Dear Annie: I am 27 and am engaged to my 26-year-old fiancee. However, she recently told me about her college days, which included a lot of sex with both men and women, sometimes in groups. She said she really enjoyed it, but it is in the past.
I find it difficult to understand why she didn’t tell me this long ago, and I wonder where her head is now. How can I trust her to be honest with me and not fall back into her old ways? I mean, if you had a great time at Disneyland, wouldn’t you want to go back?
Dear Dismayed: Not necessarily. Your fiancee didn’t tell you this earlier because she didn’t think your relationship was solid enough to withstand her confession. Frankly, we don’t believe couples need to tell each other every detail about prior relationships. It can poison the well. Partners should know about previous engagements, marriages and children, but other romantic entanglements don’t need to be confessed unless they will have an impact down the line.
By telling you that she had sex with women and in groups, you are now wondering whether your fiancee is bisexual and will want group sex again. But it’s not like Disneyland. A lot of college kids engage in rather adventurous sexual escapades because they are experimenting and sampling everything. It doesn’t mean she is still interested in any of this, and you aren’t giving her the opportunity to prove she has outgrown it.
Nonetheless, such concerns merit further discussion. Please get into premarital counseling to see whether you can work through this. But we caution you: If her prior life means you will never trust her, we don’t recommend marriage.
Dear Annie: Every month I take many medications. In the past, when I’ve finished one, I tear the label off of the container and throw it into the recycling bag. I think that throwing these out is such a waste. I called the pharmacy and asked whether the containers are returnable, and they told me no. Do you have any idea why they do not reuse these containers?
Dear Anonymous: We contacted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and here is what we were told: Reuse of this sort of container is complicated, due to the remaining residues from different medications and the facilities that pharmacies would need to have onsite to be able to safely reuse the containers. Plastic medicine bottles can be recycled, but collection varies greatly throughout the country. Some residential recycling programs collect medicine bottles for recycling, as do some pharmacies and stores. (For example, Whole Foods encourages consumers to bring all No. 5 plastics to their store, which generally includes medicine bottles.) A helpful resource for finding recycling outlets for specific materials is Earth911.com.
Dear Annie: Sorry, but your answer to “Grinch in Arizona” could have been better. She said she and her husband say in advance that they are giving donations to an animal shelter instead of presents, but her stepdaughter keeps giving them gifts. You said they should bring a card from the animal shelter saying the donation had been made in their honor.
Giving a donation to “Grinch’s” favorite charity is not a gift to the family. It would be much better to tell the family you are giving donations and ask whether they have a favorite charity. If not, then Grinch could suggest their animal shelter.
Dear Cheryl: Since this couple made it clear in advance that this was their holiday policy and they wanted no gifts in return, we thought it was acceptable. But many readers agree with you.
Annie’s Snippet for Income Tax Day: The nation should have a tax system that looks like someone designed it on purpose.
— William Simon
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