Missing Grandma, Dissing Mom Dear Annie: My children's grandmother passed away a few weeks ago after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Her children decided to have a service in the northeast where her husband is buried and where they all grew up. None of them lives anywhere near …Read more. Held Hostage by Insecurity Dear Annie: Twelve years ago, my son moved his girlfriend into our home. "Lena" lived with us for four years, and we treated her like family. They broke up, and Lena moved out. She then married someone else and now has an adorable 6-year-old …Read more. Instituting the Payback Plan Dear Annie: I have helped my wife's daughter and family financially many times over the past 15 years. Eighteen months ago, I loaned them $600, and they promised they would pay me back. (My previous loans were gifts.) The daughter's husband has a …Read more. Navigating the Plus-One Dear Annie: How much can I ask my host about etiquette for her overseas wedding? I live in Canada. The bride is French. I met her when she was briefly living in my hometown. She went back to France two years ago, and now she's getting married there. …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.
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 email@example.com, 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 www.creators.com.
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