Dear Ann Landers: How would you feel if a stranger said to you, “Isn’t it wonderful that you are still living?” I’m 71 years old, and it was a bus driver who made that strange and unsettling comment.
I was too stunned to respond at the time, but I would like him to know that at age 68, I was named one of 12 “Most Beautiful Moms in America.” I am in excellent condition and think in terms of being “still gorgeous and sexy” rather than “still living.”
My morale is actually quite high, Ann, in spite of that downer because just yesterday I had trouble keeping a 28-year-old architect at arm’s length while discussing remodeling plans. - Jeanne in Alexandria, Va.
Dear Jeanne: Age is only a number. Don’t let the offhand remark of a bus driver spoil your day. I wonder when was the last time he won a beauty contest.
Dear Ann Landers: Last week, I was behind a man in the checkout lane in the supermarket. He had a toddler sitting in the child seat of the cart, but the safety strap was not buckled. If that child had squirmed out of the cart, there would be no way the checker or the father could possibly have caught her in time.
I went over, buckled the child in and said in a loud voice, “Daddy would be very upset if you fell out and hit your head.” The father gave me a dirty look. A few days later, I encountered the same situation with a different man. This time, I politely asked the father to buckle up his child. He got ugly with me, told me it was none of my business and added, “Are you the kid’s mother?”
A week later, another dad also had a small child in the seat, unbuckled. When I asked him to please use the seat belt, he shot me a dirty look, although he begrudgingly fastened the belt while I stood there watching.
I’m not picking on men, Ann. Some mothers are just as guilty, but when I ask a woman to buckle up her child, she doesn’t get nasty and defensive. She often looks embarrassed, but she thanks me.
It is so easy for a child to climb out of those seats and suffer a serious injury. I’m hoping that all parents who read this will be reminded how important it is to perform this simple act to protect their precious children. - Concerned Grandma in Vancouver
Dear Grandma: When one considers that this simple act could prevent a serious injury, it’s hard to believe some people won’t bother to do it. I’m glad you wrote, Grandma. Your letter is sure to boost the number of those who will.
Dear Ann Landers: I’ve always been self-sufficient and a loner and was never much interested in being social. During my 32 years, I have had no more than a couple dozen dates. Some led to relationships, but they all ended after a few months.
I should tell you that I am a virgin. The last time I dated, I wanted to have sex with the lady, but when I told her I was totally inexperienced, she said she felt uncomfortable about teaching me. I never took her out after that.
I don’t want to have meaningless one-night stands or play dating games, picking up women in nightclubs or bars, but I am now ready for a serious, long-term relationship. Please tell me what to do. - San Diego
Dear S.D.: There are a lot of women in San Diego who would love to meet a guy like you. Call up some of the women you’ve dated and re-connect. Join volunteer groups, attend church socials and put yourself out there, and I’ll bet you’ll be engaged before the year is over.