DEAR ANNIE: I am a 59-year-old woman. Two years ago, I met this guy, “Jake,” and had feelings for him from a distance. We finally got together one night at a club. We exchanged phone numbers and then talked for about two months.
Jake invited me to his place, and we made love. For the next several months, that was the pattern — I’d go to his place to make love. We had no dates outside of his apartment, so I backed off.
Jake now texts me often, but I am determined to stay away. But, Annie, I love him. I think about him every day. How do I get over this man? — Lost in Love
DEAR LOST: This isn’t love. It’s a booty call that you’ve romanticized into something more. Jake is using you, and he knows your weak spots. Delete his number from your cellphone and block his calls. You can’t get over him if his texts encourage you to think about him all the time. Then make it a point to get out more with friends. Join a social organization through your church or community center. Look into organizations that appeal to your creative interests. And do some volunteer work. It will help you forget your troubles and concentrate on someone else’s.
DEAR ANNIE: So often I read terrible stories of people abused by an alcoholic parent. I’d like to let your readers know that not all alcoholics are monsters.
My father was a proud, honest man and a hard worker. And an alcoholic. His drinking caused much heartache, and many times we didn’t think he would survive another binge. But he was the kindest, gentlest man you could ever meet. He loved his six kids every day of his life.
Make no mistake, there were countless times he was so drunk he couldn’t stand up or remember our names. And there were many mornings that we watched him cry because he was so ashamed of himself. He was in and out of AA programs for 30 years and finally achieved sobriety in his late 50s. He remained sober for 32 years. My sweet father passed away a year ago, and there’s not a single day that the entire family doesn’t miss him.
The one important thing I’d like to add is that our mother was a strong woman and smart enough to teach her kids that alcoholism is a disease and not a choice. She stood by him through good times and bad, but she never gave up on him. They celebrated 60 years of marriage and enjoyed their retirement for 20 years before she passed away.
Please let your readers know there are some wonderful people in this world who are alcoholics and not the monsters we often read about. — A Child with a Different Story
DEAR CHILD: It’s true that not everyone who has a problem with alcohol or drugs is an abuser of those in the family. But that doesn’t mean the person’s behavior doesn’t have a negative impact on the family, particularly the children. We are glad your father managed to get sober and enjoy a good life with your mother and leave you with sweet memories of him.
DEAR READERS: Today is Administrative Professionals Day. If you have assistants who make your job easier, please let them know how much they are appreciated.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.