Dear Annie: I’m confused about what to do with a situation in my family. At the age of 21, I am the oldest of four children. My parents have been divorced for seven years and still remain good friends. Dad remarried six years ago and is miserable. I know because he told me.
I have evidence that makes me believe my father is having an affair with my best friend’s mother. (She is divorced.) I am convinced he is in love with her. I am not condoning his affair, but I want him to be happy. I want him to get out of his current marriage with some integrity left.
The only person this is going to hurt is my stepmom. I don’t wish her ill, but I have seen how unhappy my father is and have been hoping for a long time that he could see his way out of his misery. Should I encourage him to fight for his happiness?
— Distraught Son
Dear Son: We know you love your father and want him to be happy, but you truly need to stay out of this. Too often, well-meaning family and friends get blamed for whatever happens. You can tell Dad that he deserves to be content and you want that for him. You can also tell him to seek counseling if he’s having trouble. But that’s it. He needs to handle his marriage in his own way.
Dear Annie: Why is it that when you hit the magic age of 60, people automatically think of you as being old? I am 62 years old. I do not act old, and I do not dress old. But ever since I turned 60, people have been treating me like I should be sitting in a rocking chair waiting to die.
I had a 22-year job with a large company that decided those of us with years of experience should no longer be working for them. And now it’s impossible to find another position.
Companies should not be afraid to hire older people. We are good, reliable and responsible workers. We don’t take time off for maternity leave and are willing to work long and late hours.
I have been looking for full-time employment for more than a year. I am not ready to retire. I know how important it is to keep active at any age, so I’ve taken a series of part-time jobs. Please tell businesses not to be afraid to hire an older adult. We are willing to give our all for the betterment of your company.
— Young at Heart
Dear Young at Heart: In most instances, companies drop older workers for economic reasons. However, they lose a great deal when it comes to experience and continuity, which can end up costing more in the long run. Seniors can find information on job searches and training at foundation.aarp.org and through experienceworks.org (1-866-976-5939).
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Michigan,” who was worried about her future connection to her sons after they marry. Please allow me to give her the advice my father gave to me.
Before I married, my father sat me down at the kitchen table and said, “You’ll have a couple of houses, several cars, maybe some kids and even the possibility of another wife, but let me tell you something, boy. You’re only going to have one mother. Treat her well while she’s here.”
Two years ago, I buried both parents and have no regrets because I was there for them.
— Still Miss Them
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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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