Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: Most of the world works by day and sleeps by night. But many people do their jobs while everyone else sleeps — police officers, nurses, firefighters, waitresses, truck drivers, telephone operators, cab drivers, janitors, security guards and night-shift workers. I am a woman who manages a very busy bar, which means I work late hours six nights a week.
Some people have the crazy idea that I get paid to "party." Actually, I monitor the bartenders and have to decide which customers have had enough. I rarely get to sit down. Meanwhile, my husband seldom gets to stand up. "Mike" is a disc jockey. He is expected to be cheerful and funny and sound as if he is having a ball, even when he has a killer headache or the flu.
I get home around 4 a.m. Mike gets home about 5:30 a.m. We eat supper together and go to bed when the sun comes up. Then, the phone starts to ring. People think because we work at night, we have the whole day free. Some of our friends and family members have actually said, "You sure have it easy. You can sleep all day." Where do people get that nutty idea?
Night workers are just like everybody else. We spend eight hours at work, a couple of hours commuting and running errands, a few hours doing marketing, cooking and household chores, and if we are lucky, we get six or seven hours of sleep. Will you please say a few kind words for us night owls? We could use a little sympathy. — Sleepless in New Orleans
Dear Sleepless: God bless you night owls. If it weren't for you, the world would come to a screeching halt at sundown. I'm a bit of a night owl myself — preferring to work late into the night and sleep until noon. My energy level peaks around midnight. The phone is off the hook when I retire. If people think I'm "peculiar," I don't give a hoot.
Dear Ann Landers: My 23-year-old daughter is engaged to marry a young man I cannot stand. She seems very happy, and that is the most important thing, but the relationship worries me. "Francine" used to date a fellow I adored, but they broke up. He had all the qualities I admired. Her current beau has none of them. "Cal" loses his temper a lot and yells at Francine. I have mentioned my concerns and let her know that if he ever hits her, she can come to me anytime.
Francine is now living with Cal, and they have a joint bank account. He has a so-so job but never pays for anything if he can help it. Restaurant meals and movie tickets are always on her. He has no ambition to attend college, and I am sure Francine will end up supporting him, which galls me to no end. I am civil in Cal's presence but just barely. He constantly puts Francine down, and I invariably find myself defending her.
I have begged Francine to wait another year before making a final commitment, but she refuses. Her brother just married, and I wonder if perhaps she isn't competing with him. Is there anything I can do? — Pennsylvania
Dear Penn.: Yes, you can stop knocking Cal and do your darndest to find something about him to admire. This will baffle Francine. Do not mention the old boyfriend you like, or she will never go near him. Meanwhile, keep busy, and pay as little attention as possible to your daughter's social life. A 23-year-old woman might interpret her mother's "guidance" as interference and marry the guy to assert her independence.
Gem of the Day (Credit Sara Weintraub, age 90, Boston): "If I had everything to do over again, I would care 20 percent less."
Looking for an uplifting, quick read? "A Collection of My Favorite Gems of the Day" contains handpicked jokes and witticisms from the world over. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: moonzigg at Pixabay