Man chooses booze and pot over qual­ity time with step­daugh­ter

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS -

ear An­nie: I have a daugh­ter from a pre­vi­ous mar­riage and my hus­band and I have a son to­gether. The prob­lem is, my hus­band ig­nores my daugh­ter.

He says he loves her, but it doesn’t show. He is an al­co­holic who re­fuses to help around the house or with the kids. He also won’t brush his teeth or flush the toi­let. Worse, his sis­ter pushes him to drink at ev­ery fam­ily gath­er­ing, in­clud­ing the chil­dren’s birth­day par­ties. I told her he be­comes ver­bally abu­sive to my daugh­ter when he drinks, but she still sup­plies him with beer at ev­ery oc­ca­sion. Mean­while, she and her hus­band are out­side smok­ing pot while the kids run wild. Af­ter I tear­fully con­fided in my moth­erin-law, she told him, “ You de­serve to have a beer when­ever you like.”

It hurts to see my daugh­ter’s lit­tle face want­ing pos­i­tive at­ten­tion and af­fec­tion from her step­fa­ther while he turns away from her. But, An­nie, I still love him. He once stopped drink­ing for two months and those were the hap­pi­est times we’ve had. He was en­er­getic, paid at­ten­tion to both kids, started brush­ing his teeth and even helped around the house. But it ended when his sis­ter came over with a six-pack.

I’ve sug­gested coun­selling, but he re­fuses to go, and his fam­ily backs him up. I can’t go alone be­cause I have no one to babysit. So tell me, how do I help my daugh­ter cope? — In­di­ana

Dear In­di­ana: It sounds as if your hus­band comes from a fam­ily of sub­stance abusers who will con­tinue to un­der­mine any ef­fort he makes to stay sober. First con­tact Al-Anon (al-anon.ala­teen.org) at 1888-4-AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666). Then ask your pe­di­a­tri­cian to re­fer you to a coun­sel­lor who will talk to you by phone or email if you can­not find a neigh­bour or friend to watch the chil­dren.

Dear An­nie: My hus­band and I have joint cus­tody of his chil­dren. Lately, the ones who are old enough to drive have started drop­ping by when they are sched­uled to

Dbe with their mother. While I dearly love my stepchil­dren, it alarms me when I oc­ca­sion­ally find one of them at the top of the stairs while I am drip­ping wet from the shower.

We don’t want to send the mes­sage that they are un­wel­come. What more can we do? — Loving Step­mom in Mem­phis

Dear Mem­phis: We hope you rec­og­nize how lucky you are that your stepchil­dren feel so comfortable around you, and you might want to put up with most of this. Still, you are en­ti­tled to some pri­vacy. Ap­proach them with hu­mor. Ex­plain why their un­ex­pected pres­ence could cre­ate em­bar­rass­ment, and ask them to please ring ei­ther the phone or the door­bell be­fore en­ter­ing the house to make sure every­one is dressed and pre­sentable. And keep a robe handy.

Dear An­nie: I read with in­ter­est the let­ter from “Rather Em­bar­rassed in Min­nesota,” the 24-year-old fe­male vir­gin who is con­cerned about her in­ex­pe­ri­ence.

I am a 26-year-old male and a vir­gin. I am sav­ing in­ter­course for mar­riage. I made this de­ci­sion for sev­eral rea­sons. I do not want to triv­i­al­ize the strong emo­tional bond that sex can form with my part­ner; I do not want to risk con­tract­ing an STD; and I do not want to po­ten­tially start a fam­ily with a woman I’m not will­ing to marry.

I’d like to en­cour­age women with moral ob­jec­tions to pre­mar­i­tal sex to re­main true to their feel­ings for as long as they make sense. Our cul­ture gives the im­pres­sion that every­one sees sex as un­com­mit­ted recre­ation and thus we are silly to deny our­selves its plea­sures. I strongly dis­agree and am hold­ing out un­til I find some­one who holds the same re­spect for our pro­cre­ative power. — Wait­ing in Cal­i­for­nia

Dear Wait­ing: It is not al­ways easy to stick to your prin­ci­ples in this day and age. We ad­mire your ef­forts to main­tain your stan­dards. TORONTO— Duff McLaren doesn’t need to un­earth any old re­ceipts to re­call when he pur­chased his last pair of run­ning shoes — the an­swer is etched right onto the soles.

Af­ter buy­ing a new pair, he typ­i­cally makes sure to write the date on the outer sole, and he tends to al­ter­nate be­tween pairs to pre­vent them from wear­ing out too rapidly.

“I just make sure I know when I got them, so when I have a pair in Au­gust ’ 09 I’m say­ing, ‘ OK, well, geez, maybe I should start to re­place those,” said McLaren, a marathon coach with The Run­ning Room who has been run­ning for 20 years.

“There are signs the shoe is run­ning out of life, so I just switch those and use those ba­si­cally as a life­style walk­ing around-in shoe, but not for any dis­tance run­ning.”

While it’s es­sen­tial to en­sure your work­out shoes are the right fit for your feet, ex­perts say it’s just as cru­cial to de­ter­mine when to re­tire them, re­gard­less of whether you’re a run­ning en­thu­si­ast or more ca­sual in your ex­er­cise rou­tine.

McLaren’s shoe-dat­ing ap­proach isn’t unique.

Dr. Kel Sherkin, a po­di­a­trist, tells his pa­tients in­volved in sports to write the month and year on the in­side tongue of their shoes so they can re­mem­ber when they pur­chased them.

A stan­dard rule of thumb is to re­place them ev­ery 1,000 kilo­me­tres or so, he said.

“If you’re ba­si­cally do­ing non­pound­ing ex­er­cise such as the el­lip­ti­cal, such as the bike, your shoes can last a lit­tle longer,” said Sherkin, co-au­thor of The Com­plete Hand­book of Ath­letic Footwear. “But if you’re do­ing pound­ing such as run­ning ei­ther out­side or in­side, the shoe longevity will be de­creased.”

For some­one who isn’t nec­es­sar­ily keep­ing track of the num­ber of clicks they’re cov­er­ing in their kicks, Sherkin said one way to tell if

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