Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 24 Jul 2016 10:47:09 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 2e7f5a70d5352790f26164cf7223970f Becoming Too Supportive for 07/24/2016 Sun, 24 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old, single female. I have been friends with "Tony" for two years. Tony is 25, married and has two children. </p> <p>About a year ago, I started having feelings for Tony. He and his wife were separated at the time. (She'd had an affair.) Then he and his wife got back together. Two weeks ago, Tony told me he has feelings for me and was afraid he'd made a mistake returning to his wife. I told him I felt the same way, and we kissed. My intentions are not to be a homewrecker, but it may appear that way. </p> <p>Should I tell Tony I love him? Or should I just try to be a supportive friend? &#8212; Loving Friend <p>Updated: Sun Jul 24, 2016</p> 3461d7bce31452bf240f6a3076683d3c Trust Issues for 07/23/2016 Sat, 23 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am one of three adult children in our family. We had another brother, but he died several years ago, leaving a wife and child.</p> <p>When our mom passed away recently, she left me as the administrator of her trust. Mom had the idea that since one of her four children was gone, her inheritance should be split between her three living children. She thought that her dead son's family should not be included. The three of us siblings attempted to explain to Mom that this policy surely would create a rift, but she didn't change the trust. </p> <p>Upon Mom's death, I conferred with my two siblings, and we unanimously agreed that my brother's family should receive a fourth portion of the inheritance. We care for this family and want them in our lives. Months after the settlement, we learned that our sister-in-law, "Betty," believes that Mom's inheritance was much larger than it really is. She is now questioning us as to whether she actually got "her share" of one-quarter of the trust. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 23, 2016</p> b6d994cd75fe2cfdc08318ea0e0fe277 Dirty Little Secrets for 07/22/2016 Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Last week, I made a shocking discovery while cleaning my bedroom. My husband had several pornographic tapes that he had recorded from the adult-channel network. </p> <p>We work opposite shifts and see each other only on weekends. I had no idea he was keeping this pornography in our house. We've been married 30 years and have always enjoyed a healthy sex life. After this discovery, I can barely stand to have him touch me. I could never compete with the women in these tapes. I assume that when he is making love with me, he is actually thinking of all that pornography. </p> <p>When I confronted him, he said he was only curious and did not mean to hurt me. I loved this man, but his "curiosity" has changed how I feel about our life together. When I am at work, I can't help imagining that he is at home watching this stuff. I am thinking of leaving him. Our kids are grown, and I can support myself. What do you say? &#8212; Devastated Wife <p>Updated: Fri Jul 22, 2016</p> 695942a5fb2525e3e634b150b40061c4 Out of Tune at the Table for 07/21/2016 Thu, 21 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a 55-year-young woman. On Mother's Day, I went to lunch with my family, at my sister's house.</p> <p>One of my brothers was giving the other brother advice about something that was happening in his life. They were sitting across from me, and when my brother was finished, he looked in my direction, and I started to sing. It was only a few words of encouragement, but before I could finish, my sister said curtly, "You don't sing at the table." </p> <p>If the dinner table is a way for the family to come together to communicate, was I wrong for singing? &#8212; Humming in Biloxi, Miss.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 21, 2016</p> f862883add1d76c1f8103d734b423678 Sister in the Middle for 07/20/2016 Wed, 20 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have a baby girl, "Alice," now a year old. My wife's divorced sister, "Leora," stayed with us during most of my wife's pregnancy and moved into an apartment across the street several months after Alice's birth. She has been around constantly ever since.</p> <p>The sisters always have been best friends. The two of them ended up giving the baby her first bath, taking her on her first stroll, her first trip to my mother-in-law's, lots of "firsts," while I am left out. I would like Leora to go home, so my wife and I can enjoy our baby's accomplishments.</p> <p>I was hoping my wife would realize what was going on, but I fear she took my passivity as indifference. At one point I told her how I felt, and she said she understood, but things haven't really changed. Meanwhile, I have gotten reports from friends and family that Leora talks behind my back, questioning my parenting skills since she "always has to do everything." Worse, my wife says similar things about me to others.