Dear Annie: Both my wife and I work all day, she as a police officer and I as an accountant. When we get home, we eat dinner together and then sit in front of the TV for a little down time. The problem is that what she wants to watch to unwind is very different from what I want to watch to unwind.
She loves short funny shows, such as “Two and a Half Men” and “How I Met Your Mother.” I, on the other hand, love dramas. My favorites are “Homeland” and “Game of Thrones.”
Every night, I sit on the couch looking forward to one of my favorite shows, and she insists that we watch one of hers. She says that my shows are too serious and that being a police officer, she sees serious stuff every day and she just wants to laugh. She has a point, but I’d still like to watch my own stuff. I have been giving her her way lately, but I am starting to feel resentful. — Missing the Drama
Dear Missing: Sorry, but there’s not much drama in my response, as this has an easy solution. Just compromise. Alternate nights. You pick one night’s programming; she picks the next.
If you both really can’t stand watching each other’s shows, you could invest in a second TV or, better yet, head to the library. There you’ll find plenty of great stories (such as the novels on which “Game of Thrones” is based). You could get lost in an epic book while she de-stresses with some comedy — worlds away but happily together.
Dear Annie: I met “Meghan” at our children’s school five years ago, and we’ve been close friends ever since. When we met, she had just finished treatment for stage 1 breast cancer, and since then, she has been cancer-free.
The other day, she told me she was unable to work with me on our kids’ school project because she had a doctor’s appointment. She said it was just a routine thing but was very vague about it, and I could tell she didn’t want to talk about it. I began to worry that something was wrong, and at the same time, I felt hurt that if something was wrong, she should have wanted to share it with me. — Worried for My Friend
Dear Worried: Have patience. For all you know right now, it really is just a routine checkup, and I hope that’s the case. But in the event that it’s not, don’t be offended that Meghan didn’t reach out to you immediately. Health is an incredibly personal thing. Part of being a good friend means allowing her the time and space she needs to process things, trusting that she will come to you when she’s ready. In the meantime, be understanding, empathetic and the world’s best listener. That’s how you can let her know you’ll be there when she’s ready to talk.
Dear Annie: I want to write in response to “A Wyoming Teacher,” who does not feel teachers should be expected to write thank-you notes to students for gifts.
I feel that part of my job as a teacher is to teach students social norms and conventions. I believe in writing and mailing thank-you notes for students’ gifts, even the half-used bottle of nail polish one of my second-graders gave me. Children love getting mail, and they learn from example. — Teaching by Example.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.