Dear Annie: I’ve been married to Ed for six years.
We are not young. Ed is an only child and according to his parents, can do no wrong.
We live a few blocks from his mom and dad and I am not allowed in their home, nor am I ever invited to go out to lunch or dinner with the three of them.
My mother-in-law says, “We don’t want to share him, so you can’t come.”
Some mornings, Ed gets up and says, “I’m going to play golf with Dad,” and away he goes.
He always picks up Mom, too. I’m not allowed to come along.
This is a small community and most of our neighbours see them out together.
I often get phone calls asking if I’m OK since they never see me with the three of them.
This really hurts. What can I do? Lonely in Beaumont, Texas
Dear Beaumont: What is wrong with your husband that he allows his parents to treat you so poorly?
You don’t have to be included in every golf outing, but for heaven’s sake, you should be welcome in your in-laws’ home and certainly able to enjoy a dinner out with them on occasion.
Their total dismissal of you is both odd and insulting. You are a member of the family now and should be treated accordingly.
If Ed doesn’t realize his parents’ behaviour is not acceptable, you ought to enlighten him.
He should insist his parents include you, at least some of the time.
Otherwise, decide what you are willing to tolerate. And the next step is counselling.
Dear Annie: Over the last several months, my husband has told me his well-endowed secretary wears low-cut attire to work.
He wonders why she would dress like that and why her husband doesn’t object.
I suggested that maybe he should impose an office dress policy, but he said it isn’t up to him, because she reports to his boss.
My husband jokes and laughs that it is good for customer relations. (I don’t think that’s very funny, by the way.)
Also, according to my husband, his boss wants to have a young, professional image.
I think this type of clothing is inappropriate and tacky and doesn’t fit the image the boss intends to project.
I guess I’m old-fashioned, but why do young people today think exposing their skin is OK anywhere?
My husband says his secretary has a great work ethic, but isn’t character just as important as doing your job? Wondering in Wisconsin
Dear Wondering: Low-cut attire is inappropriate in an office because it looks unprofessional.
It’s too bad your husband’s boss doesn’t realize that the eye candy could be bad for his business reputation.
However, we strongly urge you to stay out of this. It’s your husband’s job and the dress policy is up to the boss.
If you interfere, it will only cause resentment at home.
Dear Annie: I have noticed the rapid growth in the number of people who talk while chewing food.
Now even my parents as well as my wife’s parents speak while chewing, even after some not-so-gentle reminders.
This trend doesn’t seem to have boundaries. The young, middle-aged and elderly are all doing it.
Poorly educated, college graduate, blue or white collar, there’s no difference.
On television this is more and more prevalent.
Has society forgotten about manners?
Do people think what they have to say is so important, it can’t wait until after they swallow?
Maybe it’s just me. Am I asking too much? Grossed Out in Connecticut
Dear Grossed Out: Some older people speak with their mouths full because they have difficulty chewing and should see a doctor and a dentist.
Others may do it because they have trouble breathing through their noses.
But in general, you are right that people don’t realize how unpleasant it is to watch a mouthful of semi-masticated food.
It really puts a damper on the conversation.
Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.