Dear Annie: My husband and I are arguing about his desire to work from home. He has an office job that he can accomplish remotely, and by working at home, it saves him a 30-minute commute each way.
Those are all great arguments. However, I don't want him working from home. I have to admit that the big reason is simply because I want him to get out of the house more. He rarely leaves unless it's with the kids and me. Does that make me a terrible wife?
I work a part-time job, also with a 30-minute commute, that allows me to be home in time for the kids' school bus. In addition, I take the occasional phone meeting from home, but of course, now I have to take those calls in the bedroom, as my husband is occupying the home office.
I've tried to compromise and suggested he work from home two days a week, but he wants at least four. I feel like we are on top of each other all the time and that he is becoming more of a hermit. This has turned into a major argument. — Please Help
Dear Please: It's true that for some people, working from home is detrimental. You never get out of your pajamas, and so you avoid other people and rarely leave the house. But that argument may not fly with your husband, who can respond that it's his personal choice. The better argument is that you are on top of each other, which leads to annoyance and then resentment and can damage your relationship.
Your husband is not going to give up the opportunity to work from home, and so it's best if you both reach some accommodation. How about three days a week? Would he vacate the home office when you need it for business phone calls? Is there another space in the house that could be set aside as your personal office? Would you work longer hours if he met the school bus and took care of the kids? Ask your husband to cooperate with you to find a solution you both can live with.
Dear Annie: Can you tell me what is the proper etiquette for graduation announcements? A relative is graduating from a military academy and wants to put a note in her announcement as to where she is registered for gifts. Is this appropriate? — Aunt
Dear Aunt: No. The only time registry information should appear is with baby and wedding shower invitations, where gifts are expected. Otherwise, it is wrong to send out notices inferring that the recipient is obligated for a gift. It would be better if the graduate lets a close friend and/or family member know her preferences and they can transmit that information to anyone who inquires.
Dear Annie: I have followed the many outraged responses regarding adult children who have cut elderly parents out of their lives, so let me give another view.
My mother is 86 and possessed of her faculties. She can live alone and unassisted. Both of my sisters cut her out of their lives years ago. Why? Because Mom has a cruel mouth and is bigoted, gratuitously insulting, highly opinionated and very vocal about what she thinks of you and everyone else.
Mom complained that she has been shunned because of her age, and I told her it is because she is unpleasant and impossible, and that she should get counseling. She responded with a well-chosen two-word obscenity. So I'm done.
I have tried with great patience to keep Mom in my life, but she is so difficult that I, too, have finally thrown in the towel. I don't need the stress that she creates. Please let your readers know that the behavior of some adult children may be abundantly justified. — Finished in Chicago
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.