Dear Annie: Two years ago, our youngest daughter married a wonderful young man. We adore this guy, and he is a loving and caring husband. The problem is his parents. Neither his family nor ours is wealthy, and from the early stages of wedding planning, we worked to stay within a budget.
Our family is small, and his is large, which put the dinner over budget. We all met prior to the wedding, and the groom's parents assured us they would pay for the additional guests from their side of the family. At the end of the evening, my husband paid the catering bill. The next day, the groom's father thanked us for all of the planning and effort that went into making the day so special and added that he would be sending us a check to cover the dinner.
That was two years ago, and we have yet to receive a dime. Our new son-in-law asked his father several times whether he had settled up with us, and he said he absolutely would, but it hasn't happened.
We love this young man dearly, and I'm afraid if we say anything now, he will take it upon himself to pay us, and it's not his responsibility. My husband has worked hard his whole life, and at the age of 70, he is very set in his ways. He judges a man by his word, and now he wants nothing to do with our daughter's in-laws.
Should I send them a note asking them to pay, even after all this time? I'm afraid that when future grandchildren come, it will be tense and unpleasant to be around each other because of this unpaid bill. - Sad Mother-in-Law
Dear Sad: We're going to give the in-laws the benefit of the doubt and assume they forgot. Even with the best of intentions and a few reminders, people can let things slip out of their heads. We suggest you send a note to the other parents (both of them), saying that you were going through your checkbook and noticed that this account was still unsettled. Ask when would be convenient for you to come by and pick up the check. (If they live out of state, ask them when you can expect it in the mail.) If you think they are having financial difficulties, you could offer an installment plan. Be sure to add some kind words about their wonderful son and how thrilled you are to have him in the family. We hope they come through.
Dear Annie: I'm a 58-year-old male. Ever since my early 20s, I've been confused about which sex I truly am. Of course, I was born a male, but my thoughts and feelings are that of a female. There is nothing about being a male that interests me. I'm thinking about getting hormone shots to become more female.
I've lived with this issue all of my life, but maybe it's too late for me now. Do you have any suggestions or information? - Unknown Gender
Dear Unknown: It is not too late for you to work on this, and we recommend you get more information before starting hormone shots. You can find resources and support on transgender issues through the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (gaycenter.org) and the American Psychological Association (apa.org), which can answer many of your questions and point you in the right direction.
Dear Annie: I have a suggestion for "Confused," whose husband refuses to give her an allowance or spending money. She stated that she is 59 years old, worked for 30 years but was unable to continue due to ill health.
I suggest she immediately contact her local Social Security office and file a claim. As a former disability examiner, I can tell you that her age, work record and disability should be sufficient to collect benefits. - B.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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