Dear Annie: This may be a new one for you, but I'm finding it frustrating, to say the least. My husband, who is a retired European-trained chef, does most of the cooking now that we are both retired. For years, I've used zip-lock bags for storing leftovers. Over the past two years, he's insisted on buying a kind that has to be lined up perfectly to be pressed together. I hate these bags, and he knows it. I have a hard time getting them to close properly. He refuses to use the ones I prefer. I end up putting things in "my" bags if I can't close "his." What message is he sending?! I am so beyond frustrated! — Why?!
Dear Why: The person to put that question to is your husband. But I can tell you that when you and your partner are fighting about something as small as zip-lock bags, there are bigger issues at hand. This bag issue may just be the lightning rod for all the emotional static that's built up over the past two years — or however long you've both been retired, as it's normal for couples to experience some friction when adjusting to retirement. You're around each other a lot more often, with all the routines you've been following for 30-plus years suddenly upended. Take a step back together to look at the big picture of your relationship. Are there things you haven't been communicating? Are there needs that aren't being met — perhaps for more togetherness or more alone time? Once you're on the same page with the big things, the little things tend to become a lot less significant.
Dear Annie: I want your opinion. I started going to one church, and then I switched to another church of the same denomination because it's much closer to my house. One friend who is a member of the first church tries to tell me it's wrong to go anywhere other than the first church. She called me three times in one day about it. She is making me resent her. It's her way or the highway. What are your thoughts on this? — Churchgoer
Dear Churchgoer: My thoughts are that your friend is behaving completely inappropriately. You are free to worship wherever you please; that's one of the founding principles of our country. Tell this controlling friend that you won't hear any more on the subject, and if she insists on calling to berate you about it, let her go to voicemail.
Dear Annie: I enjoy your column every day. I had to respond to the letter from "Disappointed Aunt," whose nephew did not acknowledge her or her husband after losing a football game. I was saddened by family dynamics that had two adult family members standing there "staring at" a young man near tears who had just suffered what was for him a deeply disappointing loss. What held them back from giving him a warm hug right then and telling him they loved watching him play? When they just "headed for the car," he probably thought they were too disgusted with him to speak to him. As a grandmother who has attended many loved ones' sporting events, win or lose, it is my responsibility to step forward and offer unconditional support and love. Your answer was very good, but I hope that in the future, these folks reconsider the importance of being acknowledged and open their hearts to the situation. — Concerned Grandma
Dear Concerned Grandma: Excellent point and well said. I completely agree. Thank you for writing.
"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]