Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Thu, 30 Mar 2017 09:00:19 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/annies-mailbox-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox f02e926f4afe4777be2c1ba05589ab43 Conflicting Faiths for 03/30/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/conflicting-faiths Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm 20 and attending college near my parents' home. Despite what my Catholic family wants, I've been exploring other religions for the past five years and have decided that Judaism is the right road for me. I want to let my family in on this process, but I'm afraid they'll react badly and insist that my Jewish fiance is swaying my decision. </p> <p>My mother is starting to pick up on the fact that I haven't been going to church with her. She has informed me that she would be greatly insulted if I became Jewish, because all those years of putting me through Catholic school would be for naught. She recently hoped loudly that eventually I would "do the right thing and come back." I'm tired of lying when they ask where I go on Friday evenings. Help? &#8212; At the Crossroads</p> <p>Dear Crossroads: There is some validity to the claim that your fiance may be influencing your decision, but that is to be expected. Even if he isn't making a concerted effort to convert you, his preferences and beliefs would be persuasive on their own. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 30, 2017</p> 96a2a414be80ed3e01eff15dbf2e8b18 Be a Positive Influence for 03/29/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/be-a-positive-influence Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm in my mid-20s, and my sister is a junior in high school. "Tina" has always looked up to me as the "cool brother," and we've become buddies. I tell her my issues at work and my troubles with women, and she tells me far more than she does the rest of our family. We've grown to trust each other. </p> <p>Last week when the mail arrived, my mother noticed that Tina had received an envelope from the county prison. Inside was a six-page soft-porn letter from a convicted felon who used to date one of Tina's friends. Mom also discovered that Tina had been accepting long-distance charges on her cell phone from the prison. My parents contacted the authorities, and the man won't write or call her again. They've also grounded Tina for a month.</p> <p>I'm not that hurt by her lies of omission. She's just a kid, and I did some fairly stupid things at her age. But now I don't feel like telling her anything. I'm still nice to her, and we get along like we used to, but I've not told her about a few things that have happened in my life recently. Is this an OK way to handle it? &#8212; Need Help in Wisconsin<p>Updated: Wed Mar 29, 2017</p> b7158839465a0677124c3b61bf8eeba0 Educate Them for 03/28/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/educate-them Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 54-year-old lesbian in a 23-year relationship. My partner and I have begun to hate traveling. Don't get me wrong. We love and enjoy exotic places, but dealing with stupid and rude people is getting old.</p> <p>Our problem has to do with the ladies room. We are often mistaken for men and questioned. I don't get it. Some women seem shocked by us and occasionally make a scene as if we chose the wrong bathroom. While we don't wear makeup or frilly clothes, we also don't wear suits, ties and wingtips. I wear earrings, female clothing and a wedding band set. Think Ellen DeGeneres. </p> <p>These ignorant women need some education. Please tell them they are rude and hurtful. If our presence makes them uncomfortable, maybe they should leave the bathroom. Many of the encounters make me feel bad for days. I just want to be left alone. What can I say to nip this in the bud? &#8212; Santa Cruz, Calif.<p>Updated: Tue Mar 28, 2017</p> ff9a8df00d5f2008f0987e5467b90eba Like A Puppet On a String for 03/27/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/like-a-puppet-on-a-string Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been with "Tony" for three years. When I started seeing him, I didn't realize he was still legally married to a woman who cheated on him. He promised to divorce, but things remain the same. He claims "it's just a piece of paper" and we are married in our hearts. I've tried explaining that it feels disrespectful, but he doesn't get it.</p> <p>Tony and his wife wanted to avoid court, so they drew up papers with a mediator. But each time she sends them, he finds she has hidden something that goes against what they agreed, and he refuses to sign until the papers are fixed. But Tony always waits for her to make the next move. In the past, whenever he pushed for resolution, she made it difficult for him to see their children.