Dear Annie: A couple of years ago, you published my letter signed “No-Win Situation in Wisconsin.” My wife and I had been sharing a vacation with another couple, and I witnessed the husband kiss my wife on the lips as they left. You said if I trust my wife, not to worry about it.
After you printed my letter, I wrote this couple a half-sincere “take the high road” letter, admitting I could have been wrong about interpreting that kiss and invited them to come for dinner and stay over. They never replied. But a month later, they drove into town and met my wife for lunch while I was at work. The husband asked my wife whether I felt “neglected.” How smug is that?
A couple of weeks later, my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary at a lovely vacation spot, and a week later, she stayed overnight at this couple’s home while visiting a mutual friend who was ill.
I am getting the distinct message that I am the one with the problem, and therefore, I can be completely bypassed when she makes decisions involving this couple. While I do not feel it would be right to ask my wife to close the door on this friendship, that last visit had me losing sleep. I wrote my wife a letter about my feelings, and even though I realize their relationship could be nothing, it still upsets me.
Now that this husband has retired, I fear the pace will quicken in his efforts to put our friendship back where it was, but whatever my insecurities and shortcomings, I get angry just thinking about it. Am I making sense or just going bananas? — More Maine Madness
Dear Maine: We doubt anything untoward is going on, but your wife is deliberately disregarding your feelings. She thinks you are being foolish, and so she ignores you. This makes you feel marginalized and angry. Please stop writing letters and simply talk to your wife. Tell her gently that seeing this couple behind your back only makes you distrust her, and that eats away at the core of your marriage. Tell her you will back off if she will be more respectful of your feelings.
Dear Annie: My wonderful husband delivers oil to people’s homes and works hard keeping homes toasty and warm throughout the winter. It is a demanding job, but for the most part, he enjoys it.
The problem is, some customers don’t plow or shovel paths to their tanks. Their driveways are cleared and the paths to their bird feeders, but my husband has to pull a heavy hose through knee-deep snow to reach the tanks.
By the time he gets home, he is soaked up to his thighs, cold and exhausted. This is enough to make anyone cranky. He sure would appreciate it if people could make his job easier by shoveling a path to their tank. — Please Be Kind
Dear Please: Thank you for reminding our readers that any service people who need to have access to outside areas of their homes should not get lost in a snowdrift because the path isn’t plowed. This is not only for the person who delivers oil. It’s also the postal carrier, the meter reader and the cable repairman. If you know someone is coming, please see that they can get there.
Dear Annie: I totally agree with “I Need Nice Clothes, Too.” The bigger sizes are tucked into the furthest corner of the store, the selection is small, the styles are horrendous, the sleeves are too tight and the tops are too short.
My other complaint is that the large-size models don’t look like me. They are tall with flat stomachs. I am 5 feet 4 and the grandmother of four. There are a lot of older, mature women with money to spend, so I hope the manufacturers start listening. — Inverness, Fla.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.