Annie's Mailbox: Woman wonders if there is new fire with old flame

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Dear Annie: Many years ago, I was engaged to “Roy,” a great guy.

I called off the wedding two weeks before because I had a terrible case of cold feet.

Roy and I remained friends for three years, but when I began dating someone else and miscarried his child, Roy stopped speaking to me.

Since then, I have moved around and dated others, but they never compared to Roy.

Two years ago, my job took me back to Roy’s city. I finally got up the courage to write him a note and tell him how I feel.

I said I had thought about him over the years and am still in love with him. I gave him the choice to tell me off or that he was not interested, but he simply wrote back with his e-mail address and phone number.

The first time we spoke, it was a little awkward. I later e-mailed to see if he wanted to meet.

He did. He invited me to his apartment, and we talked for a couple of hours and shared some laughs.

Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I thought I saw something in his eyes when he looked at me.

The problem is, I still don’t know how Roy feels. Should I ask him? Or do I take his silence on the subject as his answer and leave well enough alone?

— Confused and Still in Love

Dear Confused: Once bitten, twice shy. Roy doesn’t want to risk being hurt and humiliated again by the woman he once loved.

If you want him back, you will have to regain his trust. There is a chance it could work if you are willing to take things slowly and build up a relationship from scratch.

Don’t expect declarations of undying love. Instead, invite him out for dinner, and let him get to know you again.

Dear Annie: I only hear from my father and stepmother when they need something. I don’t hear from them for months, and then, when they want to go to a store or doctor’s appointment, they expect us to drop everything immediately.

We do not get invited to family events unless they need a ride.

Mind you, they have other ways to get around but prefer that we drive them if it is raining or cold.

Last year, my partner was terribly sick and nearly died, but somehow they couldn’t find a way to come to the hospital.

I am tired of being used like this. If we say no, my brother and sisters call and cuss us out. Lately, we’ve been ignoring their calls. Are we wrong?

— Last Resort Son in Louisville, Ky.

Dear Louisville: We assume your siblings live too far away to be of assistance, and berating you is how they assuage their own guilt at being unavailable.

Feel free to ignore their barbs. But for aging parents, traveling in the rain and cold may be more difficult than you imagine.

We hope you will encourage a better relationship by calling and visiting just to say hello — and to check up on them.

Dear Annie: I totally agree with your response to “Sad Mom” that one child should not be singled out when it comes to party invitations.

My children (all girls) either invited the entire class or only the girls. In fact, for my oldest daughter’s first slumber party, she remarked that even though she didn’t particularly care for one girl in the class, she thought the girl would still like to come and have fun with the rest of the girls.

She was in third grade at the time. I was and still am very proud of her.

Shame on parents who allow their children to be so rude. As the Bible says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

— Franksville, Wis.

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