Dear Annie: I have a friend who has a divorced daughter with two children. The ex-husband has a good job with the government. My friend is very strapped for money and sends as much as she can to the daughter. The daughter claims the ex-husband does not pay child support regularly.
I feel the daughter should go to his employer about the child support. There are laws about this. But my friend and her daughter both believe this might cause him to lose his job. Then there would be no money coming at all. I disagree. I don’t believe you can be fired for garnishment of wages. But talking to my friend is like talking to a wall.
The new wrinkle is, the ex-husband is about to remarry. I have known this guy since he was a teenager, and he is a fine man. I don’t, however, have the same warm feelings toward my friend’s daughter. Is there some way I can look into her claim about the child support without causing trouble? My friend is about to lose her house, and I don’t think she should be giving away her money to her daughter.
I realize this is none of my business, but watching the effect this has on my friend breaks my heart.
-- Just Concerned
Dear Concerned: We cannot caution you enough to stay out of this. The mother may suspect her daughter is not telling her the truth and wants to give her the money anyway. The daughter may be perfectly honest about the child support, rendering your high opinion of the ex-husband unwarranted. And there could be other things going on of which you are unaware. If the daughter is not receiving child support, she can take the matter to the courts. We understand your concern, but no good can come from your snooping around.
Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been dating for three years. This summer, we are planning to go camping with his family. They are religious and have strict morals, so my boyfriend says he will not sleep in the same tent with me. He argues that since they invited us on their camping trip, we should abide by their rules and expectations.
However, I believe that since we’re both adults and have been together for so long, it’s our right to sleep together. Who’s wrong?
-- Sleeping Alone
Dear Sleeping: You are. These are his parents, and this is their camping trip. You not only should abide by their rules, but you should show them the kind of respect your boyfriend is showing by giving their sensitivities a priority when in their presence as their guests.
Dear Annie: I’d like to agree with “Encino, Calif.,” who needs a handicapped parking spot even though her disability is not visible.
I am an amputee. In the winter, no one can see my prosthesis under my pants. I can walk faster than a lot of people with two good legs, but I periodically get a sore “leg” and have fallen several times. So I legally park in the handicapped spot. I have never had anyone openly direct a nasty comment toward me, but I sure have had my share of dirty looks. Someone once “reminded” me that I was in a handicapped spot, so I lifted up my pants leg. That shut him up.
I would like to tell people that just because we don’t look disabled doesn’t mean we are not. Things beyond our control have happened to us. Also, to those of you who park in the handicapped spaces “just for a minute” to drop something off: I once had to cross a snow-covered parking lot in a wheelchair when the handicapped spaces were full of people without proper stickers or license plates. Shame on you!
-- Michigan Girl
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org