Time to Shine a Little Sunlight on the Gambling and the Drinking Dear Annie: Due to financial problems, my husband and I recently had to move into my in-laws' home. Not a day goes by that I am not chastised or put down for the choices that led us to this situation. My "frivolous spending habits" seem to be the …Read more. A Worthy Apology 30 Years in the Making Dear Annie: Thirty years ago, when I was 11, I got into an argument on the school bus with another kid my age. I was an insecure child, and I was losing the argument and feeling humiliated. In a move to try to regain some power, I called the other …Read more. A Father's Dying Wish Made Doubly Difficult Dear Annie: My father was in prison for my entire childhood. I am now 23 and have managed to build a good relationship with him since he was released two years ago. Recently, Dad became very ill and stopped breathing. He was on life support for a …Read more. Depressed and Dependent: A Moral Quagmire Dear Annie: My father recently passed away. Dad was helping to support my 43-year-old brother, "Ben," who suffers from depression and is on disability. Ben doesn't work and spends a great deal of time in bed or buying liquor and lottery tickets. He'…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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