Originally Published: May 14, 2017 5:58 a.m.
Dear Annie: I am the father of two married girls, who both have made bad decisions on spouses — one in her first marriage and the other in her second marriage. In light of this, it concerns me that I did not ever vet my daughters’ choices of men.
Now that I have five granddaughters, two of whom are twins and madly in love with boyfriends, I feel I should be looking out for them —or at least encouraging them to make good decisions. These twins are in their early 20s. One side of my brain tells me to stay out of it, but the other side doesn’t want them to get hurt in any way. Both of these men come from good parents and families; however, I would like to get to know their beliefs and ideas about marriage and family life. How do I do this without seeming to be a nosy old man? (I am a young 73.) I love my grandkids. I just don’t ever want their hearts to be broken.
Which road do I take, knowing I will never get a redo? — Grandpa B
Dear Grandpa: The bad news: At some point, your granddaughters’ hearts probably will be broken. But that’s part of growing up; it’s an opportunity to learn and become a stronger person, and you would be doing them a disservice to deny them the chance. And besides, you couldn’t prevent it even if you tried. The heart is an experiential learner.
So my advice would be to keep an ongoing friendship with your granddaughters. Give them the necessary tools to make good decisions. Encourage them to trust their instincts. Listen to them; offer your wisdom when they seek it. Lead by example in the way you treat their grandmother and your daughters. And when those mistakes and heartaches inevitably come, help them to learn as best they can from the experience. Though life is ultimately the teacher of its most important lessons, you can serve as a trusted tutor.
Dear Annie: I have volunteered for over 25 years in hospitals and nursing homes, and there is something that really annoys me. Why do nurses and other employees say to an adult patient, “I’ll get you an adult diaper”? I can only imagine how degrading and offensive that must be to the patient. I think we should start a movement to change it to “I’ll get you some adult protection.” Babies wear “diapers,” and toddlers wear “pullups”; adults can wear “adult protection.” Imagine you’re an elderly person who is already embarrassed about having a bladder issue; wouldn’t you prefer “adult protection” to “adult diapers”—It Could Be Us Someday
Dear It: We’re all likely to struggle with incontinence at some point. According to the Urology Care Foundation, as many as 1 in 3 adults have bladder control issues. It’s nothing to be ashamed of— which is perhaps how the medical professionals who use the term “diaper” feel. To them, it’s simply a matter of fact. However, I agree that many people might find the term demeaning, and if a person indicates any embarrassment over the term, using another phrase (“adult briefs” seems to be the most prevalent option) would be appropriate.
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.