Shar­ing and not car­ing

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/LIFESTYLES/ADVICE - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear An­nie: I made con­tact with my birth mother sev­eral years ago, but we are not close. Re­cently, I found out from my sis­ter that my birth mother has been re­post­ing pho­to­graphs of my chil­dren from other friends’ pages. I have set pri­vacy guide­lines for post­ing photos of my chil­dren and she has to­tally dis­re­garded them.

I have tried to be civil with this woman, who bla­tantly doesn’t care who she hurts. I un­der­stand that I can’t make my friends and rel­a­tives re­move these photos, but am I wrong to be so guarded about who and how pic­tures of my chil­dren can be shared on so­cial media? Mind you, this woman is not part of my life and has no rights to me or my chil­dren. — Out­raged Mother

Dear Out­raged: You can ask your friends and rel­a­tives to put pri­vacy set­tings on their photos so that your birth mother does not get to see them, let alone re­post them. You also can try ex­plain­ing di­rectly to your birth mother why you have these guide­lines and ask her to re­spect them.

But we’d guess she feels marginal­ized and ex­cluded from your life and that of your chil­dren, and she is des­per­ate to be "grandma." You might be able to con­vince her to re­move the pho- tos from her so­cial media pages by promis­ing her an old-fash­ioned printed photo of your fam­ily that she can frame and keep at home. A small amount of con­sid­er­a­tion from you could go a long way to en­cour­age her to re­cip­ro­cate. You ob­vi­ously don’t owe her any pho­to­graphs, but she is find­ing and post­ing them any­way. Bet­ter on your terms than hers.

Dear An­nie: I’d like to re­spond to the let­ter from "Soul­less," who said her group of "soul sis­ters" celebrate each other’s birthdays and make a wish list for presents, but one of them al­ways buys some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Be­fore I moved away, I be­longed to a group of 13 friends and we al­ways cel­e­brated our birthdays to­gether. The birth­day girl would choose the res­tau­rant. One of us would be in charge of buy­ing a card and we’d all sign it and put in $10. The birth­day re­cip­i­ent then had $120 and could buy some­thing she re­ally wanted.

It was a won­der­ful way to re- mem­ber the birth­day girls and I am still en­joy­ing some of the things I pur­chased with my $120. — The Vil­lages, Florida

Dear Florida: Many read­ers sug­gested some­thing sim­i­lar. Here’s one more:

Dear An­nie: My hus­band and I were in­vited to join a "birth­day club" with three other cou­ples with whom we have been close friends for decades. We al­ter­nate host­ing din­ners or eat­ing in restau­rants. All of our cel­e­bra­tions have been won­der­ful.

The eight of us reached an agree­ment to present the cel­e­brant with a card and a con­sum­able, such as a bot­tle of wine or some choco­lates, to be shared by all of us dur­ing the meal. This idea keeps costs down, and we don’t go home with any­thing we have to dust or give away to char­ity. — Best Friends

An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find An­nie on Face­book at Face­book.com/AskAn­nies. To find out more, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate Web page at www.cre­ators.com. COPY­RIGHT 2015 CRE­ATORS.COM

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