Some friendships can catch on fire . . . for love

I am in a bit of a bind. One of my closest friends is like a female version of me.

Dear Annie: I am in a bit of a bind. One of my closest friends is like a female version of me.

We can talk to each other about anything, from relationships to off-the-wall topics that most people would consider strange.

However, when we talk to each other about our recent sexual exploits, some not-too-subtle flirting occurs between us.

This leads me to believe she wants to be more than friends, and I know she gets the same vibe from me.

Recently, she kissed me to see if the attraction was there.

She tried to play it cool as if it meant nothing, but that kiss made me want to find out if there really could be more than just friendship between us.

I’m sure she feels the same way. I just don’t know how to go about expressing to her that I’d like to give it a try without damaging a great friendship. I’m so confused. Any suggestions? — Chicago

Dear Chicago: Ann Landers said, “Love is friendship that has caught fire.”

Your friend obviously is interested in a romantic relationship, but she is waiting for you to make the next move.

We say, go for it.

It is possible that if things don’t work out, the friendship will be awkward for a while, although it can recover.

But if you don’t take the risk, you will always wonder “what if.” Good luck.

Dear Annie: My sister’s 32-year-old daughter, “Sasha,” lives with her. Since she was a teenager, Sasha has been in and out of jail for theft and fraud.

She has stolen from me and every other relative. If Sasha is in your home, you can

be sure things will be missing.

My sister, however, continues to think the best of her daughter.

My husband and I are having a large party to which my sister will be invited.

I have no problem making sure she understands that the invitation does not extend to Sasha, but I recognize that this will offend my sister, who probably won’t come.

Can you suggest a less hurtful way to invite my sister but not her untrustworthy daughter? — Finally Had It

Dear Finally: If your sister refuses to recognize that her daughter has a serious problem, there is no way to exclude Sasha without offending her mother.

You can phrase it diplomatically and apologize for not being able to invite Sasha to your party, but if your sister chooses not to come, so be it.

You cannot be expected to open your home to someone who repeatedly steals from you and will likely steal from your guests, as well.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Loving and Missing All at the Same Time,” whose 22-year-old daughter, “Lana,” is an inconsiderate slob.

She doesn’t want Lana living at home next year, but her husband doesn’t support her efforts to stop enabling her. You told her to create consequences for Lana’s behavior and ask her to pay rent and contribute to the housekeeping.

I have an alternate answer. When Lana doesn’t do the dishes or laundry, who ends up doing it? I suspect it is Mom. The solution would be for her to let those things pile up while she sees a movie or takes up painting.

But she can’t do it with anger or revenge. She needs to maintain a sense of humor. It also will help her to talk to someone who will listen as she blows off steam.

I bet her husband wouldn’t be so quick to accommodate Lana if he had to do her laundry, cook her food and wash her dishes. “Loving” sounds like she is carrying too much of the household load. — L.

Dear L.: We agree that Mom should not be picking up after Lana. But while it is easy to close the door to Lana’s bedroom, it is much harder to tolerate her mess in the common areas of the house.Thanks, though, for the suggestion.