creators home lifestyle web
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar


The Buzz About Medical Equipment Dear Annie: Shortly after I had knee surgery, I went to the library wearing my (prescribed) compression wrap to prevent blood clots. This compression wrap makes an intermittent humming sound. A few minutes after entering, the librarian walked over …Read more. Past Anger Is Hard to Overcome Dear Annie: Twenty five years ago, my youngest son, then 18, quit the job he had had for four years. They had promised him an assistant manager job and when he turned 18, but did not follow through. After that, he would not look for a job or even …Read more. Waiting for the Sun to Shine Dear Annie: All of my life, I've heard about the "golden years." Why are mine only black and gray? I have been married to my husband for 40 years. He has not been sexually capable for half that time. I understand that, but he also does not want to …Read more. Dreaded Decor Dear Annie: My mother-in-law has a decor that was personalized for her by my husband's long-term ex-girlfriend. Every time I go to her house, it's the first thing I see and it really bothers me. The problem is, I don't feel I can say anything to her …Read more.
more articles

Annie's Mailbox, April 25


Dear Annie: I am 12, and in the winter, it's cold, so I usually wear a flannel nightgown to bed. I often wake up in the middle of the night because I'm hot, and I throw off the blankets. Then I wake up cold in the morning. In warmer months, this can happen even if I wear a T-shirt to bed.

My parents sleep in the nude. I guess I thought it was an adult thing, like drinking coffee, but I thought I'd give it a try. It felt strange at first, but after a while, it felt great. I didn't wake up in the middle of the night, and since I keep my blankets on, I didn't wake up cold in the morning. I keep my nightgown right next to the bed so I can slip it on when I get up.

After a few nights of doing this, I told my parents. They were really angry and say I am too young to sleep naked, even though they can't give me a good reason. Will you tell me if there's a reason I shouldn't sleep in the nude, and if not, can you help me convince my parents that it's OK? — California Girl

Dear California Girl: The only reason to sleep in jammies is if you want to, or if someone is likely to walk in on you. Since your parents were unaware you were doing this until you told them, we assume no one enters your bedroom after you get into bed, so we don't see anything wrong with it. That said, however, we aren't going to undermine your parents. If they are uncomfortable with you sleeping in the nude, we hope you will respect that. In fact, abiding by their decisions, even when you disagree, will stand you in good stead. They will know they can trust you.

Dear Annie: Do you know the rest of the poem with the line "Dance like no one's watching"? I can't find it. — Virginia Beach, Va.

Dear Virginia Beach: William Watson Purkey is credited with writing, "Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." Later, the phrase "Work like you don't need the money" was added, often credited to baseball great Satchel Paige.

This poem obviously speaks to a lot of people, because over the years, many others have created their own additions. We think the sentiments are life-affirming.

Dear Annie: I am a 22-year-old male living in Southern California. For as far back as I can remember, I have felt like I was born the wrong gender.

Transgendered people often realize this at an early age. I knew since the age of 6. It is hard for people to understand unless they have it, and this lack of understanding often leads to intolerance and bigotry. It is unfortunate and hurtful, since all we are trying to do is be ourselves, and reconcile the way we feel inside with the way we look outside. Most of us are normal, nice people. You have probably met someone who is transgendered and didn't even know it. It is difficult for people of any age, but especially children, to come to grips with this. You feel trapped with no way out. This can lead to severe depression, and, unfortunately, many transgendered people turn to suicide, thinking they'll never be able to resolve the issue. I hope readers who have children who feel this way will get some help for them through counseling. And that those going through this will understand that they are not alone. I hope the rest will be understanding and compassionate. Thank you, Annie, for shedding some light on a subject that needs it. — Been There, Too, in California

Dear California: You're welcome. We hope your letter will open up the lines of communication for those who need it.