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 20, 2016</p> 3cfab0c90a71798329e1e15d57727426 Old Flame Needs Extinguishing for 07/19/2016 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband, "Jack," and I have been together for 11 years and married for one. When we first met, he was dating "Sofi." He broke off the relationship with her when he met me. The breakup was extremely difficult for Sofi, and she had trouble letting go. </p> <p>Recently, Jack's job has brought the two of them back into contact. This job is a really good opportunity for Jack, but I'm afraid Sofi still hasn't gotten over him. She calls constantly on his cellphone and finds ways to work late nights with him. She has a relatively good position in the company, and her opinion of him counts.</p> <p>A week ago, at the last minute, Jack's boss invited him for a four-day outing at his lake cabin to discuss his future with the company. I didn't mind the command performance, but I did not care for the fact that Sofi also was there. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 19, 2016</p> 88f50a546d986caa244d79d165d66524 On the Outs for 07/18/2016 Mon, 18 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: During a recent family gathering, my mother-in-law referred to me as an "out-law" instead of an in-law. This comment was totally out of the blue. Not only was I embarrassed, but I have never felt so unwanted and hurt in my entire life. With that one statement, she has completely destroyed our relationship. </p> <p>My in-laws and I never have had any disagreements in the past. My husband says that I should just get over it and move on, because it is a waste of time to confront her. In her mind, she is right and always will be right. </p> <p>Now I am very uncomfortable being around her, but I do it for my husband and children. If I confront her, she is the type of person who will make her son choose between us. Please help. This is eating me alive. &#8212; Heartbroken <p>Updated: Mon Jul 18, 2016</p> 4e33ef6b0d522a1759c82f63823f5780 Sex Missing from Chore List for 07/17/2016 Sun, 17 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 40-ish mom to three children ranging in age from 2 to 8. My husband and I have been together 14 years. When we first started dating, sex was awesome. Over the years, our responsibilities, priorities and workloads have changed. </p> <p>My husband works full time and also does projects around the house. I work full time, and my nonworking time is spent picking up the kids from day care, fixing meals, cleaning the house, doing laundry, paying bills, grocery shopping, arranging doctor's appointments, helping with homework, etc. You get the gist.</p> <p>My husband's only housework responsibility is to empty the dishwasher. When he feels like it, he might make dinner, and he will give the baby a bath every once in a while. I agree that his projects are important, but they tend to be weather-related, like mowing the lawn. In the winter, all he does is empty the dishwasher, but if he can't find a clean shirt, I get harassed and told I'm lazy. <p>Updated: Sun Jul 17, 2016</p> e85374af2ee8c147a412c382fdd930f1 Craving Commitment for 07/16/2016 Sat, 16 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am 28 and have been with my 23-year-old boyfriend for over four years. We have lived together for the last three. Last month, "Kyle" talked about our relationship, and he acknowledged that we might be headed in different directions. He said he wanted some time apart. </p> <p>Throughout our relationship, whenever I felt something wasn't right, I'd ask Kyle about it, and he would assure me that we were fine and he was happy. Is it possible for him to suddenly be unhappy, or has he been holding it all in? </p> <p>After telling me he needed to "see what else was out there," we agreed to separate. I loved him enough to let him go, and if he came back, well, you know how it goes. After a few days, Kyle decided we could remain apart without sacrificing what we have. He insisted he wasn't interested in being with anyone else. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 16, 2016</p> a8d76cd76b769cd58d1b5852c8f717d4 Unwelcome Visitors for 07/15/2016 Fri, 15 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Every summer, my husband and I go away to our beach house for several weeks. My husband leaves the key to our suburban home with a neighbor in case of an emergency. The problem is, when we arrive back home after our vacation, I find things not the way I left them. I would never go out of town and leave spills on the kitchen floor and a mess in my oven.</p> <p>My husband denies it, but I'm pretty sure the neighbor is letting my mother-in-law use the key. I suspect Mom and her friends come in and make themselves right at home. (My mother-in-law always refers to our home as "my son's house.")</p> <p>I feel my privacy has been violated, and worse, that my husband is betraying me by being loyal to his mother at my expense. I'm not sure what to do aside from changing the lock and giving the key to one of my friends with instructions not to give it out to anyone. We have had many arguments over this, and he is losing all credibility with me. Please help. &#8212; Frustrated in the Northeast <p>Updated: Fri Jul 15, 2016</p> d2bfb69dac5a2e265849a8a5cb18d8dd Can't Breathe Easy Around New Neighbors for 07/14/2016 Thu, 14 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I recently moved to a new town due to a job transfer by my company. We have two sons, ages 7 and 10, who have quickly made new friends. It turns out two of their buddies are children of neighbors living two houses away. They recently have taken to playing in our backyard and get along extremely well. We really like their friends.