Dear Annie: I am a 64-year-old truck driver from East Texas. I went to a gentlemen's club and befriended a dancer there, "Renee," and I have grown to love her dearly in my heart. I feel she is a good-hearted, loving, beautiful and special woman. She is a queen in my heart. She has a 3-year-old daughter, and I want to accept her in my heart as well. She needs to have a father figure in her life.
I have asked to take Renee and her family out to eat sometime to show her how much I love her. I have shown my love with gifts for her and her daughter. I have bought flowers, cards and teddy bears. Yet, Renee won't return my calls, and she rarely responds to my texts. It hurts me deeply. I haven't been eating or sleeping much.
I feel in my heart that she doesn't really want to be in the job that she is now and that maybe I could take her away from that. She says I am different from other men who go there and that I have her heart. But she's said that kind of thing only when in the club and drinking. I wonder whether it's just the alcohol talking. I pray every day for her and her family to be OK. Will I ever be able to make her love me? -- Aching Heart in East Texas
Dear Aching: The best way to show your respect for this woman is to give her and her daughter some space. You've made it clear you're interested, so trust that she'll reach out to you one day if she feels the same. Rather than waiting around for that day to come, get busy opening other doors for yourself. First, meet more women. During the pandemic, I encourage you to do this from the safety of your own home. Websites such as Match.com and eHarmony are excellent resources and full of people who are looking for meaningful long-term relationships. Second, I'd recommend trying therapy, as it sounds like you might be battling with depression or feelings of isolation. This can be done remotely, too, through websites such as Talkspace, BetterHelp or Online-Therapy.com. Or you can call the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662- HELP (4357) to be referred to providers and resources in your area.
Dear Annie: Everyone enjoys seeing monarchs fly thousands of miles south on their annual journey to Mexico this time of year. Many people also enjoy guacamole or avocados. However, most people don't realize the FDA requires that Haas avocados, the main type of avocado, be imported from Michoacan, Mexico, where thousands of monarchs, an endangered species, have migrated on the oyamel firs, the only trees they overwinter on, for 10,000 years. Farmers deforest the oyamel forests the monarchs depend on in order to produce Haas avocados. Everyone needs to do their part to support U.S. avocado farmers and monarchs so they will be able to migrate for another 10,000 years. -- Monarch Watcher
Dear Monarch Watcher: I was not aware of this before, but I know from now on I'll be looking for U.S.-grown avocados. Thank you for the tip. "Butterflies are nature's angels. They remind us what a gift it is to be alive." -- Robyn Nola
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.