Dear Ann: As a 51-year-old woman, I expected to suffer from hot flashes, a diminished sex drive and other unpleasant symptoms of menopause I had heard about. I was dreading all of the above. To my complete surprise, I am experiencing the opposite. I am now more interested in sex and more sexually adventurous than ever.
The downside is, I am making demands on my husband that he cannot meet. He says after 31 years of marriage, he no longer has that kind of passion and I should not take it personally. What is worse, I enjoy behaving in a flirtatious manner with all men young and old and find that many males are attracted to me. It takes a lot of self-discipline to curb these powerful impulses and not act on them.
Am I having some sort of delayed female mid-life crisis? I feel like a teen-ager with raging hormones. Please give me some guidance. I don't know how to deal with the "new me." Oversexed in Roanoke, Va.
Dear Oversexed at 51: Sexuality is a gift, but don't overdo it, or you might end up with a marriage in shambles and a damaged reputation. By all means, see your gynecologist, and find out if you have a hormonal imbalance. If so, it can be remedied with medication. I don't want to deprive you of "fun," but you sound a bit wacky, dear, and those impulses need to be reined in before you go off the deep end.
Dear Ann: I am a 32-year-old woman who moved into a new home a few months ago. I've met most of my neighbors, and they seem to be very pleasant. Unfortunately, I may have ruined my chances for acceptance.
I have a pair of high-powered binoculars and often check out what's going on around my street. I stand behind my window blinds and always assumed that no one could see me. I was mistaken. The other evening, I was watching two of my neighbors chatting down the block when one of them turned around, looked straight at me and pantomimed someone looking through binoculars. Obviously, she had seen me "spying" on them. I was mortified.
Now I don't know how to behave around them. Should I pretend nothing happened? Should I apologize? If they bring it up, should I deny it was me? Embarrassed in Frankfurt, Germany
Dear Frankfurt: Say nothing and hope the subject doesn't come up. If it does, apologize for being "overly curious." And please put those binoculars away for good. If you continue with this strange pastime, you will be considered the neighborhood Peeping Tom and viewed as a creep.
Dear Ann: Several months ago, we sent sizeable checks to two nieces and one nephew. As of today, we have not heard a word of acknowledgment from any of them. The cancelled checks were returned to us with their signatures on the back, so we know for certain that they were received and deposited.
Our dilemma is this: Should we say nothing and continue to feel upset, or should we write to our nieces and nephew and express our disappointment? State of Resentment
Dear State of Resentment: Do not write to express your disappointment. When the next birthday or holiday comes around, send a card without a check. That will convey the message in a most appropriate manner. To continue to send gifts to people who fail to say "thank you" rewards poor behavior. I say, STOP IT!
Gem of the Day (credit Mark Twain): The world owes you nothing. It was here first.