Dear Annie: I am 53 and in love with a 33-year-old man. We've been together for three years, but the problem is that he says he just wants to be friends. I care about him a lot. I think there may be someone else, but I'm not sure.
I don't want to lose him from my life. What should I do? Should I tell him how I feel? Should I ask him whether he's seeing another woman? I need answers. — Dee
Dear Dee: When a man tells you he "just wants to be friends," please believe him. He is no longer interested in you romantically. Whether or not he has someone else is irrelevant. If you want him in your life, it will have to be on his terms, as a friend and nothing more. If that is not possible for you, please say goodbye altogether, no matter how difficult. There's no point moping around when it's over. You'll only make yourself more miserable. We recommend hot cocoa with your favorite movie, followed by a luxurious bath and commiserating with good friends.
Dear Annie: You have helped perpetuate an erroneous but widely held belief by printing a letter that referred to an ostrich burying its head in the sand.
The misconception exists because an ostrich sleeps with its head resting on the ground. Viewed from a distance, the head may appear to be buried, but it most definitely is not. If an ostrich really did bury its head, it would suffocate. — La Crescenta, California
Dear La Crescenta: Thanks for providing an opportunity to get into an obscure but charming subject. According to the American Ostrich Association, a male ostrich will dig a hole for the nest that can be up to 8 feet wide and 3 feet deep so that predators cannot see the eggs from a distance. Male and female ostriches take turns sitting on the eggs in that lowered position and blend into the horizon. When the birds periodically turn the eggs over with their beaks, it can appear as if their heads are buried in the sand. Now we know.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Joining the Letting Go Club." My father was Mr. Charming. What wasn't seen was the physical, verbal and emotional abuse. He expected to continue the control even after we were grown — and then with our children. He worked hard to pit the siblings against each other. It was horrible. I have nothing to do with him.
My in-laws are blatantly biased toward my husband's sister. She was involved with drugs, has a criminal record and treats her parents terribly. Yet they think the sun rises and sets on her. They have totally enabled her and given her tons of money. My husband never caused them trouble, paid his own way for college and visits them regularly. They can't seem to bother with him. My husband has gotten to the point where he is done with them.
And finally, there is this perspective. We are in our mid-40s with three kids. We have a difficult time understanding today's parenting style, unless it is to copy the way they were raised: the idea that their kids can do no wrong and never need be held accountable and that kids should only do whatever makes them happy. I actually heard a friend tell her daughters not to worry about anyone else's feelings and that they should care only about their own happiness and doing whatever they want.
It's no wonder this makes for selfish, self-centered people. These kids have trouble maintaining relationships. Once things don't go their way, they walk. I heard a person say about his family, "They don't bring anything to the table for me, so why bother?"
Parents have created these selfish kids. They should not be surprised by the outcome. — Another Perspective
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.