Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 21 Jan 2017 00:41:14 -0800 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 8b7d6ec6d1868b5ebcc3bace7e8dc5a8 The Infidelity Tally for 01/21/2017 Sat, 21 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am 44 years old and have been married for 12 years. This is my first marriage and her third.</p> <p>My wife had a yearlong affair with a co-worker. We tried counseling, but her inability to end the affair forced me to move out, although we have not divorced. I also found out that her two previous marriages ended because of her infidelity.</p> <p>Four months ago, my wife ended the affair, and we returned to counseling. However, during our separation, I reconnected with an old female friend. There is no romance or sex involved. I told my wife about the friendship, but she feels betrayed and doesn't think she can forgive my "emotional affair."<p>Updated: Sat Jan 21, 2017</p> 035a42abbc0abe232872598450a94942 Married to Mixed Signals for 01/20/2017 Fri, 20 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our early 50s. We have been married for one year and have not been intimate for six months. Until he transferred to a second-shift job, our bedroom was exciting. Now I'm not allowed to touch him. Anything more than a hug and he pushes me away. I miss how we once were. He says he hasn't been feeling well but refuses to see a doctor or a counselor.</p> <p>If he's not willing to discuss this further, it's hard to know what to do or think. I love him dearly, and he tells me he loves me, too, but with all these mixed signals, I'm not so sure. Any ideas? &#8212; Boston Beauty</p> <p>Dear Boston: It's possible the job switch is exhausting him, or there could be something at work that is making him unwell. Or he could have met someone else on his new shift. There are other possibilities, but if he refuses to see a doctor or a counselor, it means he prefers to leave things as they are, and this is unacceptable. Please see a counselor on your own and figure out your next step.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 20, 2017</p> 9f1df5117cb67868e7fccaea7635393e I Will not Keep in Touch for 01/19/2017 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am in a relationship with a widower. He is a thoughtful person and works two jobs. His two adult sons live in his home with their girlfriends. Neither of the boys pays rent. Nor do they buy groceries or cleaning supplies. They never offer to take their father out to dinner or do anything special for him. Their father buys their vehicles and pays their insurance.</p> <p>The house is in shambles. The boys' only responsibility is to take the trash to the dump and mow the yard in the summer. They do this grudgingly and not very well. The boys show little respect for their father. They leave beer bottles and dirty dishes all over the kitchen and their shoes, dirty clothes and trash all over the house. No one cleans a bathroom or vacuums a floor. They are busy working out, doing what they want with their friends or going out drinking. One of the girlfriends is always broke and looking for a handout, but she has money to get hammered every weekend. She doesn't lift a finger around the house and has the nerve to tell my boyfriend what he needs to buy to make her more comfortable.</p> <p>My boyfriend thinks that this is normal behavior and that I am the one with the problem. He believes it is his responsibility to take care of them, because they don't have "good" jobs that pay a lot of money. He would never kick them out.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 19, 2017</p> fc63e0383174d3cc261e558da90adc06 Stop Looking at Her Facebook Page for 01/18/2017 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My girlfriend broke up with me in April because she wanted to date another guy. Over the summer, she sent me random emails and text messages about various things, a few of which I answered out of politeness.</p> <p>In September, we both attended the funeral of a mutual friend. I let her know that I wasn't totally over her, but I was doing OK in her presence. She then said that she had broken up with the other guy and that she missed all the things we did, still loved me and wanted a relationship.</p> <p>A week later, she called to say that she had spoken to her counselor and that all she could offer me at this time was friendship. She then invited the other guy back into her life as "a friend." But when I checked her Facebook page, I learned she had been having him over to her house every week.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 18, 2017</p> a1e54af87cb452581c3ce364015b8c99 I Love Him but I Do Not Need Him for 01/17/2017 Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: We have five grown children. One of our sons, "Mark," obtained a contractor's license and asked to remodel our kitchen and bathroom so he could show his work to potential customers. He said the only cost to us would be for materials, which he estimated to be about $300.