</p> <p>Two weeks ago, we were invited over to meet the parents of these neighbors, and my wife and I were left gasping. It turns out they both are very heavy smokers. I mentioned that my wife is an asthmatic, but this made no difference to them. Without exaggeration, they smoked nearly a pack between them in just over an hour. We finally had to make our exit, as I was afraid my wife would experience an attack.</p> <p>Since that visit, we have begged off on subsequent invitations to get together and have curtailed our children's visits with flimsy excuses. We learned from another neighbor that this couple smokes incessantly in other people's homes, so asking them to come to our place is not an option.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 14, 2016</p> 161ec9f8556d969e709c4fd326ef9a59 Expecting Too Much From Children? for 07/13/2016 Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have a wonderful daughter-in-law who is the stepmother to my two granddaughters, ages 8 and 9. My son has had custody of his little girls since they were toddlers, and "Jeanette" has been a real mother to them. She has done a good job teaching them responsibility and how to behave like young ladies. However, I am concerned that she expects too much. </p> <p>The girls wash dishes, clean rooms in the house and do their own laundry &#8212; including their bed linens. I know things have changed since I raised my son back in the '80s, but do you think it is right to make kids this age responsible for their own laundry? Jeanette does not work outside the home and has time to do this. Am I just old-fashioned? Should I say something or keep my mouth shut? &#8212; Concerned Gram </p> <p>Dear Gram: Although most children probably don't wash their own linens at the age of 8 or 9, there is no reason they cannot be taught to do so. If done properly, operating a washing machine and dryer is neither difficult nor dangerous, and the ability to handle their own laundry will give those girls a sense of accomplishment and independence. Say nothing, Gram.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 13, 2016</p> 983ed0dc2e3b51d86f4140392f30d5b1 You Say Potato, I Say Republican for 07/12/2016 Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am dating a very nice guy whose politics are completely opposite mine. We've gotten into shouting matches about recent Supreme Court decisions, gun control, abortion, etc. He tells me that it seems like he says "potato" and I say "sunflower." He's also hyper-rational, and I am more emotional. </p> <p>Other than this, we get along well. He likes me as a person, and I feel the same way about him. We enjoy spending time together. I also like that he's easygoing (except when discussing politics), smart and funny, and he respects my intellect (although not all of my opinions). Also, he really loves children.</p> <p>Tell me, Annie, how important are similar politics to a relationship? How serious is the emotional divide? He's willing to work on things with me, so I thought maybe we should go for counseling, but if politics is too great an obstacle, then maybe it's not worth the bother. (And please don't remind me of James Carville and Mary Matalin, which my friends keep doing. They seem to be the exception that proves the rule.) &#8212; Unsure in New York City<p>Updated: Tue Jul 12, 2016</p> 7c4c97f211ae525cfd5c2f0cd067e9d6 Staring Into the Darkness of the Past for 07/11/2016 Mon, 11 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am an African-American female and have never been faced with this problem, and I really do not know how to handle it. </p> <p>Recently, an older Caucasian lady moved into our apartment complex, and she has hung a blackfaced doll on her patio, which faces the parking lot. This doll is of the Al Jolson variety that was used in times past to ridicule persons of African descent. I have to pass her patio every day and look at this atrocity. </p> <p>I feel dehumanized every time that I see this doll. To me, this is the same as displaying a Nazi swastika. My question is, how do I approach this woman and tell her of my feelings? &#8212; Upset in Louisville, Ky. <p>Updated: Mon Jul 11, 2016</p> bfcb7bf35b5a47c36020ead6245a0488 So Busy It's Boring for 07/10/2016 Sun, 10 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My relationship with my husband is evaporating, and I can't seem to get things back to where they used to be. It's my fault. My job requires me to work every other weekend, which limits our time together. Besides that, my mother is becoming very dependent, and her care takes a good deal of my time and money. </p> <p>My husband and I are both close to retirement, so changing jobs is not an option. We used to have one recreational activity together &#8212; now he does it with his niece, on the weekends when I work. When I'm home, he wants to get things done around the house. Besides my job, I do all the housework, cooking, cleaning and laundry, plus I mow the lawn. I feel like I'm becoming his housekeeper. </p> <p>Physically, I'm in pretty good shape, but mentally, I think I'm becoming boring. My life is so filled with obligations that I'm