Dear Annie: My 28-year-old son, "Jack," was married six weeks ago. He and his bride have known each other since high school, so I thought I knew her pretty well.
Her parents paid for the majority of the wedding, and during the planning, I made myself available for any task that came my way, offering to take care of many odds and ends. My three best friends gave the bride an elaborate shower at my home. My brother volunteered to become certified to perform the ceremony and they eagerly accepted. It was a destination wedding, so we all had to set aside a few days for the event. My husband and I went there two days early to help set up and to assist in any way possible without butting in too much.
Everything was going well until the day after the wedding, when the bride stopped all communication with me. Before then, she would call and text, and often ask to get together to do fun things. She even asked for my opinion. Now, nothing.
I have never been a clingy mother to any of my sons, and I am baffled by this. Am I wrong to think she should have called a few days after the wedding to thank us for everything we did and maybe ask if we had a good time? I don't expect a reward for our help, but what happened to common courtesy? Maybe a little show of appreciation? I've seen my son a couple of times since the wedding, though there has been no mention of the estrangement.
What did I do to turn her against me like that? — Hurt Mother-in-Law
Dear Hurt: First of all, both the bride and groom should have thanked you for your help, but not all couples think this is necessary. Many assume that helping (and paying) is the parents' responsibility and requires no expression of appreciation. They are wrong, but we hope you will let that go. The more serious problem is the bride's sudden lack of communication. Have you been texting her? Calling her? Did you tell her what a beautiful wedding it was and that you are so happy she is your daughter-in-law? You should be doing these things instead of waiting for her. If she still refuses to communicate, talk to your son and ask what's going on.
Dear Annie: I am writing in response to "Lonely, Not Lusting," the widow in her 80s who went on a date with a man who groped her afterward. Now she doesn't know how to stop the man from calling her.
Many years ago, I worked in a bank and befriended a widow who was also in her 80s. "Mrs. G." confided in me about a similar date she once had. She told me that at the end of the date, the man kissed her and put his hand on her breast. She looked him squarely in the eye and said, "That ship has sailed. Sorry. I am not interested." And that was that.
It's short, simple and to the point. — Mrs. G's Young Friend
Dear Friend: Not everyone has the presence of mind to come up with an appropriate phrase when surprised. We'll hope our readers will remember this one.
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. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. 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.