Dear Annie: I am 13 and an avid reader of your column. I have been working at a summer program, and I ride a school bus there and back. Two young men ride the same bus. I have a crush on one of them (I’ll call him “Liam”), but I happen to know he likes another girl. The other guy (I’ll call him “Noah”) seems to like me. I had a crush on Noah last year, but I’m not sure I still have those same feelings. Noah sometimes sits next to me on the bus and talks to me.
Here’s the problem: One day, it seems they both like me, and then another day, Liam seems interested in that other girl, and I am laughing and giggling with Noah. I am hopelessly confused about these mixed signals. I told two of my girlfriends about this situation, and they concluded that both of these boys like me, but Liam likes the other girl better.
Is it wrong for me to like both of these boys? If Noah says he likes me, what do I do? Please help.
— Omaha, Neb.
Dear Omaha: Please don’t think you have to choose between these two boys right now. They probably both enjoy your company, although Liam seems interested in playing the field a bit more. That’s OK. Don’t be pressured to make any kind of decision. It’s perfectly fine to like both of them, at least until one of them expresses an interest and the feeling is mutual.
Dear Annie: For the past several years, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my wife and I aren’t going to have sex, so pornography and self-gratification are the alternative.
I understand that she can be tired, ill or angry or just not feel like it. But that’s all the time. She says I take it too personally when she turns me down. Yet when she insists she likes sex and wants me to initiate, I get slapped and turned away as soon as I approach her. How can I not take that personally? I finally realized I am better off accepting that we aren’t going to have sex, and I no longer get frustrated.
I send flowers, take her out to dinner, make her coffee in the morning, make her lunch for work, clean up after dinner and make breakfast on weekends. I’m in good shape. Her interest declined when our children were young. She told me if I don’t like it, I can leave, but we both know that would be bad for the kids. We talked about counseling, but she wouldn’t go, so I went by myself. The counselor wasn’t too helpful, saying suck it up or leave.
I guess I’m angry. It’s no use talking to her about it anymore. So why am I writing? I want someone to change my wife. But I know she’s the only one who can do that, and she doesn’t have much interest. Men like me lead lives of quiet desperation.
— In Pain
Dear Pain: Please understand that your counselor was right. In situations where the other person is unwilling to make changes, your choice is to stay or to go. But although you decided to stay, you didn’t truly deal with the emotional fallout and became increasingly resentful, lonely and bitter. Additional counseling may help you let go of some of that and be more at peace. Our condolences.
Dear Annie: My question for “Just Saying” is: Why all the anger? I have been a chef for 32 years and often have cooked food for those on a special diet.
The next time you go to a restaurant, simply phone ahead with your special request. I even have gone to the market to buy what my customer needs. A simple call to the chef will make your evening out a success.
— Chef P.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to email@example.com, 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.
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