DEAR ANNIE: Yesterday, our daughter-in-law announced that she did not want pictures of her children posted on Facebook. My wife is beside herself, saying that “Mary” has no right to do this.
My wife refuses to respect the request. She has many pictures of the grandchildren that she took and has already posted on Facebook. Personally, I agree with my daughter-in-law, and as a result, my wife won’t speak to me. She accused me of not being supportive because I’m taking Mary’s side. Can you help? Should my wife take the pictures down? — Annoyed Husband
Yes, and for several reasons. It’s one thing to post a picture of an unknown drunk at a bar. That is fair game. But when someone specifically asks you to remove a picture, it is a sign of good will to do so. Also, these are photographs of children, and parents can be highly sensitive to having those pictures plastered in a public space. Your wife should be respectful of Mary’s parental authority.
But the overriding reason should be maintaining a warm and loving relationship with your daughter-in-law. By refusing this request, your wife is creating unnecessary rancor. Once the kids are posting their own pictures on Facebook, we suspect Mary will ease up. Please urge your wife to be patient. She can still display the photographs at home, in her purse or on her smartphone.
DEAR ANNIE: I go to a wonderful doctor. The only problem is, he has horrendously bad breath. I don’t understand how a health care professional can have such terrible oral hygiene. You would think he knows better. He drinks coffee constantly, so I don’t know whether that’s contributing to the odor or whether he believes it covers it up.
The really perplexing thing is that he works in an office with several other people, including his wife, who is also a physician. The nurses and receptionist all carry on conversations with him like everything is fine. I was beginning to think his breath odor was a figment of my imagination until I referred a colleague to him. After her appointment, she told me, “He was really nice. Too bad his breath smells like something crawled into his mouth and died.”
I don’t have the guts to tell him, and I can’t understand why those closest to him don’t say anything. Shouldn’t a physician be on top of things like this? — Puzzled Patient
You are assuming his halitosis is caused by poor oral hygiene, but that may not be the case. Sometimes there are underlying, even intractable reasons for bad breath, and your physician may be doing all he can to remedy the problem. If neither you nor anyone in his office is willing to speak up, we recommend you offer him a breath mint at your next visit. If you also pop one into your own mouth, it will lessen any embarrassment.
DEAR ANNIE: I know how “Widowed and Confused” feels about dating again. I was widowed suddenly at the age of 45. For months, I went to work and came home and sat on my couch until bedtime. Then a good friend took me out to a bar with a live band. When a man asked me to dance, I said yes.
My children were grown when their father died, and my oldest was upset to learn I was seeing someone. I said, “Can you tell me when Dad is going to come back? If you can, I’ll sit right here and wait for him.” After a few minutes, she replied, “You’re right, Mom. He’s not coming back, and you need to live your life.”
Tell “Widowed” to ask that same question of anyone who thinks she should mourn forever. If they can give her a “date of return” on her deceased husband, fine. I suspect they’ll see the simple truth and stop trying to make her feel guilty. — Didn’t Wait Forever
ANNIE’S MAILBOX is written by Kathy Mitchell, top, and Marcy Sugar, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611, or email@example.com.