Dealing with the ex when a kid is involved

Dear Annie: There is an issue that has been going on for quite some time now, and I don’t know what to do. I have a child who is 2, and his father treats me as if I were the biggest piece of garbage. So we split up. The good news is that I have a fiance who treats me and my son like gold. The problem is that I don’t speak to the father of my child because of the way he treats me and because my fiance has an issue with it. My ex’s mother has my son, and I am currently fighting for custody. Should I be speaking to only her about my child, or should I be speaking to the father, as well? Please help me out with this. — Confused Mom

Dear Confused Mom: Congratulations on finding someone who treats you and your son like gold. What a blessing. Still, your ex-husband is your son’s father. Assuming there is no physical threat or danger, try to be as civil to your ex as possible. He gave you the gift of a beautiful child. If your fiance has a problem with that, just explain to him that your son and his well-being come first and that being polite to his father will help you and your fiance get closer to your son.

Dear Annie: We have a close friend who always blows her nose vehemently at the dinner table at least several times while we are eating. Is this appropriate dinner behavior, or should we ask her nicely to excuse herself when she needs to clean her sinuses?

We really need your advice, as other guests are also repulsed. — Handkerchief Mary

Dear Handkerchief Mary: First off, I’m assuming your dinner guest has her own handkerchief, because if she doesn’t and is using a napkin that was designed to lightly wipe one’s mouth on her nose, you have even bigger problems. Assuming she has her own handkerchief or tissues, it is truly not too much to ask that she excuse herself for a moment to blow her nose in the bathroom. Any bodily functions should be performed away from the dinner table. That most definitely includes blowing your nose or even discussing it. Pull your friend aside and tell her that you realize she may have some sinus issues but you’d appreciate it if she could refrain from blowing her nose at the table. Let her know that this rule applies to all guests and not just her. It’s not only more polite but also more sanitary for all parties involved.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Shortchanged,” the woman annoyed by one roommate shortchanging her when paying a share of the utility bills. She should report to her roommates an amount that is rounded up on even-numbered months and rounded down on odd-numbered months. That way, people wouldn’t have to type the pennies, and it should average out over time. — Adam J.

Dear Adam: Wish I’d thought of this handy, simple and drama-free solution for “Shortchanged” in the first place. Thanks for writing.

Dear Annie: This is in response to “Bummed-Out Bibliophile,” whose shelves are full of unread books. Another option for this person is to make a list of the books, donate them to the local library and check them out as needed. That way, the public library would be helped, and others could also enjoy the books. Our public libraries are a treasure. Sharing is caring! — Rhea L. in Illinois

Dear Rhea: Indeed it is. What a brilliant and practical suggestion. Thanks for writing.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.