DEAR ANNIE: Eight months ago, I met the love of my life online. Everything started off great. “Jay” and I chatted every day.
However, at one point, a past lover of his intervened and warned me about some of his “issues.” I became a little bit paranoid and asked Jay to explain his side of things. He didn’t want to at first, but he finally relented, and we continued on. I told him I loved him.
Three months ago, Jay decided there was no way we could be anything more than friends. I struggled with just being friends, but eventually, I accepted it. Now, Jay seems to be making more and more friends and is phasing me out. One of my dearest friends died last week, and Jay hasn’t bothered to provide any comfort. I would cease all communication, but it would be difficult because the Internet community we belong to includes many mutual friends and chat forums.
Should I remain so-called friends or just let him go? — Confused Web Reader
DEAR CONFUSED: Please let him go. Jay is not the love of your life. You have confused the excitement of your initial contact with love, but now you have seen Jay’s true character. He isn’t interested in having a romantic relationship with you. If you think you can remain part of the same Internet community and not pine over him, fine. Try to ignore him as best you can. Otherwise, please expand your online presence so you aren’t as dependent on this particular community of people.
DEAR ANNIE: I dread going to my niece’s first baby shower. At the last one I went to that included our family, there were older mothers who proceeded to tell horror stories about labor and delivery. No one needs to hear the in-depth details of their birth process, and especially not a first-time mother.
Some people speak before they think. How can I politely get them to shut up? — Dreading Showers
DEAR SHOWERS: If someone should start replaying the details of their birth experience, it’s perfectly OK to say, in mock horror, “Heavens! Please don’t discuss that in front of all of us! A baby is a wonderful gift, and we all want ‘Suzie’ to look forward to the experience. I know you don’t mean to be so negative about it.”
They may insist they are only being informative, but new mothers are nervous enough without adding to their worries by relaying stories about what could possibly go wrong. Of course, some stories are funny or uplifting, and those should be encouraged.
DEAR ANNIE: Thanks for printing the letter from Magi Linscott, encouraging kids not to smoke. I quit smoking more than eight years ago, and I am so glad. I now know what my late father used to experience after he quit and then smelled cigarette smoke: He got sick. I do, too. I cannot believe this is what I used to smell like.
My wife told me I stopped wheezing in my sleep within two weeks of quitting. And my VA health care providers are very happy with me. If you’re still smoking, STOP! Don’t say it’s impossible. I smoked two packs a day for 40 years.
Thanks for letting me vent, Annie. — Grateful Ex-Smoker in Campbellsville, Ky.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.