Dear Annie: My daughter, "Felicia," is extremely bright, beautiful and has a wonderful heart. However, I am concerned about her choice in boyfriends.
Felicia tends to take on the characteristics of whomever she is dating. She was engaged to "Bob" for five years. Bob never finished high school, had no intention of getting a GED and moved from one job to another. He had no driver's license or car, so my daughter ferried him everywhere. Eventually she discovered Bob had been lying about a job and had stolen $1,000 from her bank account. When she confronted him, he became angry, took her car and managed to wreck it to the tune of $3,000. He then called on his way out of state and said he would not be back.
Felicia worked very hard getting herself together. But now she has a new boyfriend whom she met about a month ago and the nightmare is beginning all over again. "Sam" has no education, has lost his job and will not communicate with my husband or me. He is uncouth and low class, and Felicia is beginning to behave just like him. Her best girlfriend has noticed it, too.My husband and I always reassure Felicia that she's beautiful and smart and deserves a wonderful mate. I am at a loss as to why she prefers these kinds of friends and have no idea how to get through to her. Any suggestions? Worried to Death
Dear Worried: Either Felicia doesn't believe your reassurances, or she is rebelling by deliberately choosing men who will displease her parents. It's time to step back and let her make her own decisions, no matter how misguided. Some people only learn the hard way. Plaster a smile on your face and be friendly to the boyfriend. If she's rebelling, your acceptance will squash the need, and if she's lacking in self-esteem, your support will bolster her. Don't push her away by rejecting the man who could become her husband. She's going to need you.
Dear Annie: My husband and I enjoy having friends and family visit, since we've been blessed with a nicer home than we've ever had. We are not rolling in dough, but we've worked hard to achieve our goals, and I'm very frugal in my shopping habits.
The problem is, many of our houseguests, who obviously enjoy staying at what may seem like a vacation home, think we have a money tree growing out back. They often invite themselves for a weekend stay, show up empty-handed and expect three full meals a day. Once I offered some relatives cereal and fruit for breakfast and they ignored me. But when I broke out the last of my eggs, they went gaga and asked, "Where's the sausage?"We enjoy having our loved ones over and don't want to say anything that would stop them from feeling welcome. How can I politely tell them it would be nice if they could contribute to meals when they visit? Feeling Taken for Granted
Dear Taken for Granted: You are being so hospitable, they are using you as a welcome mat. Frequent overnight guests should always bring something, buy groceries or take their hosts out for a meal. You are not obligated to offer everything in the cupboard. Meals should be whatever you want to provide, even if that means leftovers for lunch and "you're on your own" for dinner. You don't owe them an apology or an explanation.
Dear Annie: You've printed several letters about rude remarks to balding men. An old acquaintance of my mother, whom she hadn't seen in over 20 years, remarked, "My goodness! Your hair has really turned gray!" My mother, pointedly staring at his receding hairline, answered, "Yes, but at least it hasn't turned loose." End of conversation. Proud of My Quick-Thinking Mom
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.