</p> <p>It annoys me that Tony doesn't try harder to end this. Worse, he and his wife still have a joint checking account. He keeps saying he'll close it, but he hasn't. Tony is a known procrastinator, but I am hurt and frustrated. Enough is enough. <p>Updated: Mon Mar 27, 2017</p> 1c9cb0e723f9a9e3ac8778d8af38ef29 The Ex is in the Picture for 03/26/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/the-ex-is-in-the-picture-a54ee Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am 32 years old and live with my girlfriend, "Sarah," who is 37. We have been together for eight months. Things were great in the beginning, but lately the relationship has been going south. </p> <p>There is an ex-boyfriend who won't leave the picture, and Sarah is partly to blame. When he sends texts or calls, she deletes them so I can't see what he wrote. She'll tell me she is out with her girlfriends, when I know she is actually meeting up with the ex. She claims she no longer has any interest in him, but he still seems to weasel his way into her head. </p> <p>Sarah recently lost her job and rarely comes to bed with me. She stays up all night doing craft projects and goes to bed when I get up for work. I love her, and she says she loves me. I asked her to marry me, and she said yes, but only when she is happy with herself again. What does this mean? Am I wasting my time? &#8212; Just Want To Be Loved in Ohio <p>Updated: Sun Mar 26, 2017</p> 4add31461aa915d13de269aafea0a6cd No Spouses Allowed for 03/25/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/no-spouses-allowed Sat, 25 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our mid-40s, happily married with a wonderful family. In the past two years, my husband has reconnected with some high school friends through social media. I think it is great that they are able to communicate and catch up, since their lives have moved them all over the country. They have had a couple of gatherings, one centered around a formal reunion and the other an informal get-together at a bar. </p> <p>This is a coed group, although the boys and girls attended separate schools that were only connected through occasional joint activities. I thought it a bit odd that the women were included in the men's school reunion, especially since their husbands were not invited. But since my husband couldn't attend either function, I didn't pay much attention.</p> <p>Now I am told a long weekend gathering is being scheduled and both men and women will occupy a large home together &#8212; men on the second floor and women in the basement, each floor with separate bedrooms and baths. Spouses are not invited. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 25, 2017</p> 1e68e0a6f78aecbda21e044929be3be1 Put It All Down on Paper for 03/24/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/put-it-all-down-on-paper Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am one of four adult siblings in a family that has always had difficulty communicating. I haven't spoken to my brother, "Tom," in many years. </p> <p>After getting married, Tom never bothered to invite our parents over, and he and his wife missed all the holiday celebrations. His wife is distant and didn't try to establish a relationship with my parents, even though she is very close to her mother. Eventually, Tom stopped speaking to Mom and Dad altogether. </p> <p>A few years ago, Dad passed away. I sent Tom an e-mail and called to let him know. He was aggressive and rude on the phone and didn't show up for the funeral. He never called our mother to console her. Needless to say, she is still devastated that her only son could behave in such a way. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 24, 2017</p> b236369359f238cc095d1e1c31e97001 I Love Him Like a Brother for 03/23/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/i-love-him-like-a-brother Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am 47 years old and am living with so many regrets. I married my husband because I did not think anyone else would ask me. I have never been in love with him. </p> <p>Fast-forward 25 years. Our children are off on their own. I have been in counseling, and my therapist suggested I bring my husband in with me. He has refused, saying there is nothing wrong with our relationship. We are intimate several times a week, and I do everything around the house. That is all he requires of a relationship. </p> <p>But honestly, if he did come to counseling, how could I tell him that I am not attracted to him, that I never am aroused by him, that I love him like a brother? I am ready to ask for a divorce so I can try to find a passionate man to fall in love with. I want to feel needed and desirable. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 23, 2017</p> 0b95764240f6140d035e81e2ad360f8d This is Textbook Bullying for 03/22/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/this-is-textbook-bullying Wed, 22 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am having a problem and don't know what to do. Please do not suggest counseling, because I tried, and my wife won't even consider it. </p> <p>We married 17 years ago. Both of us were in our mid-50s. She had two grown children, and I had none. There wasn't supposed to be any baggage coming into this marriage. However, a few months after our wedding, her son's wife kicked him out for cheating &#8212; with both men and women. For the past 10 years, we have had nothing but problems with this guy. He is a drunken bum, and I suspect he is doing hard drugs now. He has had a few jobs, none for very long. His massive temper gets him fired every time.</p> <p>We are retired on Social Security and my military pension. For some reason, this 51-year-old guy thinks I should support him. He lives in my travel trailer and draws food stamps. He takes enough odd jobs to pay for his bad habits, but regardless of how much he earns, he is back over here needing money for gas or groceries, and of course, Mommy will not say no. She enables him and makes excuses for everything he does. As a result, we fight continuously. