Dear Annie: I'm a woman in my early 50s. Eight years ago, I began having messy bathroom-related accidents in my car after eating in restaurants. Doctors confirmed I had an allergy to gluten — which made sense, seeing as one of my parents has it and I had usually just consumed wheat before having an attack in the car.
Many restaurants and supermarkets are very accommodating. The hardest part is dealing with regular snide comments about my gluten-free diet — people saying I'm just being trendy and I'll get over it.
I'm sure a lot of people are avoiding wheat by choice, but some of us have to do it out of necessity. Please tell your readers to be more discerning. — Frustrated in Framingham
Dear Frustrated: It sounds as if the people making these remarks have some intolerance issues of their own. Gluten-related disorders, such as celiac disease, are very real. Just because some fad dieters have gravitated toward a gluten-free trend doesn't make it OK to dismiss the issue. Your diet is between you and your doctor. If anyone else wants to judge you, he or she should first walk a mile with your stomach issues.
Dear Annie: I don't know what to do.
I recently retired. My husband is still working. In the past few years, he has started playing a computer game. This is not one of the ones that involve other players; it involves only him. At first, he did it for only an hour or two. Now he starts when he gets home from work and plays until bedtime, usually only stopping for dinner. On weekends, except for mowing the lawn and doing a few other tasks, he plays from morning until bed.
He has no interest in doing any of the things we used to do, and I am worried about the future when he retires. We once talked about all the things we could do when we are both retired, but I can't see that happening anymore. He used to be good company; we used to go places and do things together. I have many interests and outside activities, but I miss the man I married. I am very sad and not looking forward to a future of this. He refuses to consider counseling, saying that I am the one with a problem. I guess that is true, because he is apparently happy with the game. Do you have any suggestions? — Lonely
Dear Lonely: Your husband is playing a losing game with addiction. Seeing as he's defensive and insistent that he doesn't have a problem, you might try shifting the focus to your marriage and the way his behavior is impacting you. Then suggest marriage counseling. An objective third-party might be the game changer he needs.
I would also recommend contacting On-Line Gamers Anonymous. It offers help for people in your position. One of the first things it emphasizes is to stop enabling the gamer's problematic behavior. "This means refraining from doing anything that makes their life comfortable while they game, such as bringing them meals at the computer," the group says. Visit http://www.olganon.org for more information.
Dear Annie: There was no response to "Knight's" letter from you in our local paper, so I am sending one.
How chivalrous he is — and self-centered. Many men who "pay" expect something in return that a woman might not care to offer. Quid pro quo. This is not about commitment. It is about power, control, intimidation and manipulation. Treating someone should not be about you; it should be about the other person. If your date chooses to not accept your offer, it doesn't say anything about you; it says something about the comfort level of your date. — Not a Fan
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