Unfriendly facebook exchange
Dear Annie: Yesterday, I had an argument with my 85-year-old mother. She said I must be a lesbian because of my recent Facebook posts in support of all my gay friends and the Supreme Court decision upholding gay marriage. Specifically, I changed my photo so it was colored in beautiful rainbow shades.
My mother was appalled that I was supporting “those people” and demanded that I change my picture. She said she was embarrassed and claimed that all of her friends were calling her to ask whether I was gay. This was a lie and she admitted it. Then she said she does not support gay people and I should support them in more private ways. I told her I am 50 years old, not 10, and these are my choices. If she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to look at my Facebook page.
I have never felt comfortable having my mother as a friend on Facebook. I want to un-friend her, but I’d feel guilty. She has always been this way, and frankly, I’m fed up. She has other friends and family on Facebook, so it’s not as though she’ll be out of the loop. What do you say? — New York
Dear New York: There are kinder ways to deal with this rather than un-friending your 85-year-old mother. You can arrange your privacy settings on Facebook to limit what she sees and what she can post on your page. But truly, you are 50 years old and should know how to deal with your bigoted mother by now. Ignore her comments. Change the subject when she says things you find offensive and refuse to engage her in these pointless arguments where neither of you will influence the other. Don’t become angry. Smile, and then do what you want. It’s how children have dealt with difficult parents for centuries.
Dear Annie: I’d like to respond to “Not Buying Narcolepsy,” who complained that her husband sleeps constantly. Many people associate narcolepsy with the way it appears on TV sitcoms, where people fall asleep midsentence. But the most common form of narcolepsy is excessive daytime sleepiness.
A year ago, I could not sit down without falling asleep. I woke up sleepy and probably could have slept 12 hours a day and still manage to fall asleep in my chair. Narcolepsy can be diagnosed by sleep studies and blood work. Since my diagnosis by a neurologist and finding the right medication, I have my life back.
Perhaps “Not Buying” should sit down with her husband and fill out the Epworth Sleepiness Scale as a way to begin a discussion of the medical reasons behind his need for such great amounts of sleep. It’s available through the Narcolepsy Network (narcolepsynetwork.org). I hope this helps. — Wide Awake
Dear Wide Awake: Thank you for the excellent resource. Narcolepsy isn’t simply about insufficient sleep. It’s a neurological disorder affecting the way the body regulates sleep-wake cycles. Information on narcolepsy is also available through the National Sleep Foundation (sleepfoundation.org). Anyone who is having problems staying awake should also speak to his or her physician and, if necessary, ask for a referral to a sleep clinic.
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