Dear Annie: As is probably the case for many women in their mid-20s, I live with roommates. Initially, I thought we all got along well enough, but the girl I share a room with is turning out to be a real nightmare. First, I started to realize that she doesn’t know how to clean up after herself at all. She leaves her dirty plates and glasses everywhere, and no matter how many subtle hints I give, such as putting them by the sink, she still doesn’t get around to washing them.
That is what I actually can live with; the real issue is how she is in our room. She comes in loudly when I’m already in bed, turns on the lights and goes about her business as if I didn’t exist. I toss and hide under the covers and have even kindly asked her to keep it down, but she hasn’t changed. I tiptoe over eggshells so as not to wake her in the mornings but have never gotten the same courtesy in return. This level of disrespect is really making me loathe someone I used to consider a friend. What do I do to stop this madness? — Tired of Being Tired
Dear Tired: If you keep sweeping up after her and sweeping your frustration under the rug, it’s only a matter of time before you explode. You’re going to get overtired and cranky and end up saying something in the heat of the moment. Being passive-aggressive is not going to help here. You need to ask her to quiet down, be respectful and clean up after herself. Stand up for yourself. You are her roommate, not her parent.
Dear Annie: When I first read “Heartbroken Mom’s” letter, I fully understood her sadness at missing her new baby’s firsts because she had to return to work.
My letter isn’t for the new moms out there; it’s for the people who watch their babies. I am baby-sitting for two young children and know very well how important the first step, roll, tooth, word, etc., are. So instead of bragging to a mom at the end of the day that I got to see a particular milestone first, I tell her that it’s coming — tonight, tomorrow, this weekend. “Just watch. You’ll see it,” I say. And she does.
Instead of focusing on her phone or computer or television, she excitedly watches her little one in anticipation and gets to see the miracle for herself. I’ve learned that no baby runs after her first step or spouts a long sentence after his first word.
So the second step or word is no less important and can just as easily be the first. I’m just sharing the way that I have eased new moms through the heartbreak of leaving their precious children for their jobs. — Grandma Now
Dear Grandma Now: What an interesting idea for easing the heartache new parents face when going back to work. As both a mom and a baby sitter, you have a perspective that is priceless. Thank you.
Editor’s note: Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.