Dear Annie: I have been dating “Pete” for three years and never get invited to his place. He lives in a mobile home. At first, he said he was embarrassed for me to visit. I did see it once and thought it wasn’t bad at all. He has since remodeled the place, so I expected to be invited over to see the results. Nope.
Pete’s adult children live with him, including his daughter’s boyfriend. They have their friends (and their mother!) over all the time, but not me. Pete comes to my house every weekend, has dinner with my children and me, and spends the night. When I ask why I can’t come to his place, he avoids answering.
I feel used. Every weekend, Pete has a nice place to stay and a hot shower in the morning, but he won’t share his life with me. He won’t take me on vacation, even though I’d pay my own way. He says his money is only for his children. Meanwhile, his daughter won’t speak to me because I told Pete to stop giving her his charge card to use for parties when his ex-wife comes over to stay. If I can’t come over, why should she?
I love Pete, and he says he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me, but I don’t understand what’s going on, and I don’t like it. Do you think it’s worth investing any more time in this relationship, or should I move on without him?
Dear Unhappy: We think Pete is so worried about alienating his children that he allows them to set the rules, and they have decided that their mother is welcome, but you are not. Unless Pete is willing to stand up to them, this will not change. The same goes for the allocation of his money. His kids want it, he wants to give it to them, and you don’t get a say in the matter. As with any relationship, you should weigh what you want against what you are likely to get, and then decide how to handle it.
Dear Annie: One of my co-workers is constantly on her cellphone, speaking loudly in Russian, walking up and down the halls and disrupting everyone in the building. She has been warned several times, but continues the behavior. She also spends most of the day looking at Facebook and responding to personal emails. She gets paid well for doing nothing.
A few of us have spoken to the boss about her, but so far, he hasn’t done anything. How do we proceed?
— Frustrated in Sarasota, Fla.
Dear Florida: Your problem is not the co-worker — it’s your boss. A warning that is not enforced is meaningless. Unless he attaches real consequences to her unprofessional behavior, she will continue. If there is a human resources department or your boss has a supervisor, direct your complaints there. If not, the rest of you can complain to your boss each time, preferably together, in the hope that it will spur him to take action. But otherwise, all you can do is find ways to ignore her.
Dear Annie: I believe you were mistaken in your response to “Cookies No More,” who said a man cracked a tooth on one of her cookies. Either the sister or the rented hall should have liability insurance to cover exactly this sort of incident. This is the way it works for our local Grange Hall when we rent it out for events.
— Regular Reader
Dear Reader: You are not the only reader to mention that she or the hall should have liability insurance to cover such things. We hope “Cookies” will look into it. Our thanks to all who wrote. We appreciate that you are looking out for each other.
Happy Easter to our readers.
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.
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