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 22, 2017</p> a96ebd9b446a5a34142fe423d81923ba She Needs to Grow Up for 03/21/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/she-needs-to-grow-up Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been dating "Annette" for two years, and we are inseparable. I love and appreciate her. We both still live with our families and spend the majority of our time at her house. </p> <p>Annette often talks about moving in together and getting married, but after two years, she still refuses to meet my mother. She has met my father and a brother, but when it comes to my mother, her anxiety gets the better of her. Because of this, she never comes to my house. Annette says she won't meet my mother until I propose. I have told her that I don't feel comfortable taking things to the next level until she meets my mother. </p> <p>I am afraid this is going to end our relationship. Obviously, we will not be living with our parents when we get married. But my family is still important, and I feel if she wants to be a part of it, she ought to spend time with them. How should I approach this? &#8212; Sad and Confused. <p>Updated: Tue Mar 21, 2017</p> 5fab5dfa556c4867cbccea148aa74d6d Who to Trust for 03/20/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/who-to-trust Mon, 20 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I were in a social group with several other women who I thought were friends. A short time ago, he told me that two of the women came to him under the pretense of being concerned about our marriage. They claimed I had said negative things about him that he should be aware of.</p> <p>Most of what they told him were lies, and the rest was blown out of proportion. Unfortunately, he seems to believe them. I am hurt by this and no longer want to be friends with these women. My husband thinks I'm being unfair. This is causing all sorts of trouble in our marriage. Please help. &#8212; Hurt and Betrayed</p> <p>Dear Hurt: It is not unusual for women to talk about their husbands, both positively and negatively. A good friend understands that these comments are generally about blowing off steam and are not meant to be repeated. A woman with ulterior motives, however, would be happy to make the wife look bad and provide a reason to chum up to the husband. Although, since two women did this, we wonder what, exactly, you said to them.<p>Updated: Mon Mar 20, 2017</p> 72297db60a54bfa5d35a21bcbc71b72a Health Care Shows You Care for 03/19/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/health-care-shows-you-care Sun, 19 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I would like to thank you for the many times you've reminded readers to take care of important medical, financial and end-of-life decisions. I did that years ago and have a legal will and power of attorney. Over the years, I also gently requested that my parents do the same, but they chose to ignore me. </p> <p>Although it is too late to help our family, please continue to tell everyone how important it is to make their requests and wishes known and put into writing. The difficult decisions that must be made when a family member becomes incapacitated or passes away suddenly and without warning can be made easier with just a little planning. Everyone should ask themselves if the following information has been given to someone they trust to carry out their wishes and requests: </p> <p>The names of their doctor, lawyer and whoever they have appointed to make decisions for them should they become unable to do so. <p>Updated: Sun Mar 19, 2017</p> 611a1bc782ccc4c831f5c40011bc1a77 Grown Up Stepkids for 03/18/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/grown-up-stepkids Sat, 18 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: When I married my wife last summer, her son was living in the basement with no intention of getting a job. "Terence" is 23 and not exactly bright. We tried offering advice to help him move forward with his life, but he likes things his way. My wife excuses this, saying it's his generation's lifestyle. She told me her co-worker's daughter moved back home with her husband and baby, and they accept it. I know there are a lot of parents in the same situation. </p> <p>Terence has decided he wants to move back to a town where he used to have friends, but my wife still wants to support him. So she is willing to continue paying for his car insurance, rent, spending money and trips to fast-food restaurants. He doesn't save a nickel. As soon as he gets money, he spends it.</p> <p>I get the impression that my wife doesn't want to cut the apron strings. Terence likes having his mother support him. Money isn't the issue. It's that we won't be around forever, and at this rate, I don't see him ever growing up. He'll be the same when he's 50. <p>Updated: Sat Mar 18, 2017</p> e7baa081cce070c869e714473c60f245 Blinded by a First Love for 03/17/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/blinded-by-a-first-love Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Ten years ago, I fell in love with "Brandon" and had the two happiest years of my life. Then he changed. We broke up, and I found out he had been having sex with another coed. His deception and harsh words put a stop to any fantasies of reconciliation.</p> <p>I soon began a relationship with "Travis," and we remain together. We've had our ups and downs, but I know he loves me and our values align. Despite everything, however, I have never been able to get over Brandon. I know it's absurd. </p> <p>Brandon and I have been in sporadic contact through mutual friends. He married the coed, a manipulative type who has made it clear she doesn't want to hear my name. The life he leads now is not one I would want for myself.