Two Boys, Mixed Signals and Hopelessly Confused Dear Annie: I am 13 and an avid reader of your column. I have been working at a summer program, and I ride a school bus there and back. Two young men ride the same bus. I have a crush on one of them (I'll call him "Liam"), but I happen to know he …Read more. Genital Herpes and Physical Intimacy Dear Annie: I am a 68-year-old woman who has been divorced for more than 30 years. I haven't been in an intimate relationship for the past 10. Last year, I discovered that I have genital herpes. The doctor said I may have had it for years before …Read more. Physical Abuse: False Charges or Different Perspectives? Dear Annie: When my daughter was 14, she falsely accused me of physical abuse. She is now 33 and brings up these false charges whenever she is having difficult issues in her own life. She blames me for all of her problems. Even worse, my sister …Read more. Yearning for Family in the Ozarks Dear Annie: Several months ago, my husband and I moved to the Ozarks after falling in love with the area. We left behind a lot of dear friends and the life we had known for 25 years, but we are quite happy here. The only sadness is my brother. He …Read more.more articles
When Facebook Friends Aren't Friends at All
Dear Annie: My daughter is 13 years old. She has a 12-year-old friend, "Tasha," who is often left home alone, sometimes watching a younger sibling, while her mother works a second-shift job. Mom doesn't get home until 1:00 a.m.
My daughter is upset that I won't let her sleep over at Tasha's on the occasions when she's by herself or watching her sibling. Apparently, her other friends are allowed to do this, but I have my doubts that these friends' parents are aware that Tasha is alone so late.
I like Tasha and her mother, but I question the parent's judgment. Tasha has come here for sleepovers, and I allow my daughter to go to her home during the early evening, but only for a couple of hours because of the lack of supervision. Am I being too overprotective? — Concerned Mom
Dear Mom: No. We're sure Tasha is a perfectly responsible young girl, but if you would not leave your own child alone in the house until 1:00 a.m., there is no reason to allow it in someone else's home. (There are also legal issues about children under 16 being left unsupervised.) We imagine Tasha's mother does this because she cannot afford a sitter. It would be a great kindness if, on the days when Tasha is alone (and not taking care of her sister), you would offer to let her stay with you.
Dear Annie: I'm a professional single woman in my 50s. Several of my friends are quite active on Facebook and have recently been posting photographs of parties I've attended, including some from many years ago.
I do not wish to have my picture posted on Facebook and have said as much. These friends are ignoring my request with replies like, "But you look so good!" and "It's a great picture of you." I have asked my friends to let me preview any pictures before they post them, to no avail.
Am I being unreasonable? I am a very private person and am selective about sharing my life with others. What can I do? — Want My Privacy
Dear Want: Not too much.
Dear Annie: "Grossed Out in the Silver State" was upset about overweight people wearing ill-fitting clothes that show body parts. You agreed it "isn't pretty." You know what else isn't pretty? The assumption that obese people can afford new clothes.
It is well known that poor nutrition is a class issue. Many people have trouble eating well because they cannot afford healthy, fresh ingredients, or they don't have the time to prepare home-cooked meals. Eating right and exercising is easy when you have the time and resources, but if someone has put on extra weight and lacks the funds for a new wardrobe, one can hardly expect them to stay inside all the time.
We are not guaranteed a public environment that is personally appealing. I find those who openly gawk at others to be quite unattractive, but I wouldn't demand they stay home. — Massachusetts
Dear Massachusetts: We agree that poor nutrition and insufficient funds can make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight, even though jogging around the block doesn't require a lot of time or resources. What would help is for people to be better educated about the dangers of fast food and processed foods (which contain high levels of fat, salt and sugar), and for healthier alternatives to be cheaper to get.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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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