Dear Annie: I am in a relationship with a widower. He is a thoughtful person and works two jobs. His two adult sons live in his home with their girlfriends. Neither of the boys pays rent. Nor do they buy groceries or cleaning supplies. They never offer to take their father out to dinner or do anything special for him. Their father buys their vehicles and pays their insurance.
The house is in shambles. The boys' only responsibility is to take the trash to the dump and mow the yard in the summer. They do this grudgingly and not very well. The boys show little respect for their father. They leave beer bottles and dirty dishes all over the kitchen and their shoes, dirty clothes and trash all over the house. No one cleans a bathroom or vacuums a floor. They are busy working out, doing what they want with their friends or going out drinking. One of the girlfriends is always broke and looking for a handout, but she has money to get hammered every weekend. She doesn't lift a finger around the house and has the nerve to tell my boyfriend what he needs to buy to make her more comfortable.
My boyfriend thinks that this is normal behavior and that I am the one with the problem. He believes it is his responsibility to take care of them, because they don't have "good" jobs that pay a lot of money. He would never kick them out.
We don't live together and never will under these circumstances. My boyfriend reads your column every day. Will you tell him I'm not the only one who thinks this situation stinks? — Kick 'Em Out!
Dear Kick: Some parents have such soft spots for their children that they become enablers, allowing the kids to postpone adulthood. This is unfortunate for the children. They never learn to support themselves or manage their money and are forever dependent on others to take care of them. However, these are not your children, and how your boyfriend chooses to deal with them is only your business if you marry him. Right now, we don't recommend it.
Dear Annie: I have been at my job for more than 20 years and will be retiring soon. Co-workers have been asking whether I would like a party and gifts. I've made it clear that I want absolutely nothing and politely suggested that they donate to the local food bank.
I don't like these people. I will not "keep in touch." I am happy to leave this miserable job. So if they give me a cake or gifts, is it OK to simply express my thanks, or do I have to send a thank-you note? All gifts will end up in the trash, and I have no intention of participating in any celebration. — New York Grouch
Dear Grouch: Verbal thanks are sufficient for an office cake or party. If you are given a gift, however, a thank-you note is in order. We think you can manage it, especially because it's likely to be the last communication you will have with these people. It never hurts to depart on a gracious note.
Dear Annie: Our experience as an over-50 couple has been entirely different from that of the couple who were having the problems with intimacy.
When my husband and I retired, we both got back in shape after 40 years behind desks. I felt better and younger than I did at 25. I took up belly-dancing, and even though I can't seem to make it past the beginner level, my husband thinks it is very sexy. I try to build up his confidence in the bedroom even when things are less than perfect, and he does the same for me. We both have loads of fun trying new things, and after this many years, there is absolutely no pressure to perform. Sex after 50 is awesome. — Flirtin' in Florida
Dear Florida: Good for you! We love your attitude.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2012. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.