Dear Annie: Five years ago, my husband's best friend, "Cary," was in financial trouble and asked my husband for a loan, which he sent. I only found out about it when the bank sent a receipt to our house. It was for $25,000. I nearly fell over.
I questioned my husband, and he said our loan kept Cary out of bankruptcy, so I dropped the subject. Last year, Cary told my husband he still wasn't able to pay back any of the money, and my generous husband said he'd forgive the loan altogether. I found out about this when we planned a trip to Cary's area. I told my husband I didn't want to visit Cary because he'd made no attempt to pay back any of the loan, and that's when my husband dropped the bombshell.
I am angry that my husband didn't discuss either of these decisions with me. He has worked hard for his money, and we've had many ups and downs financially. We don't take extravagant vacations, my car is eight years old, and we are paying three college tuitions. My sister is struggling, too, and I would love to help her, but wouldn't even consider it without talking it over with my husband. I don't understand how anyone could borrow money with no intention of paying it back. How can Cary sleep at night? Should I call Cary and express my disappointment that he's taken advantage of his best friend? — Loser Friends
Dear Friends: Your problem isn't Cary. It's a husband who thinks he should be making major financial choices without consulting his life partner. He didn't want to get into a disagreement with you, so he made a unilateral decision. It's also possible he believes that if the money comes from his salary, it's his to do with as he chooses. For minor purchases, that's fine, but $25,000 could put a dent in his family's living situation and affects all of you. You need to discuss this with him, calmly, and explain why his actions were both hurtful and disrespectful. If he cannot understand your position, ask him to come with you to see a counselor who can mediate. We wouldn't want this to happen again.
Dear Annie: I have a plea for anyone who has a pool, pond or other body of water around their home. This past Monday, my beautiful, active, mobile 11-month-old grandson got out of the house and fell into the koi pond. Instead of planning his first birthday, we are planning his funeral.
Please, if you have any type of standing water, put a fence around it. No parent, grandparent or sibling should go through what we are dealing with right now, especially for something so preventable. — A Grieving Grandmother in Redondo Beach, Calif.
Dear Grieving: This is so heartbreaking. Please know that your words of warning will save a life. Little children can drown in very little water, and they do not have the understanding or the physical dexterity to avoid a tragedy. And no matter how closely you watch your child, accidents happen. Readers, whether the children are yours or someone else's, fence off these areas or keep them behind lock and key so they are safe for everyone. Our deepest condolences to your family.
Dear Annie: I read of so many happy reunions with birth parents, but I certainly did not have one.
I found my birth mother when I was 35. I discovered a half-brother who didn't know about me and resented me a great deal. We have no contact. My birth mother lied to me with three different stories about why I was adopted. She stayed with me for a week, demanded all of my time and expected to hug me constantly. I did not care for her "concern" after 35 years.
She visited twice more and nothing improved. I eventually cut off all correspondence with her. — Iowa
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.