Dear Annie: I am a young man looking for a girlfriend. I have liked this young lady for seven years — since high school. Our relationship has been on the friend side, although I have shown her that I like her.
Recently, she started to talk to another young man who has quite a history with girls. He has cheated on the last two of his three girlfriends. I am fine if she dates someone else, but I am concerned that she will end up hurt if she sets her sights on this particular guy.
I do not mind if we don't date, but our friendship is in jeopardy. We used to talk every day during lunch, but now she is talking to another "friend" and ignores me. She told me that she wants our friendship to continue, but she is the one destroying it. I am confused. How do I preserve this friendship? — Concerned Friend
Dear Concerned: Is your friend aware of this guy's history? You can express your concern, but then please back off. She is apparently willing to be hurt, and if you try to protect her too much, she may end the friendship altogether. You've been carrying a torch for this young woman for many years, and she has yet to return your affections. We think it's time you broadened your circle. This one-sided friendship is not healthy for you.
Dear Annie: It's happened again. I've left another nail salon because the technician working on me began talking to other manicurists in their language. Am I wrong to find this practice rude? If I am paying for their time, shouldn't their focus be on me and not on what I assume is idle gossip? One technician even took glances at the TV while using the sanding file on me.
I worked for a large company and taught new hires overseas. We asked them not to converse in their language in front of customers. I guess my question is: Should I say something? To them or to the owner? Or should I simply accept that this is the norm in nail salons? — Spokane
Dear Spokane: This is not a personal conversation where two people are talking in a foreign language and ignoring you. That would be rude. At a nail salon, however, as long as the service is being performed satisfactorily, it doesn't matter what language they are speaking or to whom. Of course, if they are so distracted that the professional quality of their work suffers, this is cause for complaint. You should first ask the technician to focus on the services being provided, and if that doesn't help, notify management.
Dear Annie: Please post my response to "Miserable Forever." I, too, was married to an abusive man for 30 years.
Dear Miserable: Ask your local women's shelter for assistance in exiting the home and in follow-up shelter and counseling. The counseling is a must. We don't realize how much of ourselves we lose during an abusive relationship. We go from living to existing, and it takes a long time to get there. You can't go from existing to living again overnight. It takes time and support. Give yourself the time to heal. You are worth it.
The legal matters are important, but they are secondary to getting yourself into a safe and healing environment. It took me two years to get back on my feet and obtain my divorce. It's been three years since I vacated the marriage, and I am just now learning who I am. No one can take the steps for you or make the problem go away. Don't let fear of the future rob you of the life that is waiting. — Been There and Survived
Dear Been There: Thank you for your testimonial. We know it will give courage to "Miserable" and others like her.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. 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.