Dear Annie: I am getting married in May. My fiance, "Stan," didn't like his last job, so my brother hired him. Stan has been working there for a year.
I recently found out that Stan has been pulling nasty pranks on my brother. He never mentioned it to me. My brother works alone during the busiest part of the day, with the pressures from sales people, supervisors, repair people, etc. Stan works the evening shift and has a helper, but they are the only two in the building. Still, Stan is apparently upset by things my brother doesn't get to during the day.
I have seen the pictures of the pranks: cutting the fingertips off the gloves my brother uses for his work; putting spray powder and piles of wood on the chair my brother sits in. He hides tools and rags. The list is endless.
I think Stan is being disrespectful and childish. I have never treated his family members with such disrespect. I am upset and disappointed. These pranks are ridiculous and uncalled for, and I am stuck in the middle. My brother is under enough stress. He hasn't said anything to Stan, but his wife told me it takes him an additional 40 minutes every morning to find the tools that are missing and get things ready for his day.
Stan is a 39-year-old man. Should I intervene or let them work this out on their own? My brother has said he doesn't want to come to our wedding. I know he wouldn't miss it, but I'm sad he feels this way. — Disappointed in Pittsburgh
Dear Pittsburgh: If it were up to us, there would be no wedding for your brother to miss. Stan is an immature idiot. He may think these pranks are funny, but we suspect the only reason your brother hasn't fired him is because he is engaged to you. Tell Stan to knock it off immediately and grow up. If he has a problem with management, he should discuss it like an adult.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 20 years. He is in the military reserves and could be called up for active duty at any time.
Six months ago, he did a 180-degree turn. Now I feel like I am living with an alien in my home. He has totally detached himself from me. He is an excellent father to the children, but won't speak to me. He says if I ask him how his workday was, he will lie. His reasoning is that he does not want to put more stress on me, because I suffer from anxiety. He sees the anxiety as a weakness. He will not hug or kiss me, and intimacy is out of the question. He says he is happy "coexisting."
He refuses counseling and won't discuss it with his family. He will not go to the doctor for a physical. I finally broke down and gave him 30 days to change. He said he wants six months. My question is: How much can a person take? We are both in our 40s. I would love to know whether other military spouses understand this. — Lost in the USA
Dear Lost: We have no idea what's going on with your husband. Is he stressed from the possibility of being deployed? Is he seeing someone else? Is he punishing you for some reason? If he won't address it and you are miserable, get counseling without him, and chart the best path for yourself and your children.
Dear Annie: I am sorry that "Amazed in Honolulu" receives unwanted advances and inappropriate comments from male business associates. However, my gripe is about when she says the advances invariably come from "a short, older, heavyset, balding guy." How rude to slam individuals based on physical characteristics. Shame on her.
When we are born, we aren't given the option of being short or tall, getting bald or having thick hair, etc. She's missing out on a lot by having such a judgmental and shallow attitude. — D.S.
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.