Dear Annie: For many years, I've wanted to move to a warmer climate. Now that my husband is retired, it has become a possibility and I'm in Arizona scouting it out while I rent an apartment. My problem is, I'm very hurt that not a single relative has made any effort to call, text or email to say "bon voyage."
The holiday season is here, and my husband would like me to return. Unless I completely avoid everyone, how do I deal with seeing them? Should I pretend it doesn't bother me, even though it hurts beyond words? -- No Warmth Here
Dear No: We aren't sure why you are so upset. Have you actually relocated, or are you simply checking the place out for a future move? As long as you maintain a home where your relatives live, they think you are still around and they will get to see you. If you actually pull up roots and move, they will probably wish you a fond farewell. Especially, if you schedule a goodbye party and make it official.
When you return for the holidays, greet them as warmly as you have in the past. Mention that you'll be moving soon and will miss them. If they still don't respond, then you can say that you are hurt that no one seems to care.
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Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Mike," about husbands helping around the house. He said, "Everyone is quick to yell at the husbands for not doing the dishes, but why shouldn't the wives be sharing the other tasks?"
Let me tell you "Mike," my husband was in the military for the first 27 years of our marriage. He flew airplanes and was away more than he was home. After he retired, he flew commercial cargo planes and kept a schedule where he was home for two weeks and overseas for two months. I stayed with our four children, kept them in laundered clothes, maintained the house, cooked meals, attended teacher conferences, mowed the lawn, cleaned the gutters, painted the house inside and out, fixed broken items, washed the car and replaced furnace filters.
My husband retired 10 years ago and has since mowed the lawn. Period. He still expects me to clean the house, cook the meals and do the laundry. When do I get to retire? I have left good friendships and followed him from coast to coast. Now my friends are restricted to the wives of his friends. I have no life anymore and have stopped caring. The only thing that keeps me going is loving my grandchildren. So, Mike, what do you do for YOUR wife? -- Keeping My Home Together
Dear Keeping: We heard from a lot of women who asked the same question -- when do they get to retire from housework, cooking and laundry? In all fairness, many retired men are quite happy to share these chores. We've even heard of a few retired men who suddenly discover a talent for cooking and enjoy it enormously. But guys who decide they've worked hard and now can sit on the sofa and watch TV all day should pay attention to what you've written.
To all of our Jewish readers: Happy Chanukah!
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.