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Do her a favor, tell her you feel used

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)
Kathy Mitchell Marcy Sugar Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I am a reasonably well-to-do, 58-year-old male. Last year, I went on a tour with a group of single men and women that I did not know. No romances were established, but we had a good time together.

It turned out a number of us lived reasonably close to one another, and after the trip, we continued to get together socially. During the next few months, one friendly, professional lady stayed at my home a number of times. While I bought her drinks, dinners and hosted her at parties, she never so much as offered to buy me a cup of coffee. When she finally invited me to her home for dinner, she stuck me with the cost of the groceries and had me help prepare the meal.

I decided I’d had enough and wrote her off. However, when I distanced myself, she acted hurt and perplexed. Should I have told her it was because she was cheap and I felt she was using me, or was I correct in saying nothing and going my own way? — Curious in Canada

Dear Curious: It’s perfectly fine to stop seeing someone and avoid an insulting explanation. However, since the woman seems totally clueless, you might be doing her an enormous favor by informing her that her unwillingness to reciprocate your hospitality made you feel manipulated. If she uses the criticism constructively, it could salvage the relationship. If she becomes angry, you’re no worse off.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Disabled with Manners,” who believes handicapped parking should be reserved only for those in wheelchairs. I’m amazed that a disabled person would be so insensitive. Thank you for setting her straight.

I have a dear friend, “Daisy,” who has muscular dystrophy and also survived a brain aneurysm. Although she’s not yet in a wheelchair, she finds walking even short distances to be difficult, painful and very tiring. Daisy does not drive, but has a handicapped parking tag for use when she’s able to get rides from friends.

One of Daisy’s friends also thinks handicapped spaces are for wheelchairs only, and when she drives Daisy, she carefully avoids such spots saying, “Oh, we’ll save those for the people who really need them.” Daisy, being grateful for the ride, says nothing, walks farther than she should, and has to spend the rest of the day in bed recovering her strength. Insensitive people like that have disabilities in their brains. — More Educated in Jacksonville, Fla.

Dear Jacksonville: Most people mean well, but they do not realize that many disabilities are not visible, yet are severely debilitating nonetheless. Assume that anyone who is issued a handicapped tag or license plate has a valid reason for being in a handicapped space and does not deserve to be treated as an interloper.

Dear Annie: I read your column every day, which, being a man, I would never admit to anyone. But I have learned a lot, so I thought I would respond with some advice to “Caller’s Wife,” whose husband phones his parents every day and tells them entirely too many personal details about his married life.

I, too, call my parents quite often, mostly to check on them in a subtle way. We also talk about my day, but we certainly don’t discuss my wife’s shortcomings or our finances. I want to tell him, “Man, grow up and talk it out with your wife. It may open a whole new door in your marriage.” — Living Like a Song in Northwest Florida

Dear Songbird: You are absolutely right. Calling one’s parents is perfectly fine, but one should never betray the marriage by confiding personal information to anyone other than a marriage counselor — which “Caller’s Wife” will need if her husband keeps it up.

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