Dear Annie: I recently moved into an apartment with three other guys. We get along well and have fun together.
One of my roommates is a serious player and has no qualms about dating six women at the same time. With each one, he implies that the relationship is exclusive.
He told me he does this because he got burned once. I told him that’s a risk in any relationship and that he should stop being part of the problem.
Now he brings his various girlfriends to the apartment. They think he’s a great guy who seems so genuine. I have to interact with them and feel horrible lying, smiling and pretending I don’t know what’s really going on.
What should I do? If I expose him, it will sour our relationship. At the same time, I can’t keep pretending that his womanizing is OK. Do I really have to move again? — New Yorker
Dear New Yorker: You cannot become involved in every roommate’s issues, nor can you be every woman’s protector, although bless you for trying.
These women are responsible for their own character judgments, good or bad. You have told The Snake how you feel about his behavior, and we think you should do so again, more forcefully, pointing out that he has become the type of person he detests. And when he brings a girlfriend over, we recommend you vacate the premises or retreat to your bedroom.
You should not be forced to put on a phony face for his benefit.
Dear Annie: My son recently married his longtime girlfriend. My wife and I paid for the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon, and the bridal couple paid for the rest. The reception was small, and the ceremony even smaller. They also wanted no children younger than high-school age. We would have liked to expand the guest list, but it wasn’t our money, and we didn’t push.
My sisters felt that their young children should have been invited, and one boycotted the wedding in protest. Then, two months later, our cousin married, opting for a destination wedding. Neither my sisters nor I could make it.
Afterward, the couple held a local reception and specifically said “no children.” The same sister who boycotted my son’s wedding was perfectly OK attending this childfree reception.
My son is moving out of state next year, and my wife and I are retiring to Florida. I would just as soon write off that branch of the family, but my wife wants to make a big deal out of this snub. Your suggestions? — Put Out in Peoria
Dear Put Out: The two weddings are not exactly comparable in that your son is a closer relation to your sister’s young children than your cousin’s child is, and she was not as offended by their exclusion.
However, boycotting your son’s wedding was petty and selfish. You need not make a big deal out of this or write them off.
Moving away will take care of any regular contact while leaving open the possibility of reconciliation down the road.
Dear Annie: “Worried Driver in Lafayette, Ind.” asked for a universal sign to get people to stop talking on their cellphones while driving.
Despite all the hysteria, the fact is that in the 15 years that cellphones have become widespread, traffic accidents and fatalities have decreased 25 percent, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. — Hawaii
Dear Hawaii: The problem with quoting statistics is that you have to put them in context. Overall traffic fatalities did dip, but “distracted driving” accidents (e.g., eating, drinking, adjusting the radio and cellphone use) increased by up to 16 percent.
Also, even though hand-held phone use decreased by 5 percent and is against the law in more states, 18 percent of distracted-driving fatalities involved cellphone use.
Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.