eight years and has two young children and a third on the way.
The problem is, Crissy bombards the entire family with pictures of her chilcren. I have two children, and my brother has three. We all live in close proximity and see each other often. The only gifts Crissy ever gives anyone are huge, framed photographs of her children. It has become a family joke. My mom has complained to me that she has run out of room to put up all the pictures of Crissy’s children that she sends every birthday, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Annie, is it in good taste to constantly give framed photos of your family to others and expect them to display them in their homes to the point that it is intrusive? We love Crissy and her children, but we are — Running Out of Room
Dear Running: You do not have to display every large photograph Crissy gives you. Exhibit the most current one, and put the others in a box or scan them into your computer. If Crissy asks where the pictures went, simply tell her you don’t have the space to display all of her photographs, although you’d love to have the pictures without the frames. She may be relieved. It’s expensive to keep doing this.
Dear Annie: I share the fears of “Scared to be Alone,” who thinks someone may break into her house. I agree she may need therapy to deal with her phobia. But I also think she should engage the services of a licensed locksmith to see what additional security measures could be put into place. There are newer technologies now, such as light sensors around the border of the roof. With good security, her fears might go away. — Worth Looking Into
Dear Worth: Thanks for the suggestion. Readers also recommended she invest in a state-of-the-art alarm system. These things should indeed help, but if she has a true phobia, no security measure may be enough.
Dear Readers: Today is Administrative Professionals Day. If you have assistants who make your job easier, let them know how much they are appreciated.
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 4.21.10