losing touch with my friends. What can I do to become interesting again? &#8212; Emily <p>Updated: Sun Jul 10, 2016</p> 43873cc1c69a063a893e5168244d19b7 Two Heads of Household for 07/09/2016 Sat, 09 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: After my father passed away, my husband and I brought my mother to live with us. We should have known better. Mom always ran things, and now that she lives with us, she still wants to control everything. </p> <p>Mom doesn't like it when her grandchildren and great-grandchildren come over to visit. These are my children and their families, and I want them to feel comfortable here. One of the grandchildren is coming in from out of state, and Mom has decided to leave while he is here. </p> <p>Mom has asked me on several occasions if we are happy with her living with us, and I've told her "yes." I thought, since she brought up the subject, that perhaps she was trying to tell me that she was unhappy, but she claims otherwise. She also mentioned that she couldn't afford another place to live, but that isn't so. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 09, 2016</p> c55b2812d6dbb5b906bab57e6fd3fadf Getting Busy on Business Trips for 07/08/2016 Fri, 08 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 31 fantastic years. Six years ago, "Shelley" was promoted, and her new job required her to do a lot of out-of-state business travel. </p> <p>Shelley is very efficient and keeps annual logbooks with the details of her business travel. While I was cleaning up the basement storage area a few weeks ago, I came across her old logbooks, dating back to 1998. Out of curiosity, I opened one, and it had details of a business meeting with a male client &#8212; their dinner and conversation, as well as the details of her activities with him in her hotel room. I was totally shocked to read the things they had done.</p> <p>Shelley was out of town, so for the next three evenings, I went through all of her logbooks. Each had details similar to the first, not only with that man, but with two others. She has been with these three men on a regular basis.<p>Updated: Fri Jul 08, 2016</p> 89d74a7c4fec57173075b4d6139bb02f Fifty-Year-Old Secret for 07/07/2016 Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Fifty years ago, I believe I sired a child. "Helen" and I were married to others when she became pregnant. We planned to be together, but then my wife became pregnant. Helen and her husband divorced, and she remarried a few years later. Some time after that, I also divorced. I have not seen the child since he was a year old. </p> <p>Helen and I kept in touch until about three years ago. The pictures she sent me during that time make me believe this boy is my child. The last time I talked to Helen, she was quite ill and heavily sedated. I stopped calling when she was never the one who picked up the phone. For all I know, she may be dead.</p> <p>I have the child's address. Would it be harmful to contact him? Is it just an ego trip for me? I have no familial diseases to reveal. And the "father" may be alive. If he is and I shake things up, I might interfere with the child's inheritance. Several years ago, when I suggested putting the child in my will, Helen said it was not necessary, because the "father is very wealthy."<p>Updated: Thu Jul 07, 2016</p> 074bc7daaf340868e48fdc6f8cfd110f Aunt Must Break Off Affair With Nephew for 07/06/2016 Wed, 06 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 47-year-old woman, married almost 30 years, and I have two grown sons. For the past 10 years, I have been having an affair with my 27-year-old nephew, "Steven." </p> <p>It began shortly after the death of my father. In the beginning, it was a matter of seeing similarities between my father and nephew, and I was drawn to that. Now, I realize that I am in love with Steven. I also have been sending money regularly to Steven because he's had some legal problems, and I am hoping it will help him straighten out his life. My husband has no idea this has been going on.</p> <p>I care deeply for my husband, but I am in love with my nephew and dream of running away with him. I have tried counseling, but it just doesn't seem to be working. I guess that's because part of me doesn't want things to change. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 06, 2016</p> 3a64c2793cb656a5c52077bcf172c5b4 Snooty or Shy? for 07/05/2016 Tue, 05 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have raised four sons, mostly by myself. My youngest son ran away from college to pursue his dreams, fell in love with a girl, and married her a year ago. </p> <p>I always have welcomed my sons' significant others, but this one has me perplexed. When they first began dating, I flew out to meet her and told her how much I approved of her, which I do. I send cards and flowers on her birthday and ask to speak to her when I call, but she rejects me to the point where I am brokenhearted.</p> <p>My son married in a civil ceremony, to which I was not invited, and it just about killed me inside. But this silent treatment has me depressed. I bought them a nice wedding gift, but my son is the only one who responds. How can I get through to my newest daughter-in-law? &#8212; Can't Understand It in Wheaton, Ill. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 05, 2016</p>