KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR | Annie's Mailbox Co-workers don't believe her explanation
Dear Annie: I have a problem at work. Yesterday, I went in with a busted lip, and now everyone thinks I am in an abusive relationship with my husband. The truth is, my husband and I were having a friendly pillow fight, and I slipped on the bed and hit my face on the nightstand.
I have told people what really happened, and that was humiliating enough, but no one believes me. My co-workers keep approaching me in isolated corners, asking in hushed voices if I need help. I have never given anyone the impression that I was abused, nor have I ever shown up at work bruised or hurt before this. It's making me really uncomfortable.
How can I get my co-workers off my back? My husband wouldn't hurt a fly. Please give me some advice. Bruised but Not Abused in Michigan
Dear Bruised: When the busted lip heals and there are no new bruises, your co-workers will assume your story about the pillow fight was true. As embarrassing as it is, be grateful they care enough to worry about you. Next time you have a pillow fight, wear a helmet and face mask.
Dear Annie: I am a 25-year-old woman and have been dating "James," 26, for a year. We have a great relationship based on trust, honesty and respect. I am confident, as is he, that we will end up married in the not-too-distant future.
The problem is, I think James is a mama's boy. His mother and father live in an adjacent state about two hours away. James visits them once a month and washes all their laundry, mows the lawn, does the grocery shopping, replaces burned-out light bulbs, repairs whatever is broken, and so on. His parents are in their early 50s, perfectly healthy and completely capable of doing these things on their own. In addition, James talks to his mother on the phone at least three times a day.
Am I being too critical? James' mother is very kind to me, but it is frustrating that he has to talk to Mommy every time I'm with him and that he makes a trip out-of-state to wash her unmentionables. What should I do? New York, N.Y.
Dear New York: Calling Mom three times a day is a bit much, but helping out around the house once a month is not such a big deal. Perhaps doing the laundry and shopping is James' way of repaying his parents for all they've done for him over the years. Maybe his parents are not as capable as you think, and need assistance now and then. It isn't as if he still lives with them and Mom accompanies you on dates.
If James loves you and his mother treats you with kindness, the relationship can work. If you marry him, however, insist that he put you first. And be considerate and caring toward his mother. They both will love you for it.
Dear Annie: I just read the letter from the woman whose brother is getting married during a seven-day cruise. He expects her to pay for their mother to attend the wedding and go on the cruise.
Weddings on cruise ships are not performed at sea. They are performed onboard the ship while it is docked. Also, many people mistakenly believe such weddings are performed by the ship's captain. They are not. It is necessary to have a clergyperson or other official from that port city perform the service. Guests who wish to attend the wedding, but not the cruise, are allowed to board the ship for the ceremony and reception before it sets sail. Travel Agent in Union City, Tenn.
Dear Travel Agent: You obviously know what you are talking about. Thanks for the authoritative information.
XE-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, Ill. 60611.