Dear Ann Landers: Twenty years ago, my husband had an affair with a file clerk in his office. They were both fired because of it. During the affair, “Tom” covered his tracks beautifully. He was always at home on time and took no chances that I would find out. He was, however, moody, depressed and tyrannical to me and our children.
Tom got another job, and we moved 500 miles away. He continued to make “business trips” to our former hometown, until I got sick of it and issued an ultimatum. Although the trips stopped, he was still cold and withdrawn. I put up with it because our sons were about to enter college and I had been out of the working world for 15 years.
Eventually, we patched up our marriage and our lives seemed to be going smoothly. Now, after 20 years, this woman has reappeared. She sits directly in front of us at church every Sunday.
My husband is 75, and I am 65. This woman is in her mid-50s. I become infuriated every Sunday just looking at her and get very little out of the service. My husband seems unconcerned. I feel like telling the world about this tramp who tried to wreck my marriage. I need some advice, Ann. - Boiling in the Midwest
Dear Boiling: Simmer down, and get a grip. “Telling the world about the tramp” would accomplish nothing except embarrass your husband. The tramp would probably love it.
Since your major annoyance seems to be sitting behind her in church, my advice is to poke around on Sunday, arrive just before the church door closes, and sit behind a row that has no vacancies.
Dear Ann Landers: I recently read your second column about accepting pennies for payment. Here’s my experience:
About a year ago, I ran out of milk and bread and also money. It was a couple of days until pay day, I couldn’t write a check and I don’t have any charge cards. I went around the house and found about $5 in pennies in the various piggy banks. I put them into 50-cent rolls and took my kids out to get bread and milk.
I went to three well-known supermarkets and two convenience stores. I have lived in the same area for over 20 years and couldn’t get anyone to accept the pennies for payment. They all said the store policy was not to accept more than 50 cents in pennies. I even went to the service desks and pleaded with the managers, but it did no good. My children went without bread and milk for two days.
The store owners must know that sometimes rules need to be bent a little, and they should give their managers permission to do just that. I went home in tears, and my faith in human compassion dropped to zero that day. Comment, please. - Let Down in Wyanskill, N.Y.
Dear Wyanskill: A pox on those stone-hearted folks who refused to accept pennies as payment for bread and milk. They could have at least kept the pennies as collateral until you returned with paper money. I hope those meanies see this column. They could use a course in customer relations.
Next time, you’ll have better luck if you take the pennies to a bank first.
Gem of the Day: If this world were logical, men would ride side-saddle.