ANNIE'S MAILBOX She's opposed to his visits for legal reasons
Dear Annie: My husband and I had an argument regarding his best friend, "Jerry." Jerry smokes marijuana. Although neither my husband nor I do drugs, it doesn't bother me that Jerry smokes pot in the privacy of his own home. However, I do not want him smoking in my home.
The last time Jerry came over, he brought his drug pipe. After he left, I told my husband that I didn't want Jerry bringing drug paraphernalia onto our property for obvious legal reasons. My husband became quite upset and said I had no right to impose my moral choices on other people.
My husband told Jerry how I felt about the drugs, and ever since, we have been excluded from his social gatherings. Jerry claims he no longer invites us because he knows that I would be "uncomfortable" around the pot-smoking crowd.
My husband now blames me for alienating his friend. Annie, I don't want to be a party to any illegal activity, and I think it is wrong of my husband to put us in such a situation. What do you say? Morally Confused in Madison, Wis.
Dear Morally Confused: Your husband is putting his friendship with Jerry ahead of his common sense. You are not imposing your moral choices on others. You are trying to keep out of jail.
Stick to your principles. Tell your husband Jerry is welcome in your home, as long as he does not engage in illegal activities. Make sure you settle this argument now, or the problem is likely to get worse.
Dear Annie: Your advice to the woman with the belching mother-in-law doesn't cut the mustard. You told "Bubbles' Daughter-in-Law" to find out if there is a medical reason for the belching, and if not, to wear headphones and tune her out.
All "Bubbles" needs to do is squirt water at her mother-in-law every time she belches. This will solve the problem quickly. If it doesn't, she should refuse to cook and clean for the woman until she starts behaving. Just because somebody is 72 years old doesn't mean they should be treated leniently when it comes to obnoxious behavior. Sign me Strong Backbone in California
Dear Backbone: What's the matter with you? You don't squirt water at your husband's 72-year-old mother. The woman is not a house pet. Chances are, the belching is a side effect of her medication, a symptom of her illness, or she's desperate for attention. We sometimes have to put up with things we do not like because the alternatives are cruel. You have proven the point. Here's more:
From Hampton, Minn.: I also had a belching problem, and my doctor couldn't figure it out. After trying half a grocery bag of remedies, I dug out some old reference books and reviewed my symptoms. I decided it was probably an intestinal yeast infection. My doctor prescribed an oral medication, and that took care of it.
Pittsburgh: My mother-in-law lives with us, and she, too, is a gasbag, but a different sort. She follows me around the house, criticizing, complaining and whining. She refuses to take her medication and then tells the doctor she "wasn't given any." She constantly picks on my son and accuses him of things he hasn't done. I would gladly exchange "Granny from Hell" for "Belching Bubbles."
Virginia Beach, Va.: It is possible Mom is developing some dementia. In the last few years of her life, my mother acquired many childish habits, including belching, but it didn't matter to me. I miss my mother terribly, but I have no guilt because I treated her with respect and kindness. Will that family be able to say the same?
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