Dear Readers: Tomorrow is Administrative Professionals Day. If you have assistants who make your job easier, let them know how much they are appreciated.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



21 Comments | Post Comment
I've been meaning to write you ladies for a long time. I have many regrets in my adult life, some I can blame on my childhood and some on being a follower. 1. Not getting tested for ADD when I was younger. It would have literally changed my life (I still put it off until I was 48, such a shame). 2. Listening to friends after my divorce and deciding my sons were old enough to take care of themselves at 9 and 11 (no babysitter). All of this because I was working three jobs and felt I needed a break. 3. Getting a divorce in the first place. I did not want to cry and be unhappy any more. What I should have been doing is getting counseling and thinking what effect the divorce would have on my children's happiness. I was scared they would turn out like me making a bad choice and assume being unhappy was normal. I should have looked at it differently. I was selfish. I heard a preacher on the radio saying our generation was selfish. We were getting divorced at an accelerated rate and it was unfair to our children. At the time, I was upset at his words but now as I look back, big deal I was unhappy, my son's potential unhappiness through a divorce outweighed mine completely. I let myself be fooled by my selfish desire for happiness. May God forgive me. 4. Not being so naive. When a man says he will support you and the children after the divorce - get it in writing. 5. Keep a close eye on your children - always check what they tell you (call their friend's parents, call the school, etc.). 6. Go to the funeral. If it is open casket and it bothers you do not go up to the front; make any excuse you want - even the truth. Go to the funeral even if there are bad (hateful) feelings towards the deceased. You will, and I know this completely, regret it if you refuse to go (and yes, this depends on their treatment of you. Such as an abusive parent, in this case I understand). But there are many other reasons to be upset with someone and not go to their funeral. Just remember memories and anger WILL fade and you will be a different person one day when you look in the mirror and just possibly there will be just the hint of a nice memory that will pop into your head and you will wish you had gone to the funeral. Just maybe. 7. Remember the Petroni family's saying: Never Quit, Never! 8. Giving actually does feel good. 9. Saying thank you to any and everyone makes peace possible in the world. 10. Beat up a pillow when you are angry. Scream into a pillow when you are angry. 11. Talk over a conversation in your head before you speak in anger. Then repeat to yourself - Who do you think you are that your opinion matters above all. 12. Don't believe everything you hear. I have always been told that all angels are different. But I saw three angels on a roof on Fairbanks, in Winter Park, Florida. All three were facing a different direction with their arms crossed, but all three looked exactly alike. 13. NO MATTER WHAT your children put you through YOU will miss them with all your heart when they are taken from you, either by God or by miles. 14. Let them know. 15. Smile when you are down. Look in the mirror and smile - it does wonders for your mood and your outlook. Trust someone who's been there - it works. 16. Every unhappy, negative thought you have - replace with a positive one. Even if you are arguing with yourself - make sure the positive self wins. 17. For every negative opinion (prejudice, judging other, etc.) replace it with a positive opinion. 18. Don't hang around negative people, especially if you are what they are negative about. They are complainers and suck the oxygen out of your life - you will end up trying to help them see the world as it really is and it can be exhausting (especially if you are trying to keep yourself positive). 19. Greet everyone your come into eye contact with (even the ones that see your first and turn away) a cheery, "Good morning!". Even if they ignore you you have done your part to brighten the world. If you suspect they don't like you, make sure you add an extra BIG smile when you say it. 20. You have to forgive yourself first before you can forgive others. 21. At least listen and try to believe people when they say, I saw. . . . I always try to after reading Peter or Paul relating witnessing seeing Jesus' miracles and walking with him. Even though I have seen angels, I have found myself questioning the truth of others speaking of similar encounters. 22. Never trust a pedophile. 23. Always give your children something constructive to do - sports, dance, etc., this will help in occupying their time and keep them out of trouble. 