Dad’s now gone and Mom is sad, but why didn’t she give more?
DEAR ANNIE: My dad died two years ago. He was 73. Mom misses him so much. When we visit, she talks about all the nice things Dad used to do. This makes me sick.
When Dad was alive, he never missed a birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or any other important day. He would always buy candy and flowers and give a card to my mom. I never once saw Mom thank him, and she never bought him a thing, not even a card. I once asked Dad whether he minded not getting a gift from Mom, and he said he had four wonderful gifts already: his wife and three children. He often talked about how he met Mom in school and loved her from Day One.
When Dad was alive, I asked Mom why she never got him gifts or cards. She told me, “He can buy anything he wants. Why should I buy him anything?” When he called her his high school sweetheart, she would say, “Don’t remind me.” Now she raves about him. I don’t understand.
— Missing Dad
Dear Missing: Your parents developed a certain dynamic over the years: She played hard to get, and he showered her with affection and attention. This probably started in high school. It doesn’t mean they didn’t love each other or that your mother doesn’t miss him terribly. Every couple has their own pattern of behavior, and when it works, both are content, regardless of how it may appear to others. We know you think your father deserved better, but your mother is the one he wanted. And won.