</p> <p>Mark has always been a troubled kid and stubborn to a fault. He especially doesn't like taking advice or suggestions from others. My husband and I decided to limit his first attempt to the bathroom. We figured the risk would be worth it, because he had asked so little of us in the past. Also, he is a good carpenter and has made some lovely furniture.</p> <p>You probably already guessed what happened. Mark did a terrible job. He ignored our requests and didn't do what he said he would, and we were left with some major problems. When we asked for an itemized bill, we got one line: "Total amount due, $400." After we explained our feelings to him, he walked out and hasn't spoken to us since. That was two years ago.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 17, 2017</p> 4096c3c20fe35dd631cbe73953e0a044 Profits of a Nonprofit for 01/16/2017 Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Four months ago, I joined a nonprofit that provides free tutoring and homework help to elementary-school kids. When I started, the kids coming into our center were from low-income minority and immigrant families. These were kids who would be home alone all afternoon if they didn't come to us.</p> <p>A few weeks ago, the demographic shifted. A large number of kids from stable, affluent families began arriving at the center. The parents of these children own property in an area that is quickly gentrifying.</p> <p>This nonprofit is meant for kids whose families really need it. I feel as if I'm providing free baby-sitting and tutoring for kids whose parents could afford to pay for such services. What do you think? &#8212; New Yorker<p>Updated: Mon Jan 16, 2017</p> 46aa716a76fcb4e22db5e8a6ed7f6f66 Thank your Veterans for 01/15/2017 Sun, 15 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: For many years, your compassionate readers have brightened the lives of America's hospitalized veterans by participating in the Valentines for Vets program during Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week (Feb. 12-18). This program encourages readers to deliver valentines and visit with veterans at their local Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical center.</p> <p>Scout troops, community organizations, houses of worship and social organizations have all used this program to encourage young people to become involved in their community and learn about the meaning of service from our veterans. </p> <p>Last year, more than 760,000 cards and letters were delivered to hospitalized veterans. More than 37,000 community members made nearly 100,000 visits to veteran patients. Hundreds were inspired to become volunteers at a VA hospital or outpatient clinic.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 15, 2017</p> fa7042daab659efdeca5dcc720698144 Sister, Sister for 01/14/2017 Sat, 14 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a divorced, 53-year-old female living in Las Vegas, and I have a divorced sister who lives in South Carolina. I am retired and work part time. My sister also is retired, but shortly after she moved to South Carolina, she was unable to walk or stand for any length of time. Doctors said a broken back from an accident years ago was beginning to cause new problems.</p> <p>I want to move to South Carolina to help my sister. I'm sure I would love it there. However, my 70-something parents, who live near me, are not happy about this. My father told me I have to stay here to help them when they get older. I suggested to my father that they move down there with us, but they aren't interested. </p> <p>Right now, my parents are perfectly healthy. I would like to live where I want and enjoy the rest of my life. But I'm the only one who can take care of my parents when the time comes. Am I selfish to move? &#8212; Nevada Daughter<p>Updated: Sat Jan 14, 2017</p> 0f38648cbd17a5e36b7b8a8750c62d13 An Age Difference makes a Difference for 01/13/2017 Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 26-year-old guy who is pretty quiet. I really don't go out anywhere except to the mall on weekends. </p> <p>A few months ago, a girl started working at one of the places I frequent. I could tell she was interested in me the first time I saw her, and she has become increasingly friendly. She recently asked me what my name is. </p> <p>I like this girl a lot, but she is only 19. She seems very mature and intelligent. I know she wants to go out with me, but I'm worried that she thinks I'm younger than I really am. (People always think I'm barely out of my teens.)