Dear Annie: I lost my wife to cancer two weeks ago after a two-year battle, with surgery and radiation treatments. I just saw a story on the news about how, in America, fewer and fewer people are getting regular wellness checks. There are a variety of reasons why. I ask that you implore your large readership to get annual checkups, especially related to cancer. My wife put off the doctor's appointment for months thinking her jaw pain was related to her teeth. Unfortunately, it turned out to be cancer. Please stress to readers that their chance of getting cancer at some point in their lives is 50%. Yes, that's right. Flip a coin.
I, myself, was diagnosed with cancer in 2018. I lost my left kidney (and then the cancer spread). I, too, thought that I was in good health, and in November 2016, skipped getting the blood test with for my wellness checks. That may have caught the abnormal red blood count and diameter readings before it spread. What's the chance two people in the same house get diagnosed with cancer in the same year? — Regretful Husband, Dad and Grandpa
Dear Regretful Husband: I know there are no words that can reach the painful place where you are. I am so sorry for your loss. I appreciate your reaching out with this plea to help others avoid the anguish you're experiencing. You've encouraged me to schedule a checkup I've been putting off, and I'm sure your letter will have the same effect on people reading this.
Dear Annie: I have noticed over the last five or so years, people have started addressing others as "Hun," "Sweetie," or "Sweetheart" almost everywhere you go.
At first, that sounds endearing and pleasant, but these people are strangers to me. For example, the checkout person, the waiter, the waitress, the receptionist on the phone at the doctor's office often address me as "Hun" or "Sweetheart." I am 52 years old, and these people are about 30. It feels awkward and inappropriate. I understand it has become trendy, and I can mostly ignore it in those instances.
What I can't seem to ignore is when my girlfriend of 30+ years chose to start addressing me this way a few years ago. We are very close in age. So it is unclear to me why she thinks it is appropriate to call me "Hun" or "Sweetheart" etc. To me, it feels condescending with patronizing superiority (and I am not as insecure as that might sound).
I run it through my mind on how to ask her to stop doing it, and it comes out wrong. I know I will sound upset if I confront her, and she will reply with something like: "Oh, Babe, what's the matter with you, Sweetheart?" I hear her talk to her daughter that way.
We have a long history together and get together as couples with other friends. It feels impossible to cut her out of my life, and believe me, I have tried. We live in different states now, and she and her husband will be visiting us soon.
How would you handle this? — Long History of Good Times
Dear Long History: Simple: Be honest with your friend. Make it about your feelings, not her offenses; tell her pet names are a pet peeve of yours and that you'd really appreciate it if she could try to stop. Might it be a little uncomfortable for a few minutes? Maybe. But your long history of good times is worth too much to throw away so hastily.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]
Photo credit: RobynsWorld at Pixabay