Reader should let woman know why she is ending their friendship
Dear Annie: About 30 years ago, my husband became friends with “Rob,” who was personable and fun. However, Rob’s wife, “Doris,” was unpleasant to be around. In 30 years, she never had one nice thing to say about anyone, including me.
Rob became ill and spent months in a nursing home. Doris often would phone me and say she wished he would “just go to sleep.” Three weeks ago, he finally did. Doris now calls us several times a week. She carries on about how wonderful Rob was and how much she misses him. She is usually drunk when she calls.
When they married, Rob had a young daughter from a previous marriage and Doris had two sons. There has always been a rift between the children. Rob’s daughter told me that when she was a child, Doris was terribly mean to her and has never made any effort to create a warmer relationship.
Recently a walkathon was held in Rob’s memory. People walked in teams and the top-10 teams were entitled to a prize at the end. Doris’ son and grandson were paired with her stepdaughter’s two children. Their group left before the prizes were distributed, so I suggested to Doris that she choose four prizes for them. She returned with prizes for her son and grandson, but nothing for the others. When I asked why, she said there were no prizes left. But, Annie, there were dozens of prizes left. This really upset me, because it proved what a spiteful and mean-spirited person she is.
I told my family about this and they said it was time to get Doris out of my life. But we live in a small community and it will be difficult to avoid her. My question is, should I tell her why I’m upset or just stop answering the phone when she calls? I have not spoken to her since the walkathon. – Upset in Texas
Dear Upset: You are not obligated to remain friends with Doris simply because you have known her for 30 years. You apparently never much cared for her. Since you are planning to end the friendship anyway, it does no harm to let her know why. Please don’t be unkind. Simply tell her that the way she treats other people, especially Rob’s daughter and grandchildren, bothers you so much that you won’t be able to continue the friendship. Then suggest that speaking to a therapist might be life-changing for her. People who are so negative often have untreated depression.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Oregon,” who said she was in an accident during a bicycle race and her husband had her cellphone and all of her identification in his backpack.
My husband and I run half marathons. He’s faster, so we are rarely together. Here’s what we do: All runners have a bib with their race number printed on it. On the reverse is space for your name, medications and emergency contact info. On my bib, I write my husband’s name, cellphone number and his bib number. He does the same for me. We also have ID bracelets that we wear anytime we’re running, even in our little subdivision. You never know when there will be an emergency. – West Virginia
Dear West Virginia: Thanks for the great suggestions. Even if you aren’t in a race, you should have identification, including your name, an emergency contact, any medications, etc. It pays to be careful.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.