Friend’s dinner club breaks promise to host wedding shower, son’s adult ADD strains parents’ marriage

Published 12:26 am Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dear Annie: My husband and I regularly get together with a few other couples in a sort of “dinner club.” I consider these people my dearest friends.

My daughter, “Mary,” is getting married next month, and several weeks ago, “Lois,” one of the women in the group, said, “Tell Mary to look at the last weekend in July, because we (the dinner club) would like to honor her with a shower.”

Mary was thrilled, but we heard nothing more. Finally, I asked Lois if she still wanted Mary to hold a date for a shower. She replied, “Oh, yes!” and said she simply hadn’t had a chance to talk to the others, but she’d get back to me. It’s nearly August, and I haven’t heard another word about it, although we all have met for dinner in the meantime.

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Since then, another dear friend (not associated with the dinner club) asked to host a shower for Mary, and we set the date. When the dinner club met again, one of the men gave a toast to the upcoming wedding. It was then that I invited all of them to the new shower. They enthusiastically said they’d love to come.

Shouldn’t Lois have said something to me if her plans went awry, instead of acting like the conversations never took place? Quite frankly, I am very hurt, as is Mary. How do I get over this? — Puzzled

Dear Puzzled: Either Lois is all talk, or she couldn’t get the other members of the dinner club to cooperate. Of course she should have told you that the plans fell through, but the fact is, no one is obligated to host a shower for the bride. Try to forgive your friends, but in the future, take their offers with a grain of salt.

Dear Annie: I am so desperate I can’t think straight. Our 33-year-old son will not take charge of his life. I believe he has adult ADD, but he refuses to get help because he feels there is nothing wrong with him. He is content to work only two days a week and never pays his bills. He expects us to hand over money any time he needs it (which we don’t).

How are we supposed to help him? He has no self-esteem, nothing bothers him, he can’t finish anything he starts, and I have to treat him like he is 10 years old. My only thought is to throw him out and let him fend for himself and hope he will see the light.

This is beginning to cause problems in my marriage. Please help. — Any State

Dear Any State: Adult ADD can make life difficult, but it doesn’t mean your son isn’t capable of finding a job, or even a series of jobs, that will support him. There’s no reason he should be freeloading off Mom and Dad. Tell your son, as a condition of his remaining under your roof, that he must get counseling and find full-time employment. Once he can support himself, help him find his own place. He’ll feel better, and so will you.

Dear Annie: I had to write about the letter from “Burned Twice in Florida,” whose husband was hiding drugs in her house. Your advice was on the money about the possibility of losing her children, but she needs to get herself and her kids out of that house now.

I am a felony probation officer, and my caseload is full of drug users and innocent spouses like her. If the police search her house and she is there, she will be charged with possession. All she has to do is be present and a resident of that household, and they will charge her. — P.O. in Atlanta

Dear Atlanta: You weren’t the only reader who pointed this out. We hope “Burned Twice” will consider her options carefully.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at