Dear Annie: While playing bridge one afternoon at my house, one of the gals proposed we all visit her condo in Florida. People often issue invitations without being specific, but to our surprise and delight, we later received a group e-mail inviting us to visit next month. We all replied "yes."
That same day, however, I received a separate e-mail from her. She said if I had any manners at all, I would have refused her invitation since I was only an acquaintance, and she included me solely because she was in my home at the time of the initial invitation. She also told me I needed lessons in manners. Is she right? Who is in need of manners? J.N.
Dear J.N.: Someone should inform this clueless and rude woman that you do not issue invitations in front of a group if you don't intend to include everyone. Maybe she needs to go back to kindergarten and learn that lesson again.
Dear Annie: Our neighbors have a cat that is let out every morning to roam the neighborhood and relieve himself. Unfortunately, he has chosen our yard as his favorite toilet bowl. We have endured his visits, but with the weather warming, we are spending more time in our yard and have repeatedly stepped in these "gifts."
Not only is it nasty and aggravating, but it is against the rules of the neighborhood association to allow any pets, dogs or cats, to go unleashed. We asked these neighbors, as nicely as possible, if they could keep "Precious" out of our yard. They said they would try, but nothing changed. They say it's a cat's nature to roam.
We are not animal haters, but we believe people should be responsible for their pets and not let them infringe on the rights of others. Any suggestions? Look What the Cat Dragged In
Dear Look: You've tried nice, now try something else. The neighbors are in violation of the association rules, and it's time to report this, assuming those rules are enforceable. People who let their cats roam are endangering them and creating ill will. Don't feel guilty for saying so.
Dear Annie: I am a 37-year-old woman. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old. I've known for many years that Dad is selfish and self-serving, and he's said many hurtful things to me, but I've tried to love him anyway.
Last year, Dad turned 60, and I made him a photo album of my treasured memories of him. The day was very nice, and he hugged me and said he loved me. Then, Father's Day came. Dad invited my brother to a Father's Day dinner, but he didn't ask me. He lied to my brother and said I "couldn't come." I also found out there was a Father's Day breakfast, and I had to beg to be invited. However, when I heard about the dinner, I was so humiliated, I skipped out on the breakfast.
I wrote a letter to my father explaining why I didn't show and why it is so difficult for me to deal with him. He didn't respond, but his wife did. She sent me a very judgmental e-mail. I called her and said I didn't appreciate her interference. I haven't heard from my father since. He ignored my birthday and excluded me at Christmas. The hurt is so deep, I don't think I can ever forgive him. Father's Day is coming up again. Should I try to repair this? Never Daddy's Girl in California
Dear Never: You cannot turn your father into a caring, loving person. You must accept him as he is, warts and all. If you want to give up on him, it would be his loss more than yours. However, if you want to try one last time to salvage this, call or write, and say, "Daddy, I love you, and I miss you." That's it. Don't rehash old wounds, because he will become defensive and angry. The next step is up to him.
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