Dear Ann: I am tired of the way you browbeat adult children who object to their widowed parents getting remarried. You make them out to be "selfish," and I am sick to death of it.
My dear mother passed away five years ago. Recently, my 65-year-old father came to me and asked if I would be unhappy if he started to date again. I told him, "Yes, I would." (Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.) Don't you realize, Ann, that moral teachings over the centuries have always condemned the remarriage of someone whose spouse has died? It means he or she does not want to be reunited with their departed spouse in heaven. Why shouldn't the children be resentful? Of course elderly singles are lonely, but that is the price they must pay for the joy of meeting their beloved spouses in God's kingdom.
The same goes for that inheritance nonsense you preach. An inheritance is something you owe your children. Valuable property should stay in the family. This includes jewelry and antiques. Stepparents are inheritance-stealing interlopers, and society should condemn them. Please, Ann, rethink your position on these topics. People pay a lot of attention to what you say, and you are wrong, wrong, wrong on both issues. Thanks for letting me have my say. A Daughter in Arizona
Dear Arizona Daughter: Sorry, but I am not budging on either of the issues on which we disagree. Where did you get the idea that "moral teachings over the centuries condemn the remarriage of someone whose spouse has died"? What Bible are you reading? I can't find it in mine.
You are also wrong about the inheritance issue. I've said it before, and I will say it again. You do not owe your children or grandchildren an inheritance. Your hard-earned money should go to children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, or non-relatives who have treated you kindly. Anyone who sits around waiting for an inheritance deserves to be disappointed. People should leave their money to individuals and institutions that are worthy. I stand by this directive foursquare, and urge my readers to do so, as well.
Dear Ann: I was sent an invitation to a wedding of the daughter of an old friend who lives in another state. I had business nearby, and realized that I could attend the wedding while I was in town. When I called the bride-to-be and told her I had received the invitation and would be delighted to attend, she informed me that I had been sent a "courtesy invitation" and they did not expect me to show up "because of distance and all." However, she promised to try and "fit me in, somewhere, somehow."
What is the point of such an invitation, Ann? Were they simply expecting me to send a gift? In light of our phone conversation, what should I do about this awkward situation? I was so taken aback by this that I don't trust my judgment. Chagrined on the East Coast
Dear East Coaster: How desperate are you for a glass of wine and a piece of wedding cake? Since you have been told that you were not expected to accept the invitation, by all means, do not disappoint them. Decline politely, and send a nice card with your best wishes.
Gem of the Day: France is the only country on the face of the earth where the money falls apart and you can't tear the toilet paper.
Write to Ann Landers c/o The Journal-World, P.O. Box 888, Lawrence 66044