SENIOR SOLUTIONS DECEMBER 2011
November 22, 2011
Dear Solutions: When my kids were growing up I always told them that I flat didn't believe in birthday celebrations or Father's Day or any of those things -- that they were just commercial. The took me at my word. This past Father's Day I really felt rotten when I didn't hear from anyone (I'm alone now). I used to be Mr. macho but I actually was tearful. My birthday is coming up soon. I don't want to wind up eating my words but I don't want to be ignored either. How do I accomplish his? - Ex Macho
Dear Ex Macho: It's better to eat your words than to drown in your tears! It probably was different when your wife was alive. You weren't alone and celebrations didn't matter so much. It's a tough world and one to the good things families can do for each other is to soften the blows by celebrating together whenever they can. So, swallow hard and then tell your children how you feel. Maybe you'll get a nice surprise. Let me know.
Dear Solutions: Roz and I have been friends for over 40 years. We were young girls together and now we're much older. When she gets excited about something her voice gets very high and loud. I have always found it embarrassing in restaurants. Now it really grates on me and I'd like to tell her about this so maybe she'll control it. I feel that now that we're seniors I should be able to say what I think, but I'm afraid. Our friendship has always sailed along very smoothly and I'm afraid she'll get insulted. Should I tell her? - HT
Dear HT: You two are not just ships that pass in the night, so be careful or there may be an endship to your friendship! This evidently is a valuable relationship to you so why tamper with it? Some things are best left unsaid. If you've managed to put up with this all these years, why not now? "True friends" means having to accept each other's faults. Train yourself by making up your mind beforehand to listen to what she says and to ignore how she says it. And don't worry about what other people think.
Dear Solutions: I'm a very recent mature widower and I'm doing very stupid things. I never cooked anything for myself in my life, so the other day I brought two eggs to my neighbor and asked her if she would boil them for me. She looked at me like I was a nut. I feel like a jerk. I don't really want to learn how to cook. What to do? -Troubled
Dear Widower: Neither you nor your eggs are really in hot water. Often when women become widowed they don't know how to take care of finances, and when men become widowed, they don't know how to cook,etc. Don't worry about doing "stupid" things right now. Your resistance to learning to cook is probably linked to your resistance to accepting the reality of your loss -- "If I don't learn how to do things maybe she'll come back and do it for me." Sadly, of course, she won't but you'll have to come to that conclusion in your own time. A terrible loss takes a terrible toll and a terrible time to accept it and go on. When you do there are beginner's cook books, single person's cook books. etc. Until then there are take-out foods sold everywhere. Good luck.
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