Dear Annie: I am a 52-year-old single male, never married.
Ten months ago, I met the love of my life. “Cindy” is everything to me. She was widowed two years ago and has two adult daughters, one still at home.
The dilemma is that the girls are very unhappy that Mom is dating me. Mind you, they’ve never met me. It’s just the idea that Mom is dating.
Cindy told them I make her happy, while constantly reiterating that I am not a replacement for their father and never will be.
I try to ignore this obstacle, but it bothers Cindy. I know she will never put her foot down and insist the girls accept me.
She has suggested I come over for dessert on holidays, but the girls are against it, so I’ve yet to be included in any of their family get-togethers.
I would have thought that after 10 months things would be a tad better.
I would love to take all of them to dinner. I don’t want to force Cindy to choose between her daughters and me, but I don’t want to lose her.
Is it too soon for the girls to accept us? Shouldn’t they let their mom be happy? Please tell me what to do so I don’t blow this fantastic relationship. — Walking on Eggshells
Dear Eggshells: Ten months is not too soon. Many children of single parents resent when Mom or Dad becomes involved with someone new.
It is up to Cindy to make it clear to her daughters that you are part of her life and insist that they be respectful of her choices.
If she refuses to do that, your current situation will continue for as long as you are willing to tolerate it.
Dear Annie: Is it just me, or is quality customer service a thing of the past? I just returned from a shopping trip to a local store. The owner seemed nice at first. She showed me around and pointed out things of interest. The trouble started when I mentioned I wasn’t ready to buy anything. She then replied, “I’m sorry and I hope you don’t mind, but I have a huge order I need to fill today. Please excuse me.”
I was appalled. I told her that a customer standing right there was more valuable, and that if I walked out, she shouldn’t expect me to return. She replied, “This order represents 25 per cent of our annual revenue, and I cannot disappoint this customer.” Well, she ended up disappointing this customer instead. I hope this will serve as a wake-up call to businesses that think they can afford to alienate their average customers. — Ignored in Virginia
Once you said you were “just looking,” the owner obviously felt her time would be better spent elsewhere. She is not obligated to hold your hand while you browse, but we agree she handled it poorly. She should have told you to take your time looking around and let her know if you found anything of interest, instead of saying out loud that she had more important things to do.
Dear Annie: “Hopeless in Parenting,” who disapproves of her 17-year-old daughter staying overnight with eight other couples and no adult supervision, should be applauded and supported.
Our daughter is also going to prom. She and her friends are straight-A, college bound teens. They have normal hormones, which makes it completely nuts to expect even well-behaved, decent kids to play in a candy store without tasting the candy. Our daughter understands this and frankly does not want to be put in that position. Tell “Hopeless” to stick to her guns — no parents, no party. — Mom of Three
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com