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
Where Do Social Security Numbers Come From?
Dear Annie: My husband and I own a business together that would collapse if we divorced. The business is starting to prosper after several years of debt and difficulties. At this point, we cannot afford to rock the boat, as we surely would not survive financially. We also have two teenagers at home, and the eldest has proved to be challenging.
Six years ago, I made plans to leave my husband, but financial catastrophe hit. I decided then to postpone the divorce and made up my mind to wait until our kids are out of the house. But it isn't working. I pretend everything is OK and hope that if I act the part, the rest will follow suit, but the emptiness is always there. I am constantly daydreaming, living in my head and waiting for the day I get out.
It is another three years until the youngest goes to college. It seems like a life sentence. What should I do? — Trapped
Dear Trapped: Have you attempted counseling? If not, please try it before spending three years being miserable. When kids believe they live in a stable, loving home, it is usually better for them, so we understand and admire your decision to stay. But it is not going to be easy.
You can make things more tolerable for yourself by getting involved in activities that will get you out of the house more often, occupying your time and allowing you to focus on more pleasant things. And since you do not know what the condition of your business will be in three years, please see a lawyer about maintaining an amicable professional relationship if you separate from your husband. It can be done.
Dear Annie: My granddaughter insists that the first three numbers of one's Social Security number represent the state in which you were born.
I say that prior to 1972, those first three numbers (the area numbers) were assigned based on the state in which a person first applied for a Social Security card.
Dear Grandma: You are. According to the Social Security Administration, prior to 1972, cards were issued locally and the area number represented the state in which the card was issued, whether or not the applicant lived there. Since 1972, cards have been issued centrally from Baltimore and the area number is based on the zip code of the mailing address provided on the application. Again, the mailing address doesn't have to match the place of residence. Where you were born has no direct bearing on those first three numbers. (Thanks for an interesting question.)
Dear Annie: This is for "Tired of Walking on Eggshells," the woman who thinks it is rude that her daughter-in-law speaks only Russian to her parents.
I have been married for 35 years to a man from another country, and whose language I know little of. My mother-in-law and my husband's sisters speak with one another in their own language.
I had determined from the beginning that I was not going to be paranoid about what they were discussing. One time, they apologized for carrying on in their language when I couldn't follow. I replied that it was natural for them to speak to each other in their native tongue. My mother and I do the same thing.
I took no offense. The main thing was how I was treated — and I was always treated well. "Tired" should make it her business to learn a few key phrases in Russian so she can follow some of the conversation. I did that, and we would all giggle at my mispronunciations and misunderstandings.
Attitude is everything in dealing with in-laws. She should consider this an opportunity to demonstrate to her son the love and respect she has for his wife and her heritage. — J.D. in St. Louis (and Sometimes India)
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, 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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