Dear Annie: My daughter has been dating the same guy for 11 years. Three years ago, she purchased a townhouse, and he moved in. He has terrible sleep habits. He claims his “internal sleep clock” is not in sync with the rest of the world. He stays up most nights playing on his computer and has a difficult time waking in the morning. He then spends his weekends trying to catch up on his sleep, staying in bed until late afternoon. He claims this is why he has yet to complete his college degree. He has a dead-end job because they tolerate his hours.
My daughter has done research on sleep disorders and offered him names of doctors and clinics in the area that specialize in helping people, but he refuses to go.
My daughter has a fantastic job. She is intelligent, beautiful, outgoing and fun, and has a wide circle of friends who apparently make up for what she doesn’t get from Rip Van Winkle. This lopsided relationship is not what I had hoped for her. She deserves so much more. She and I have had many discussions about this, and at one point it negatively affected our relationship. Since then, I’ve tried to keep my thoughts to myself.
She recently told me that Rip expects to inherit some money from an aunt who recently died. He claims he will use the money to buy an engagement ring and pay for online college classes. Frankly, I would prefer she never marry him. How do I prepare myself to react to a possible engagement?
— Sleepyhead’s Mother-In-Law-To-Be
Dear SMILTB: Sleep disorders can be serious, but the fact that Rip Van Winkle has no interest in seeing a doctor means he would rather maintain the status quo. You already know your daughter isn’t inclined to listen to your opinions about this guy. So practice smiling in front of the mirror, because there isn’t much else you can do. We hope Rip Van Winkle has some redeeming qualities to make up for his lack of ambition, and one of them may be that he loves your daughter a great deal. Please try to focus on those good qualities and accept her decision with grace and fortitude.
Dear Annie: I recently asked a good friend to accompany me to a store where I needed to make a return. I wasn’t sure the manager would be cooperative and wanted my friend for support. She declined.
I was hurt and now wonder whether she is as good of a friend as I thought. I would have done it for her had she asked. Am I making too much of this?
— What Are Friends For?
Dear What: Yes. Your friend may have her own issues about returning items, and this particular request may have made her terribly uncomfortable. Our friends cannot be all things to us. If she is otherwise good to you, please let her off the hook for this type of activity.
Dear Annie: I had to respond to “Frustrated Cook,” who admonished children who were picky eaters. My son was like that. Rather than create tension, I decided to cook what he would eat, even if it meant cooking a different dish. I remember my relatives giving me “the look” because they thought I was enabling him and that it was my fault he had such a limited palate.
As an adult, he is still picky, but now he can explain it to me. He says the texture of certain foods has always been a huge issue for him. He will now try different foods within limits. But he has expressed his gratitude to me for not forcing him to eat or go without. To my relatives and others out there, don’t judge unless you know the whole story.
— Happy Mom and Son
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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