Dear Ann: I have been married to "Louis" for 10 years. Last weekend, there was a birthday party for one of Louis' relatives. I bought a gift and a card, and left them on the dining room table while we dressed.
Usually, I sign the cards for the whole family, but I thought it would be nice if Louis handled this one, so I asked him to sign it. When he returned to the bedroom, he said he signed all our names. I don't know what possessed me, but for some reason I felt compelled to check. I opened the sealed envelope and saw the card signed, "Love, Uncle Louis, Jane, Tabby and Martha." Jane is our daughter. Tabby is our cat. My name is Martha.
I put the card back and resealed the envelope, but I was so angry I couldn't see straight. Can you imagine, Ann? Not only did he sign our daughter's name before mine, but even the cat's name was before mine.
After a few minutes, I said to Louis, "Why did you sign our names that way?" He replied, "What's wrong with it?" Needless to say, we got into a terrible argument. He thinks I am making a big deal over nothing. I am hurt and angry. Was he wrong to sign our names that way? Please give me some advice. Afterthought in Illinois
Dear Afterthought: So, the cat's name appeared on the card ahead of yours. Big deal. I hope you never have anything more insulting to be upset about. Get your priorities straight, Lady, and save the adrenaline for more important matters.
Dear Ann: I have a boyfriend who is sweet and kind and terrific with people. The problem? He is slow and meticulous. He will work a 10-hour day and then come home and putter around the house for another four hours. Because he is such a perfectionist, he gets stuck doing a project for days at a time, and any plans we have to spend time together get pushed aside. This drives me crazy.
I am much more energetic than my boyfriend. I can do three times as much work in the same amount of time it takes him to do one little thing. When I offer to help him with projects, he says, "Fine," then uses the opportunity to start another project. There's never enough time for him to spend a few hours with me.
I have told him to shape up or I'm leaving. He says I'm being unfair. Am I? The Hare and the Tortoise in Virginia
Dear Virginia: You are not going to change the tortoise, so don't waste your time trying. If this guy is "sweet, kind and terrific," don't mess with his metabolism. Warn him in advance about your social plans, and insist that he stick to the program. If he values the relationship, he'll accommodate you. If he doesn't, dump him.
Dear Ann: I use a lot of prescription drugs, and they cost me a ton of money. A friend showed me how to order these drugs through the Internet, and they are cheaper than the pharmacy. However, I worry that I may be getting something I don't want. Tell me, Ann, is it safe to buy prescription drugs online? Overdosed in Chicago
Dear Overdosed: According to the Mayo Clinic Health Letter, online pharmacies may offer some conveniences, but there are also pitfalls that could jeopardize your health. Some sites offer drugs without a prescription or without an adequate medical background. This can be extremely dangerous. Foreign-based sites that provide cheap prescription drugs may be offering drugs that have expired or are not approved for use in the United States. These sites should be avoided.
Without seeing a doctor face-to-face, there is no sure way to know whether a drug is right for you. When shopping online, use common sense. Look for reputable, responsible companies that come recommended by YOUR doctor.