24. You feel that tug inside that makes you feel uncomfortable when someone wants you to do something you just don't feel right about. Well, that is your prior learning (or as I feel your guardian angel) and if you don't listen you will regret it and you will remember that you struggled with that decision and you will be upset you did not listen to yourself. 25. Don't be a follower. 26. Stay away from bullies; they are not your friends. They are not even their friends. No matter what outer garment they wear (priest's robe, cheerleader's outfit, mother, father, officer's uniform, etc.,) 27. Feel sorry for bullies. They are the most unhappy beings on earth. Can any sane person feel better by hurting another creature on this planet? Not likely. 28. Even though you know someone knew about a horrible act (father) and didn't report it (mother, you realize more as you grow older). Forgive them. I don't mean always make nice, but for your mental health you have to let go. You have to know that God is the ultimate judge - certainly not you. So to make peace, yes there are times you have to swallow your pain and move on. If you feel better emotionally by moving away, do so. Your mental wellbeing is precious; protect it. 30. Always remember, 'NO' person that abuses (hits, verbal abuse) you is a good person no matter how they treat you the other hours of the day. 31. Always remember, your children are not this person's property nor are you, and you are responsible for their protection and no matter what the cost, you have to keep them safe. 32. Don't ever believe an abuser. They are bullies and need to control someone to feel powerful. Just as rape is not about sex, but about power; the same goes for an abusive relationship. Remember Pamela Anderson, when her children were put at risk, she knew exactly what needed to be done and she did it. There are places and people who can and will help. Yes, even if you have children. The excuse that you have no place to go aren't relevant anymore. 33. If you are not sure about something - check. Don't take someone's word on it. Even silly things like the meanings of words, a dictionary can surprise you. 34. If you have a negative outlook and are pregnant, try to turn your thinking around. It is not easy, but you do not want your child to feel as you did as a child. You want all of the possibilities of this beautiful world open to their hearts. I refused to give my children the negative views I had of the world so it took 7 or 8 months but when my first son was born I felt pretty positive about a lot of things in life. Thank you for letting me vent, ladies. Have a wonderful day. Mandy
Comment: #1
Posted by: Mandy
Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 PM
Dear Annie, i am 16. my parents were together for 13 years, then they got divorced about 12 years ago and recently got remarried to other people 5 years ago. in the years that they were together, My dad Physically Abused my mom. so now she totally Despises him. she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Well, my older sister recently graduated and after her graduation she wanted to have dinner with ALL members of the family (both my moms and dads side) so my mom and Step dad were their and my dad and step mom were there. My Step dads mother found this very Wrong. so now she wont talk to my mom. she tells my step dad that my mom was up for the dinner idea because she still loves my dad. THAT IS NOT TRUE. she has caused problems between my mom and step dad before and i am tired of it. do you think it is right for her to be upset at my mom about the dinner? Whats Advice could you give my mom about this?
--Family Drama
Comment: #2
Posted by: Jessica
Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:54 AM
Dear Annie, I have been married for over 40 years to a good man who treats me good except he won't listen to me when it comes to this important problem. He retired several years ago from a well paying job but has since had to go back to work because of financial problems. I have tried to find a job but no one will interview me much less hire me because they think I'm too old. The problem is that even with his $8.75 an hour job and the so called social security check (which is a joke and they even cut that by a $100.00 per month because they say he made too much) we are about to lose our home. The bank won't help out, they want my home and want to foreclose. My daughter(Sammi) thinks we should refinance but my son (Jake) says we need to sell and downsize. Sammi has helped us out several times to catch up but I can't keep accepting help from her because she has bills of her own and triplets to take care of, Jake can't help because he doesn't have any money. I have tried to talk to husband (Tim) about re financing, selling or even reverse mortgage but he won't discuss it, he just gets angry and blows up telling me 'DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO', Annie I am at a lost not knowing what to do, I don't want to lose my home but don't know what I can do to keep it. My health isn't good and this stress isn't helping me, I don't sleep, I lay awake crying, I cry almost all day. I use to pray everyday and now I find myself losing my faith. What can I do? Is there any hope? Thank you, becky
