Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011 8:03 pm
Dear Annie: We have a 54-year-old friend we are desperately trying to help. “Timothy” is morbidly obese at nearly 300 pounds. He suffers from related health issues: sleep apnea, high blood pressure, joint pain and constant fatigue. He is probably diabetic, but refuses to seek medical care. He also has a terrible, self-defeating attitude.
Timothy insists he’ll start an exercise regimen, but never does. He purchased an expensive stationary bike and a bench to do sit-ups, but the bench is in the closet, buried under tons of boxes and clothing, and the bike was never put together. He couldn’t do a sit-up if you paid him a million dollars. He admits he cannot bend down to tie his shoes
Timothy works at a low-paying job that he hates. We have been after him for years to freshen up his resume and find better work. He says no one would hire him. The way he looks, he is probably right. Anytime we mention that he should start exercising, watch what he eats or start looking for better employment, it just makes him angry. He says he’ll do it when he’s ready.
We love him. He has a great sense of humor and a good heart. But at this rate, we doubt he will see 60. Is there anything we can do? — Desperate To Help
Dear Desperate: It must be terribly frustrating to know that you cannot force Timothy to change his ways, even for his own sake. Your comments only create pressure. Please stop pushing him to exercise or polish his resume. Instead, suggest he get a complete checkup, because he seems depressed. Let him know how much you value and enjoy his company. Pick him up after work and take a long walk together and chat, or offer to be his workout buddy. Invite him over for a nutritious meal without lecturing him about it. Losing weight is the ultimate do-it-yourself project.
Dear Annie: I recently attended a concert at a large venue. Unfortunately, I was unable to see much of the performance because three people in front of me insisted on standing.
I put my hand on the shoulder of one of these men and asked him to please sit down. He responded by telling me that if I touched him again, he would call the cops. He then got rather cheeky and shook his booty in my face.
After the concert, I finally located an usher who said I could have gone to guest services on the other side of the arena, although the only thing they would have done is find me another seat. I contacted management and was told, “Every guest has the right to their chair and the space in front of it, even if the majority of other guests choose to be seated.” I grew up in an era when no guest had the right to be inconsiderate of those around them. Has society changed that much? — A Fan
Dear Fan: We suspect it changed with the advent of rock concerts, when patrons felt encouraged to get up and yell, sing or dance along. Is it inconsiderate? Yes. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do other than change your seat or attend more sedate concerts. Sorry.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “R.J.,” the 44-year-old guy who wants to date a “stunning” college senior. You forgot to tell him that the collective groan he hears is from all the young women who wish the creepy old guys would leave us alone. — Been There
Dear Been There: Some relationships with a large age gap can work, but they usually require an existing friendship, rather than hitting on someone much younger because she looks hot.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, 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 12.26.11