DEAR ANNIE: My husband and I raised my three children with very little help from their birth father. He paid no child support and rarely visited them.
Of course, now that the children are adults, Dad is back in the picture. My children are so hungry for what they feel they missed that they've left me behind in the dust. I do understand this on a primitive level, yet it hurts.
I would like people to think about how much care is required to raise a family. That "father" didn't take you to the doctor, the orthodontist or any of the other necessary appointments. He didn't go to your school activities and conferences or talk to your teachers. He didn't support you as he should have, emotionally or financially, even when he had the money. He didn't have to instill discipline, especially when one of the reasons you acted out was because you felt abandoned by your father. Now you think he's the greatest thing since sliced bread. -- The Ones Left Behind
DEAR LEFT BEHIND: You have a good grasp of your children's emotional need for their biological father, even though he abandoned them. Try to look on the bright side of this -- he may turn out to be helpful and loving now that the kids don't require so much effort from him. Consider this a benefit for your children. Kids can never have too many people in their lives who love them. And also keep in mind that once the novelty wears off, the kids will likely see Dad more clearly.
DEAR ANNIE: I work in a small department within a larger corporation. One of my co-workers is a rather large gentleman who has very bad body odor. I am a larger gal myself, and I sweat more than others. I know this, so I bathe daily and use antiperspirant.
This co-worker comes into the office smelling this way, so he probably doesn't shower every morning. He works with the public, and I can't help but wonder what kind of an impression he leaves about our department. I am not the only one who has noticed this, but I am not comfortable enough to talk directly to this person. Should our supervisor say something? Please help. -- Suffocating in Saskatchewan
Someone needs to talk to this co-worker and suggest that he speak to his doctor. The supervisor is the best one to do this, making it an issue of office professionalism and not personal judgment. We know this is difficult for anyone to do, but frankly, the supervisor would be doing him a huge favor.
To write to Annie's Mailbox, send to c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.