Advice for the Over-50 Crowd
Gayle Lagman-Creswick | Sep 10, 2012, 6 a.m.
Dear Old Bag: I am sure you have received much mail, pro and con, on this immigration thing. It seems to me that there is a better solution to the problem. Let us make these 11.9 million illegal immigrants the solution to some of our problems instead of the problem. They want to stay. We want them to learn English, stay out of trouble, pay their way (taxes, Social Security, etc.), and some sort of penalty for coming here illegally. If 11.9 million people pay a penalty for the years they were here illegally, they could improve our economy immensely. What do you say to that? Signed, Solution-minded
Dear Solution: You are right. I have received many letters on this subject, both pro and con. Some were so hateful it scared me. I like your approach. Let us contact our legislators and suggest that these 11.9 million may be our solution and not our problem. Thank you for writing. And thank you to all who wrote on this difficult situation. Together we can find an answer that will make sense.
Dear Old Bag: I don’t know if this is a problem, but it is something that bothers me. I feel very close to my grown children. When we are together, we are a very happy family. What bothers me is that they rarely call. I miss them, and my life is not so busy anymore. They are so busy with their lives, I don’t think they ever think of me. After a few weeks of not hearing from them, I give them a call. They sound glad to hear from me. Sometimes I get the feeling they are thinking, “Oh my gosh, I have a mom. I almost forgot.” Now I sound like I am whining — I guess I am. Where did I go wrong? Signed, Forgotten
Dear Forgotten: I would like to compliment you on raising your children to do without you. Does that sound strange to you? I have always believed that from the time our children are born, we need to begin teaching them to do without us. Some parents get so involved in their children’s lives, the children grow up thinking they cannot get along without their parents. It is a tough thing to raise children into independent adults. When my kids got a good report card, I would say, “You must be very proud of yourself. You really put forth the effort.” I tried to avoid saying, “I am so proud of you.” I wanted them to feel good about themselves for their own sake, not mine. When parents are too involved with their grown kids and then lose the parents through death, they feel lost. Some cannot cope. So, again I say, “Congratulations on raising independent kids!” The downside is that they are so independent, they forget to call. Keep calling them and reminding them that you exist!
Dear Old Bag: I am a single man with a limited budget. I am not looking for a wife, but I enjoy the companionship of a woman. I cannot afford to always be the host when we go out, but women expect it. I have broached the subject with a few, but they feel the man should pay. So, I do not go out much. How do you feel about this? Signed, Limited Budget
Dear Limited: I am on your side. The Old Bag says, “Women, the rules have changed. When you retire and are on a fixed income, you all need to offer to go Dutch.” We must level the playing field. I say offer to pay, but there are some men who feel their masculinity is threatened if they do not pay. Let us play fair, and we will have more male/female companionship.
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