DEAR ANNIE: My son recently said something that embarrassed me and kept me awake most of the night.
My wife and I were at his home for dinner, along with my daughter and several others. We were talking about TV, and my son mentioned a show where a guy does all kinds of things to save money. He said to my daughter, "If you think your daddy is cheap, you should see this guy." I said nothing at the time because I didn't want to spoil the occasion. But evidently, he and my daughter both think I am cheap.
Annie, I put both of them through college, and so they don't owe any money. I worked three jobs so my son could attend a prestigious university out East. They have never wanted for anything.
It's been three months, and I'm still hurting. Any advice? -- Disappointed Dad
DEAR DAD: No one wants to be thought of as cheap, especially by his own children. But we don't think your son or daughter intended to be hurtful.
Talk to your son and tell him how much his comment hurt you. We hope he'll be more aware of your feelings in the future.
DEAR ANNIE: I have been a widow for three years. My husband was my first love, and we were married for 36 years.
I have now met a man who seems similar to my late husband. I really like "Don," but I worry that he only wants a caregiver. When we first met, I asked whether he had any health issues, and he said no. But after our second date, he started saying our relationship wasn't moving fast enough. After a month, Don ended up in the hospital with a mild heart attack, for which he needed a stent. A week later, he was back in the hospital.
I don't mean to sound callous, but I don't want to take care of a stranger. It is different when you have loved someone for a while, as opposed to walking into a relationship with someone who already has health problems.
Am I doing the right thing by breaking it off, or should I go along and see what is ahead for us? I really am confused. -- Don't Want To Be Saddled So Soon
DEAR DON'T: Heart attacks are generally unexpected, so unless Don was aware that he had heart problems, he may not have been lying about his health. And over time, health problems are more likely to arise in any relationship.
However, we are more concerned that Don seems to be rushing things. You should never feel pressured to move faster than what makes you comfortable.
To write to Annie's Mailbox, send to c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.