That ain’t good English
Dear Annie: I have been attending a local church for about a year, and although I am very shy, I have come to care a great deal about some of the people, especially my pastors. I have noticed that on the church’s official website, there are quite a few typos and oddly structured sentences. I would love to offer a couple of hours of my time to fix up those mistakes to make the website look more professional.
Do you think this offer would be considered offensive? If not, what would be the best approach for me to take? — Wanting to Help
Dear Wanting to Help: You’re not just a congregation; you’re a community. And your desire to contribute to the community is admirable. Approach the pastor with whom you’re closest and let him or her know that you would be happy to donate your editing services to the church’s website. I imagine that the pastor will welcome the offer, as the more polished the website is the brighter it will allow the ministry to shine.
Dear Annie: I believe that my mother has obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. She shows every sign and symptom of the disorder. I have tried telling her this several times. Like most people with OCPD, she fails to acknowledge that she has it. She wants absolute control over everything under our roof, including me. That has put real strain on our relationship. Seeing as she has failed to listen to me every other time I have mentioned it, do you think giving her a book on OCPD as a birthday present would be too drastic? — Not Being Heard
Dear Not Being Heard: Communication is a two-way street, and it sounds as if you’ve got closures in both lanes. As much as you feel that your mom is not hearing you, she probably feels equally that you’re not hearing her. If you gave her the book at this point, it would only make her more defensive and less willing to listen. She might be likelier to accept a diagnosis from a licensed therapist, so you can encourage her toward seeing one. But at the end of the day, she’s her own person. You should no more try to control her than she should try to control you. Establish boundaries, and if circumstances permit, consider getting your own place.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.