Differing siblings might benefit from a mediator
Dear Annie: I have two siblings with whom I have shared most everything. Now that my dad is slipping mentally and physically, we have decided to sell his home and move him into a memory care facility.
My two siblings simply ignored my recommendation that we give the listing to our real estate agent. Annie, within the past 15 years, my wife and I have sold three homes and purchased two through our very capable Realtor, while my siblings have not been in the housing market for 20 years. Instead, my brother wants his newly licensed Realtor friend to sell the house, even though she has never sold one. My sister wants her son-in-law, who recently graduated college and works at his mother’s real estate firm, to handle the sale.
I recognize that there are individual interests here. But the additional problem is which facility my father goes to. Two are close to all of us. But my brother and sister want to move Dad into an independent living facility we visited three years ago that does not include an assisted living option and is farther away.
I do not want a confrontation, just a fair shake for our beloved father, but I am afraid I have no input. Any suggestions? – Under the Table in Indiana
Dear Indiana: Is there an unbiased friend or relative who would act as a mediator? It might help for you and your siblings to be in the same room discussing these options with someone whose opinion all of you trust and respect. Before this situation produces resentment and finger pointing, please ask your siblings to consider this option to avoid ill will down the road.
Dear Annie: I am a woman in my 50s, and I used to have bad acne. My skin is mainly cleared up, but I’m left with rough patches and brown spots. I try to conceal it with makeup, but several times a day, I catch someone staring at my skin. Their eyes immediately turn away when I see them looking, but the embarrassment is deep.
I don’t wear much makeup, just a tinted moisturizer, as I don’t want a mask. I’ve tried more coverage, and people still look. I realize they aren’t trying to be mean. They can’t help themselves. My own children have done it. It has made me reclusive, and I only like to go out when it’s night and the lights are dim.
I can’t afford a chemical peel. Please tell me what I can say to these people or whether I should just try to ignore it. – Ashamed
Dear Ashamed: There is no reason to be ashamed of your face. You already know that people aren’t trying to be cruel, so it would help if you could accept your face as it is. What do you care what strangers think of your skin?
If you want better coverage, you can find Dermablend at most cosmetic counters. You also can ask for assistance there and at makeup specialty stores. And please make an appointment with a dermatologist to see what other remedies are available in your price range.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Different Gods,” who is pagan and doesn’t want to celebrate Christmas with her boyfriend’s parents. I believe she is showing a lack of respect.
My stepfather married my mother when we were adults. He was Jewish, and we are Christian. Every year, he purchased Christmas gifts for everyone and participated in Christmas dinner. We also helped him celebrate Hanukkah by lighting the candles and eating traditional Jewish foods.
We didn’t have to believe in each other’s traditions. It is a sign of respect to participate. Going to church and praying are not necessary. Compromising is more than just showing up. – Respectful of All
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.