Dear Annie: Recently, I was introduced to an older gentleman. He has never been married, but he did have a son through artificial insemination. His son passed away, and he talks all the time about how special he was.
He has a very strong and commanding personality to the point of sometimes being a bit of a bully. It seems like he is always demanding that things be done his way or else.
What bothers me most is that he has a low opinion of women. He’s often said that women should do what they are told and stay home and take care of the house and family. And worse, he’s even said how “dirty” women are in regard to their menstrual cycles, and that is why he has never talked about sex.
He does seem like a good person — he’s very intelligent and many people like him. He says he loves me, but he says that to everyone. I’m not sure about his intentions and wonder whether I should pursue this relationship or not.
-- California Gal
Dear California: Run, don’t walk, from this relationship. This man is not partner material. He may seem intelligent and nice, but he will expect you to be at his beck and call, and he will have little respect for you. And intimacy? Forget it. The most you can expect is a bossy kind of one-sided friendship, and we don’t need a crystal ball to know that he won’t make you happy. Sorry.
Dear Annie: When my neighbors take their annual two-week vacation, I water their extensive flowers every day and take in their mail. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and all I ever received was a thank-you and a few daylily transplants.
Recently, I had a severe bout with diverticulitis and was in a lot of pain. I could hardly pick up my own mail, much less theirs. This didn’t make the wife happy.
I also need surgery and asked whether she would take my terrier, and she refused. She’s taken care of other people’s dogs, so I don’t understand this. I know she will want me to water all of her plants next year, but I don’t think I will, considering she won’t help me in my time of need. I feel used. My dog is 16 years old and healthy, but I worry he won’t survive in a kennel for five days. My handyman is willing to take care of my dog, but he wants $90 a day to come and let him out three times a day. What would you do?
-- Hurt and Worried
Dear Hurt: We assume your dog is as easy to care for as you claim. If so, your handyman is overcharging you. Most dog-sitters charge between $15 and $30 per day. If someone has to come multiple times, they may charge $15 per visit, but it still doesn’t add up to $90 a day. Make sure he didn’t mean $90 for all five days, which would be more than reasonable. You can find reliable pet-sitters online or get a referral from your veterinarian’s office. And if you are not able or willing to take care of your neighbors’ mail and flowers, so be it. It is a kindness, not an obligation.
Dear Annie: This is for “Leave Us Alone,” who is getting pressure from relatives about having children.
My wife and I were married at 26 and had our children when we were in our 30s.
We spent the first six years of our marriage establishing our careers, beginning our savings, buying our home and taking some great vacations that involved lots of camping and low-cost motels.
Reflecting back, I think those years provided a solid foundation for our now 38-year marriage by giving us the experience of working together as a team, providing mutual support to each other as we tackled the challenges of building our careers and sharing our lives.
-- Still Going Strong
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