DEAR AMY: I have a nagging romantic fantasy that I can't get rid of. Twenty years ago I had a huge crush on a male friend in college. Just when I thought we might get together, he went away for the summer and met his future wife.
I felt I had lost my first true love. We moved to different states and kept in touch for a few years (a couple of times a year).
I have been happily married for almost 14 years. Over the years, I've wondered what might have happened with this other guy, but I let it go, or so I thought, until Facebook entered the picture.
I got caught up reconnecting with friends from high school and college, and sure enough, he was in the mix (we have lots of mutual friends). I was so excited to look at his photos.
Now I find myself having periodic dreams about him. In the dreams (as in real life), we are friends but are never romantic. Then I wake up.
I have worried that this isn't good for my marriage. I feel it's kind of like emotional adultery.
I tried "hiding" from my friend on Facebook, but I see his comments on other friends' posts anyway.
If I drop him as a friend, I feel as if I would need to explain why, and he knows nothing of this. My husband doesn't know he exists. What should I do?
DEAR CONFUSED: You are feeling a sense of loss over a relationship that never happened — sort of like my love connection with Donny Osmond.
You didn't lose your first true love. You simply didn't consummate a crush all those years ago. Your dreams are a function of your trying to tie up this loose end.
If you can't handle this casual cyber-contact, then "unfriend" this person. Don't create a friendship drama by feeling you need to explain yourself. You don't.
This episode presents an opportunity for you to examine your life and then make a choice to grow up, put this in the past and recommit to your crush on your husband.
DEAR AMY: Recently I've noticed that my father drinks about a bottle of wine every night after work. It's not incredibly obvious — he's not opening and killing the same bottle every night, but rather finishing a partial and starting a new one.
I've made comments to my mother, but she just kind of brushes it off like that's just the way he is, or she says there's nothing we can do. And he's never mean or unruly or even seems drunk — he just drinks wine after work.
I know he went to AA many years ago, when we kids were a lot younger. I always thought that people who were recovering alcoholics weren't supposed to drink, but no one in my family has ever discussed this.
Do you think I'm overreacting? What should I do?
— Ready to Speak Up
DEAR READY: When you're in a family together, you get to ask one another about what's going on. Your mother either doesn't think your father's drinking is a problem, is in denial about the problem or doesn't want to discuss it with you.
So ask your father.
Say to him, "Dad, I worry about your wine drinking. It seems like a lot."
Some alcoholics stop drinking for a time and then gradually increase their alcohol use. This is why people in recovery often attend 12-step meetings at different times throughout their lives.
What you might learn here is that even if your father has a drinking problem, you'll be the one saddled with getting help for yourself, regardless of what he chooses to do.
It doesn't seem fair, but in the topsy-turvy world of addiction, you learn that your powerlessness over other people creates problems for you.
Al-Anon/Alateen is an organization devoted to helping friends and family members of alcoholics. Alateen is the wing of Al-Anon designed for young people. Check their website for information and for a local meeting: www.al-anon.alateen.org.
DEAR AMY: Your lax standards continue to amaze and disappoint me. No matter what you think, it will never be right for young people to wear their pajama pants when they're out to eat.
DEAR HORRIFIED: The letter in question concerned college kids wearing flannel jammie pants to breakfast at the local Waffle House. In general, I find my waffles go down much easier if I don't pay too much attention to what other people are wearing.
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