Dear Annie: I am a 60-year-old widow, dating a man I met on the Internet two years ago. We've had our ups and downs but care deeply for each other. I spend most nights at his apartment. "Edmund" told me he was divorced twice. However, I have since discovered that he is separated from his second wife, not divorced. They have an excellent relationship and have dinner together once a week. He claims they never should have married in the first place.
Edmund says he is not the type to constantly tell a woman that he loves her, and he rarely says it to me. Recently, his computer had a virus, and when I went to fix it, his e-mails were opened. I was curious and read some of his messages and found out he had told his ex he hoped they'd get back together. He is also communicating with other women, telling them he loves them and wants to get together.
During one of the times we were apart, Edmund confessed to having female friends but said they meant nothing to him. I have no problem with friends of the opposite sex, but if you have a steady girlfriend, shouldn't the other women know about her? Otherwise, he is just setting up these women to be hurt. How should I approach him?
- Unsure in Florida
Dear Unsure: Edmund has you and his not-quite-ex hovering around while he seduces other women. If you are looking for a future commitment, he is a poor risk. You are also technically dating a married man who doesn't seem particularly interested in divorcing. Unless the two of you have an agreement to be exclusive, he will continue to play the field. (In fact, we suspect he'll do it regardless.) Decide what you want from this relationship because emotional and physical fidelity aren't likely to be part of it.
Dear Annie: Last Christmas, I sent a gift to my nephew and it was not acknowledged. It was one of many times this has happened, so after a month, I sent an e-mail asking whether the gift had been received. No response. A week later, I called and left a message saying I was worried the package got lost in the mail. Several days later, I received an e-mail thanking me for the gift. In April, I sent a baby gift to a niece and have heard nothing. Last week, I handed someone a graduation card with a check and have received no "thank you" for that, either.
These are decent, responsible individuals, and I feel awkward calling to see whether a gift was received. I always taught my kids to send thank-you notes because they should respect that someone took the time and was interested enough to get them something. Am I expecting too much?
- Disappointed Aunt
Dear Aunt: It is a sad fact that gift recipients are often not considerate enough to say "thank you" in any form. By all means, keep calling or e-mailing to find out whether your gifts were received. Maybe they'll be embarrassed enough to remember their manners. If they are repeat offenders, feel free to stop sending them gifts altogether, saying you assume they are no longer interested in receiving them.
Dear Annie: I had to chuckle when I read the letter from "Holding My Breath in North Dakota," who said a woman in her Pilates class passed gas.
I teach Pilates and yoga and can tell you this is quite common. With the variety of positions, movements and twisting, there is compression and pushing on the muscles and intestinal tract. Consequently, this is effective in relieving "trapped gas." Burping can also occur. I do, however, believe that, yes, she could have said a simple "excuse me."
Dear Linda: Many readers were quick to point out that exercising, especially Pilates, can cause gas emissions. Some suggested "Holding" move her mat elsewhere. We're certain anyone who has done this will be relieved to know how common it is.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.