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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie: Excessive photographer making me want to snap

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: We have a friend who takes a lot of photos. He carries his digital camera with him all the time. He loves to capture the moment – 24/7, 365. He takes pictures of everything!

We have become accustomed to all this, but it is still rather annoying and somewhat rude and invasive the way he goes about it. When my mother passed away, he was at the church service with the ever-present camera around his neck. He did keep it covered with the program, and we did not actually see him take pictures, but I’m sure he did. That was very upsetting at a very difficult time. A funeral is not the place for pictures.

Now, two years later, this still bothers me. Others who know him say that’s just the way he is, he will never change. Some say just let it go; others think I should talk to him. I’m not sure how I would start a discussion with him. Your thoughts? – Too Many Photos

Dear Photos: It is completely understandable that you feel your privacy is being invaded when you are photographed without permission – especially at an event as sensitive as a funeral. This problem is becoming more common every day with the rise of smartphones, social media and home security cameras.

I would definitely recommend talking to your friend if you haven’t done so already. Politely request that he leave you out of the photos he takes; it really is that simple. Explain to him that you value your privacy. You can even tell him you admire his passion for photography to soften any perceived blow.

Dear Annie: I am mom to an only child, “Justin,” who is now 30. We have always been close. A few years ago, Justin met a girl: “Lily.” This girl is very jealous and anti-social. I did my best to try to get to know Lily, but she was resistant.

She began to keep Justin away from friends and family. They soon moved a few hundred miles away to be close to her mom. Justin began to tell me not to call him because he needed time with Lily. Lily then became sick with a series of undiagnosed conditions. Then, out of the blue, Justin cut off all communication with me, his dad and all of the family.

The only “explanation” he had for this was “you know what you did.” I don’t know what he possibly could be referring to. It’s now been three years since I’ve had any contact with my only son. I believe that Lily told Justin that I said or did something in order to keep him isolated. I hate the thought that he believes I did something so hurtful that he doesn’t want to speak to me. He’s an adult, but he’s also my son. I tried to just show up at his home, but he wouldn’t come to the door. I am at a loss. What else can I do? – Lost Son

Dear Lost: Your son is in a toxic relationship, and it sounds like Lily might even have a personality disorder. It’s very hard to get through to someone in a relationship like this; the best you can do is let Justin know that you love him and you are there for him. Offer yourself as a safe space for him. Hopefully he will come to realize that Lily is not a positive force in his life, but he will have to arrive at that conclusion on his own.

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