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 17, 2017</p> f9b75231ab82ca53f4d95e90ad4484f0 Family Fifth Wheel for 03/16/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/family-fifth-wheel Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I live five hours away from my parents and a married younger brother. I work two jobs and can only afford to visit my folks once a month or so. </p> <p>Lately, when I have driven out to see them, I am the last to discover that the four of them have already made plans. They never think to ask if I want to join them. Sometimes, I end up attending the same concert but sitting in the back, alone, while they have better seats. Or I house-sit while they spend the weekend at a casino. </p> <p>I have tried phoning weeks ahead to let them know when I am coming, and I've changed my plans if I learn they are already busy that weekend. Yet asking to join them seems to surprise everyone and invariably ends up being quite awkward. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 16, 2017</p> 16e268eb6edc9a1d0c683624c559719b Internet Marriage for 03/15/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/internet-marriage Wed, 15 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: A year ago, my daughter met a man over the internet. That's fine, but I have the following issues:</p> <p>1. She wants to marry him without actually having met him in person. </p> <p>2. He is from a foreign country where the customs are vastly different from ours. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 15, 2017</p> 18b47823613c0426062dc45a78544d05 Grow Up or Get Out for 03/14/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/grow-up-or-get-out Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am getting married in May. My fiance, "Stan," didn't like his last job, so my brother hired him. Stan has been working there for a year. </p> <p>I recently found out that Stan has been pulling nasty pranks on my brother. He never mentioned it to me. My brother works alone during the busiest part of the day, with the pressures from sales people, supervisors, repair people, etc. Stan works the evening shift and has a helper, but they are the only two in the building. Still, Stan is apparently upset by things my brother doesn't get to during the day.</p> <p>I have seen the pictures of the pranks: cutting the fingertips off the gloves my brother uses for his work; putting spray powder and piles of wood on the chair my brother sits in. He hides tools and rags. The list is endless. <p>Updated: Tue Mar 14, 2017</p> d472df0eca60da133049dbc4a1676f84 Marriage Versus Friendship for 03/13/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/marriage-versus-friendship Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband, "Rick," had been close friends with "Edward" for 30 years. We used to get together frequently, and Edward was always kind and considerate and someone we highly respected. Then, Edward got engaged to "Michelle." </p> <p>I was pregnant at the time, and my doctor put me on bed rest because I had already been hospitalized once. I could not travel out of state for any of the festivities. However, Rick was gone nearly every weekend attending the engagement party, bachelor party and wedding. He said Edward was not acting like himself during these visits, saying he was uncharacteristically inconsiderate and strange. </p> <p>Two months later, I gave birth to a girl, and we invited Edward and Michelle to the baptism. Edward called to say they would not be attending because Michelle was hurt that I didn't come to the wedding. She said my absence meant I did not support their marriage, and they needed time to "heal" from this insult. Michelle also was offended that Rick's wedding speech did not make enough mention of her.<p>Updated: Mon Mar 13, 2017</p> c69c64440c7a64c6a7ebd4941b89aed2 Abuse Should Never Be a Secret for 03/12/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/abuse-should-never-be-a-secret Sun, 12 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My son married a woman with a 3-year-old daughter, "Suzy." Suzy's biological father, "Duke," has shared custody. </p> <p>When I met Duke's parents and extended family, we became quite friendly. Over time, I've learned a great deal about Duke's childhood and how he sexually abused his younger brother and sister for several years. When Duke molested a neighborhood child, his church intervened and sent him to a facility for two years until he turned 18. Duke's parents truly believe their son is no threat to Suzy, and that his "childish sexual abuse" is a thing of the past. </p> <p>Suzy is now 9 and shows no signs of having been abused, and my son and his wife are very attuned to her behavior. Duke still lives with his parents, and I believe their constant involvement probably has prevented any abuse.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 12, 2017</p> 7ac9c9d49228e7d9076296fbb0559606 Just Friends for 03/11/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/annies-mailbox/03/17/just-friends Sat, 11 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Is it possible for two married co-workers of the opposite sex to be friends? </p> <p>I have been married to "Jane" for 15 years. A year ago, she discovered that I was texting my co-worker "Lisa," with whom I have a professional relationship. Jane became upset and said a male and female could not have a friendship because eventually one of them would want more. So I discontinued all outside communication with Lisa. </p> <p>Eight months later, Lisa caught her husband cheating and moved out of her house. I began texting her to inquire if everything was OK during this difficult time. Well, my wife saw those messages, and now she thinks I'm cheating on her. She is ready to file for divorce.<p>Updated: Sat Mar 11, 2017</p>