Comment: #3
Posted by: Becky
Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:58 AM
This is my first time! A comment on the article written by Annoyed and Ignored whose mother-in-law let her "one night stand" move in with them. You missed the big picture. That was the mother-in-laws house. Annoyed and her husband and son should find a place of their own and let "Mom" do what she wants in her own home. Then Annoyed would be responsible for what goes on under her own roof!
Comment: #4
Posted by: Joan
Fri Jul 9, 2010 7:25 AM
Recently, Cautious Canadian wrote because she discovered that her husband's friend was a convicted sex offender on probation, and he acted strangely towards her when the husband wasn't around. To make matters worse, he had possession of the master keys to the apartments, hers included. She wanted to know what to do. You girls missed the boat.
Firstly, she should report this to the owner. If he does not want to change all the locks, at least make sure hers is, even if she has to pay herself, and do not allow her key to be given to anyone but the owner. She should invest in at least one dead bolt for when she is occupying her unit. Also, when she is leaving, she should sprinkle talcum powder in front of evey door and window. The amount of time it takes to dustbust it up is worth the peace of mind that no-one has entered her unit.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Be more cautious
Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:22 AM
I'm at my witts end. I my marraige is crumbling. here's the situation. My wife's son who stays in my house with his pregrant girl (both age 19) from a previous marriage does not feel he must work and will be a new father soon. His mother does not put any responsibility on him and she pays all his bills. I 'm always saying he must get a job or get out. She feels he is not ready to work but still lets's him come and go as he pleases and does not pay attention to my rules. I'm ready to divorec her for for this reason. What should I do?
Comment: #6
Posted by: jr
Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:21 PM
Dear Annie,
I was wondering how come when people ask questions such as if they are asking about their husband who is not interested anymore. Why do u jump to the conclusion that he needs help? Maybe he just isnt interested. Or maybe he is cheating on her with someone but wouldnt he break up with her after 4 years if he had a different relationship with somebody else? I read your column every day, but sometimes it just surprises me at the answers you give out. I have noticed that a-lot of the time you say something is wrong with the other person or so on. Maybe they havent changed maybe they just lost interest? ~Oblivious
Comment: #7
Posted by: Kelsey
Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:06 PM
Re: jr
I wouldnt say divorce her. my brother is 24 and lives in my parents basement. Maybe he just isnt ready to move out, or maybe you need to be the one to tell him he needs to get a job, because you cant have both of them living there.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Kelsey
Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:09 PM
Dear Annie, I am responding to a letter appearing in our local newspaper "Trapped in my marriage". The first paragraph tells the whole story. The husband does not see his wife - mentally or sexually. The question should be , Why? Does he have an inferiority complex? Is he perhaps the one having the affair? Is he addicted to pornography? My husband happens to be , so I know what it is like to be non-existent. The wife might try to pull him out with non-judgmental conversation, but my guess is that will not happen. The husband is hiding something deep and is covering with his abusive attitude toward the wife. The advise about counseling sounds professional but I think not practical in this instance. The wife needs to not have expectations of the husband's response to her and lead her own productive , positive, proud life. IT IS NOT HER FAULT. Thanks for the opportunity to share. Perhaps someone can give me some advise as to how to get my husband from surfing porn. Sycamore
Comment: #9
Posted by: Joan
Wed Aug 4, 2010 7:51 AM
We read the Annie's Mailbox regarding a single mom worries about blind teen and as Lions of Indiana, we would like to suggest contacting the local Lions Club for support for her son through Leader Dog. If her local club is unable to provide the support, contact our local Lions Club in Indiana.

