Dear Annie: My son recently said something that embarrassed me and kept me awake most of the night.
My wife and I were at his home for dinner, along with my daughter and several others. We were talking about TV, and my son mentioned a show where a guy does all kinds of things to save money. He said to my daughter, “If you think your daddy is cheap, you should see this guy.” I said nothing at the time because I didn’t want to spoil the occasion. But evidently, he and my daughter both think I am cheap.
Annie, I put both of them through college, and so they don’t owe any money. I worked three jobs so my son could attend a prestigious university out East. They have never wanted for anything.
It’s been three months, and I’m still hurting. Any advice?
— Disappointed Dad
Dear Dad: No one wants to be thought of as cheap, especially by his own children. But we don’t think your son or daughter intended to be hurtful. What you consider sensibly frugal, they undoubtedly recall as you saying “no” to their innumerable requests for toys, gifts, vacations, etc., and how pleased you were when you saved a penny here and there. But please don’t let this fester, as it could damage your relationship with your children. Talk to your son and tell him how much his comment hurt you. We hope he’ll be more aware of your feelings in the future.
Dear Annie: I have been a widow for three years. My husband was my first love, and we were married for 36 years.
I have now met a man who seems similar to my late husband. I really like “Don,” but I worry that he only wants a caregiver. When we first met, I asked whether he had any health issues, and he said no. But after our second date, he started saying our relationship wasn’t moving fast enough. After a month, Don ended up in the hospital with a mild heart attack, for which he needed a stent. A week later, he was back in the hospital.
I think Don lied to me about his health and is looking for someone to be a nursemaid. I like him, but I’m not willing to put forth that kind of effort for a man who has lied to me. I don’t mean to sound callous, but I don’t want to take care of a stranger. It is different when you have loved someone for a while, as opposed to walking into a relationship with someone who already has health problems.
Am I doing the right thing by breaking it off, or should I go along and see what is ahead for us? I really am confused.
— Don’t Want To Be Saddled So Soon
Dear Don’t: Heart attacks are generally unexpected, so unless Don was aware that he had heart problems, he may not have been lying about his health. And over time, health problems are more likely to arise in any relationship.
However, we are more concerned that Don seems to be rushing things. You should never feel pressured to move faster than what makes you comfortable. If you enjoy Don’s company, there’s no reason not to continue seeing him, but make it clear that you are in no hurry. If he wants a caregiver, he should look elsewhere.
Dear Annie: I read the responses to “I Need Nice Clothes, Too,” about large-size clothing selections. My complaint is about petite sizes for mature women. There is no selection at all. It’s as if we are being discriminated against because we are short.
We like to dress fashionably. We wear coats, pajamas, slacks and dresses, but few stores carry petite sizes, and fewer still have clothing suitable for anyone over 12. I’m sure it’s the same problem for tall women.
— Warren, Ohio
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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