<p>Updated: Fri Jan 13, 2017</p> 15f956879f7db177618015f7eebdb1b1 Open Relationships for 01/12/2017 Thu, 12 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I are friends with a couple I'll call "Rusty and Cathy." We like their company, but we have very few of the same interests. The problem is, they believe that if a husband and wife do not share the same interests, it is OK for the husband to spend time with other women who do. </p> <p>I believe this is setting the stage for these relationships to become full-blown affairs. Cathy says if you love someone, you should trust them, and she has no problem with Rusty seeing movies, plays, concerts, etc., with other women. This situation has really made our friendship stressful. I don't like seeing Rusty with women other than his wife, but I was willing to mind my own business until he suggested my husband should do the same when I am out of town or working. </p> <p>Our other friends believe I am overreacting. My husband, by the way, agrees with me that these outside relationships are dangerous. Am I way off base on this? &#8212; Hoping I'm Right in the Midwest <p>Updated: Thu Jan 12, 2017</p> 9ccdf329da06a76435d3e28f54baa7ef Depression Hurts Everyone for 01/11/2017 Wed, 11 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married to "Dennis" for 15 years. The first 10 were pretty good, but this last year has been miserable.</p> <p>We have four children, all under age 8. Dennis works during the week, and I work weekends so one of us can always be home with the kids. We've had this set-up for four years, and it was working just fine. </p> <p>Seven months ago, Dennis began acting very lethargic and would often sleep the entire weekend, 48 hours straight. My kids would call me at work and complain that Dad would not get up to fix meals or change the baby's diaper. I work 12-hour shifts on Saturday and Sunday, and one time I came home and our youngest had been in a poopy diaper all day. Dennis was still in bed. <p>Updated: Wed Jan 11, 2017</p> 7d4ab544e71c46c7bfa3f114494209b7 Fine Line Between Love and Abuse for 01/10/2017 Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I've been with "Max" for nearly four years, and we recently moved in together. We got along great until Max became very needy and suspicious. He works days, and I work nights. If he calls home and I don't answer the phone, he flips out. He calls me at work at least three times a day, and gets me out of bed after I've had only a few hours of sleep, just so I can sit with him until he leaves for work. </p> <p>I've tried to be patient, thinking maybe he's just a little too excited that we're living together and this whole thing will blow over, but things have gotten worse. Max is becoming a dictator. He leaves me a list of chores before he goes to work, expects to see me on his lunch break, and I must have dinner ready for him when he gets home. I rarely have the time to get all these "chores" accomplished and be at work myself. If I don't finish, he harps on me until I'm nearly in tears. </p> <p>I've tried to talk to Max about this, and he's apologized and promised to change, but that never happens. I'm afraid if things don't straighten out soon, he might become violent. <p>Updated: Tue Jan 10, 2017</p> 4c451f4b0815f0ad7637263c45275cc9 Bullying in Good Fun? for 01/09/2017 Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My young-adult son, "Elliot," delivers pizza for one of the top chains. His assistant manager constantly harasses my son about being gay, which he is not. He even has gone so far as to write things in the bathroom. </p> <p>Would this qualify as sexual harassment? Elliot already has complained to the local manager and the area manager, and nothing has happened. He is getting quite depressed about it. The assistant manager has connections in the company, so this could be the reason. </p> <p>Elliot also has seen this assistant manager, along with others, take breaks to smoke &#8212; and I don't mean cigarettes. Elliot doesn't join them, and he has asked me not to contact the authorities. <p>Updated: Mon Jan 09, 2017</p> cf0804ac7a63413c1760b0944e2b4aeb She Needs to Love Herself First for 01/08/2017 Sun, 08 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My 32-year-old daughter, "Carla," has never had a date or a boyfriend, although she has had lots of crushes that have never been returned. I suspect it's because she is very overweight (about 100 pounds), and this has been a bone of contention in our relationship since childhood. I have learned not to talk about it since it negatively affects our mother/daughter relationship. </p> <p>Carla is bright, pretty and works in a professional world that stresses looks and weight. She now really likes a man who is friendly but has not asked her out. She seems not to realize that her weight affects how men see her.</p> <p>I really ache for my daughter and want her to find happiness, but what can I do? I have addressed issues of healthy eating (which she seems to do), but she never exercises for any period of time. It makes me heartsick to see that she has so much going for her, lots of friends, etc., but no man in her life, and she obviously wants one. I don't know where to turn. &#8212; Heartsick Mother<p>Updated: Sun Jan 08, 2017</p> c3053f0d43179a635481ad330a286267 Read the Fine Print for 01/07/2017 Sat, 07 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from "Not Living in Peace in Tallahassee, Fla.," who discovered a registered sex offender living next door. Your advice was way off. "Tallahassee" needs to put a sign in her yard saying "A SEX OFFENDER LIVES NEXT DOOR" with a big arrow pointing toward his house, and then get out the bullhorn and rally the neighbors so everyone knows who he is and what he looks like.