Lion President William Wallace.

Plymouth, Ind.
Comment: #10
Posted by: Chris Benninghoff
Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:19 AM
Hi, all.
Annies' advice seems spot on lately.
Take care, folks.
Comment: #11
Posted by: Jean
Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:24 PM
I'm writing about the 60something woman who wrote about her husband getting drunk everytime he's out with his friends. My husband had the same problem and one night I was with him when this happened and saw why. Like the writers husband, mine rarely drank too. We had gone to a town celebration of a friend. Everytime anyone from our table went to the bar, they bought a round for the whole table. Do by 2 a.m. there were 14 or so bottles in front of me! I drove home. We came to a sobriaty check point. I was tested, nose pointed, walked the line etc. Much later I climbed back into the car and drove home. My husband was freaking out. Why did they let me go? I had only had two of those beers, and I had stopped drinking hours earlier(I could tell by then, I'd be driving). I pointed out that just because someone puts a drink in front of you doesn't mean you have to drink it. I didn't ask for it so I didn't have to drink it. I suspect this may be the same problem for her husband. Maybe she should go along once to observe & drive him home.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Been there, Saw that
Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:50 AM
Comment: #13
Posted by: JEAN
Thu May 12, 2011 3:34 AM
Regarding the girl who was being teased at camp. You are right that the teaser is trying to get a rise out of her, but just ignoring it is way over rated as a response. This girl is being bullied and often bullies initially increase their behavior when ignored. I hope the camp advisor can recognize this a a real harm to the one being bullied and her camp experience and address this "teasing" for what it really is. Probably the whole camp could benefit from a discussion about bullying.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Barbara
Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:24 AM
Dear Annie:
I just read the letter from "Disappointed Reader" and I have to say this must be a product of the NOW generation of the 20s. Since this person said, and I quote, "I don't owe my parents anything" I hope parents everywhere take stock of this attitude of their children and when the time comes that they pass on, leave nothing of any inheritance for this child, because at this point, "they DON'T owe their children anything (financially) either!!

Seeing Red In Englewood
Comment: #15
Posted by: Marsha O
Mon Sep 5, 2011 6:20 AM
Dear Ms. Mitchell and Ms Sugarman,
I normally do not complain however your respose to Disappointed Reader in the Monday September 5th
issue of the Home News Tribune upset me. Parents have an OBLIGATION to clothe, feed and educate their children.
It is not an option or a favor. Parents who do not do this are derelict in their duties and punishable by LAW. My
mother is now 87 years old. I am 52, married and successful. My mother has no more respect for me, my husband or
our time than she did when I was a child. She is as inconsiderate, verbally abusive and combative. Anything my mother can not control is her adversary. We have tried on many occasions to reach out. We have helped her on numerous occasions and made every effort to "get along" with her. The results are limited and short lived at best. Over time, we have come to the conclusion that we have to limit our contact with her as much as possible since she has a corrosive effect on us and our marriage... I respect her as much as she respects me. I do not owe my remaining years to this toxic woman and refuse to subject my very patient husband to more of her abuse.. Honoring ones parents does not include allowing them to be harmful. I am offended that YOU consider this hypocritical. You are two very opinionated judgemental women and I suspect cut from the "same cloth" as my mother. Please consider that your worldview does not include all circumstances and spare me your platitudes.
A Very Kind But Much Smarter Woman
Comment: #16
Posted by: Margaret Heekin
Mon Sep 5, 2011 6:16 PM
Please ammend your suggestion that Worried Mom kick her depressed son out. Tough love may be the worst idea for a young person with depression. It was for my child.
He certainly needs help. She needs expert help to save her child.
Comment: #17
Posted by: diane
Mon Oct 3, 2011 6:13 AM
Comment: #18
Posted by: Georgia
Thu Oct 6, 2011 3:43 PM
I was shocked by your reply to the newly wedded wife who husband's family boycotted their wedding because she was not Catholic. You cast blame on the husband for not telling his wife about their religious bigotry. Since they were obviously invited and failed to show up a reasonable assumption would be her husband hoped they would not let their bigotry stop them from attending. Why should a victim of bigotry be taken to task for the behavior of the bigot? Shame on you for your disgraceful reply.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Larry Wolf
Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:53 AM
Recently, I read a letter you posted from a man complaining about his wife's hot flashes. As a cancer survivor, I , too, am having hot flashes and cannot take the medications required to stop them. Hypnosis helped me. No drugs, no side affects, just the power of the mind. I went from 25 hot flashes per day to none!! Amazing! Joy, Maumee, Ohio
Comment: #20
Posted by: Joy
Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:33 AM
Dear Lady's I was so up set with YOUR SOLUTION, 12/6/13 You have a woman with two children living with a man 25 year her senior. You told her to seek help this is not her husband she should make him move. If she is the maid now next she will be changing his diapers. I SAY RUN AS FAST AS SHE CAN.
Comment: #21
Posted by: carol hoousendove
Fri Dec 6, 2013 9:36 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Feb. `16
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month