Dear Annie: I am married to a wonderful guy who has a daughter by his ex-girlfriend. I have not yet met my stepdaughter. Her mother has full custody and won’t allow my husband access.
I am older than my husband by three years. I want to have a child. Before we married, my husband and I talked about having kids. We talked about it again last December, and we agreed that it was time to start a family.
Here’s the problem: He has now decided he’s not ready. I work in the maternity ward of a local hospital, and I see the complications older women can have with pregnancy and with delivery. I am getting close to that age. I want to have a healthy pregnancy and child, but the longer we wait the harder it will be. My feeling is that one is never really “ready” for kids, but you make the necessary sacrifices to have something so amazing in your life.
I have asked my husband why the sudden change in attitude, and his only response is, “I don’t know.” I’m getting tired of that, but when I say so, he replies, “I feel ya.” Totally not helpful. I don’t want to force him to have a baby, but I want a family and am getting tired of his excuses. I love my husband, but this is driving me crazy. How can I find out what is really bothering him and get him on the same page again?
Dear Monica: Whether or not to have children is one of those non-negotiable issues that can break up a marriage. Your husband is being evasive and seems uninterested in the idea of children. We wonder why he hasn’t fought harder to be a part of his daughter’s life. If having a child is crucial to you, your husband needs to know that you are willing to leave the marriage in order to find a more cooperative partner. Frankly, we aren’t sure he will make any effort to stop you.
Dear Annie: I have worked in the restaurant industry all of my life. Our place is near a clinic. It’s one thing to leave gum under the tables, but I am amazed at the number of people who leave their used bandages, cotton and surgical tape. They just put it on their plate and expect us to dispose of it. Yuck.
I understand that these people are coming to eat after having procedures done, and I am grateful for their business. But would it be too much to ask that they dispose of these medical bandages in the bathroom garbage? It’s pretty disgusting to have these things on the table.
— A Waitress, Not a Nurse
Dear Waitress: We agree. Since you get a lot of clinic customers, you can ask management about posting a sign asking people to dispose of post-procedure bandages in a specially designated “hazardous waste” container in the bathroom. But some people will leave them on the table regardless. It might be wise to talk to management about having a box of disposable gloves that can be worn when clearing the tables.
Dear Annie: This is for “Concerned,” who objected to having his late wife’s photo displayed at his granddaughter’s wedding.
When my daughter married, she had a table in the lounge area with photos of both sets of parents, even though one set was divorced. No one objected, including the new significant others. She also included photographs of all four sets of grandparents, even though three were deceased.
The bride could put a picture of her grandfather and grandmother together, and also one of the grandfather with his new wife. Seems a no-brainer to me, and it’s silly of the grandfather to be so petty about it. Weddings are headaches enough.
— Grateful We Get Along in My World
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.