Dear Ann: During a lovely vacation in another country, I reluctantly allowed my boyfriend to photograph us while we were having sex. (He set the camera on a timer.) There were also some nude shots of me alone.
We live in a small town, and I was concerned about our privacy. I told my boyfriend that the pictures needed to be developed through a mail-order processor so that no one would recognize us. He said he understood and would respect my wishes. I was shocked when I ran across the developed pictures in the glove compartment of his car. Not only were they developed at our local pharmacy, but the envelope had my name and address on it.
I confronted my boyfriend about this, and he brushed me off, saying I shouldn't make such a big deal out of nothing. In fact, he said he used the local pharmacy on purpose because I was so adamantly against it. I think it shows how little he cares about my feelings. What do you say, Ann? Your response may determine whether or not we have a future together. Wiser Now in Washington
Dear Washington: What do you want with a man who has so little respect for your feelings and privacy? It sounds to me as if he is not only mean-spirited, but punitive, as well. Give him the proverbial Michigan handshake, and send him on his way. Believe me, you can do a lot better.
Dear Ann: My wife and two young children would like to get a cat to complement our household. I think this is a great idea. The problem is my mother.
Mom visits us every other month and sleeps over. She has an allergy to cats and says if we have one, she will not be able to come to our house any longer. Mind you, she has a friend with three cats and visits her all the time.
We have looked into the amount of care needed for a cat and have checked out the local animal shelter. The children have their hearts set on the cat we promised and keep asking when we will bring it home. I have tried to reason with Mom about it, but she refuses to budge. I have offered to put the cat and the litter box in another room during her visits, but she insists that if we go ahead with this, it means we no longer care about her.
I am beginning to resent my mother a lot, and it's getting to the point where I don't care if she visits us or not. What do you suggest? Cat Lover in Iowa
Dear Iowa: Your mother sounds manipulative and controlling, but you promised the children a cat and must keep your word. Your vet will tell you where you can "board" the cat when your mother visits. Galling, yes, but your relationship with your mother depends on it.
Dear Ann: I thought you and your readers might be interested in a follow-up to the letter I wrote you about adopting a child from China. My father was totally against it and making me miserable. I signed my letter "Betwixt and Between in the Midwest." You told me to go ahead with the adoption and not say anymore about it to my father until the baby arrived. You said he would come around. We followed your advice.
My husband and I came home from China with a baby girl last September. She is a beautiful, happy child and has managed to wrap Grandpa around her little finger. It took less than a week. Grandpa comes to our house to see her every other day and is so proud of the fact that he has taught her to wave "bye-bye."
Thanks, Ann, for the great advice. You were so right. Settled in the Midwest
Dear Midwest: I'm pleased you took my advice and it produced such wonderful results. That child is a lucky little girl and you are lucky, too.