</p> <p>Predators and molesters don't like when their actions, descriptions and whereabouts are exposed. It's hard to find a victim if everyone knows what kind of non-human you are. These animals do not change. They have proven time and again that rehabilitation and punishment do nothing to stop them from destroying another life. </p> <p>The state of Florida allows the public to view all registered sex offenders. You can even search your neighborhood to see how many are close to you. It's more than you think. &#8212; Fed Up in Milton, Fla.<p>Updated: Sat Jan 07, 2017</p> f4605ed93283f6372f4338df76c1666f Save the Drama for her Mama for 01/06/2017 Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: When my wife and I married, she requested that I avoid conflict with her manipulative stepfather so that she could maintain a relationship with her mother. I consented to her request. </p> <p>However, her stepfather's abusive demeanor got worse until, at a dinner party my wife hosted, he made several crude and base statements about my wife and the legitimacy of our infant son. I asked him to leave, and we actually had to have the security staff escort him off the property. </p> <p>Over the next few months, this man engaged in criminal harassment, and we got a restraining order. We then discovered there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest in another state. He now is serving a prison sentence. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 06, 2017</p> 4ea7018019f9a34b6ae88520a75894c0 Mental Health is a Sensitive Subject for 01/05/2017 Thu, 05 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife, "Nicole," had an affair with a co-worker last year. When I found out, I was devastated, and I still have emotional problems because of it. We have four children, so we worked it out the best we could.</p> <p>Nicole continued to work at the same place with this same co-worker for a short time after I found out, and it was killing me every time she went to her office. A few months ago, she finally found another job. </p> <p>Recently, Nicole's old boss called and asked if she could fill in temporarily. Nicole asked me if this would be a problem. I never demand things of her, but I did express my feelings that I hoped she could move on and let that past go. Frankly, I don't understand how she could even want to go back into that situation if she really wishes to hold our marriage together. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 05, 2017</p> e060a50a952d40e33db532e27c4bbcb4 Wear What You Want for 01/04/2017 Wed, 04 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old male in a rather unusual situation. I have been intrigued by crossdressing since I was 12 and, as a result, took to "borrowing" a few things from my mother, mainly underwear. </p> <p>I still live at home, and this interest of mine has caused me much embarrassment. My father has found the borrowed clothing several times and mentioned it once, telling me to stay out of other people's things. And I know my mother found a pair of her underwear one time. </p> <p>I don't know what to do. I feel ashamed and embarrassed taking these things but do not want to stop. I don't feel as if I am hurting anyone. In fact, I've seriously thought about letting Mom catch me in the process of stealing her things so I wouldn't feel so guilty doing it behind her back.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 04, 2017</p> db1db4d1a94c390fc53444f3bdf901e4 The Other Woman is Never the Only Woman for 01/03/2017 Tue, 03 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Can someone explain to me how a man can take a 33-year marriage and just walk away? The heck with his children, grandchildren and wife.</p> <p>We must sell our home of 30 years, as this is a no-fault divorce state. I have not worked in 30 years, and at age 55, I must find a job, probably one that pays minimum wage. I have many health-related problems, but my husband's response is, "too bad." </p> <p>I have loved my husband since the first day we met, and this is tearing me apart. To be forced into leaving my home, putting the grandchildren in day care and knowing that I will now grow old alone is terrifying.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 03, 2017</p> d007ae0051092b7e0cfdc42f09df3b8e Happy New Year for 01/01/2017 Sun, 01 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Readers: Happy New Year! We hope this year is the best ever for each and every one of you. Here's a poem by Robert B. Beattie that expresses some lovely sentiments. We hope you will enjoy it:</p> <p></p> <p>A Way to a Happy New Year<p>Updated: Sun Jan 01, 2017</p>