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, 25 Feb 2017 16:09:56 -0800 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate b87ca6cb958d063b0ee11be2ad134868 He Needs Counseling for 02/25/2017 Sat, 25 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: When I married my husband, his son, "D.J." was 6 years old. My children from my first marriage were slightly older. Right from the start, D.J. was a handful. He was violent and often in trouble at school. </p> <p>A year into the marriage, my husband and I had a son together. That same year, D.J. was diagnosed with ADHD and aggressive behavior and was put on medication. D.J. is now 14. In the intervening years, he has killed animals, pushed his younger brother off a patio and tried to suffocate him, and recently hit him in the eye and caused permanent damage to his vision. D.J. went to live with his mother three years ago. She took him off all of his medications. </p> <p>Last summer, I insisted that D.J. stay with my in-laws, who are completely blind to his flaws. I told my husband he could visit D.J. as often as he wanted, and for six weeks, my husband spent every day with his older son, while our kids barely saw him. The problem is, D.J. will be coming to visit again this summer. While I understand that this is my husband's son, I must protect our younger kids from his violence. My husband is upset that I don't want D.J. in our home. Please help. &#8212; Scared to Death <p>Updated: Sat Feb 25, 2017</p> c3c7d2a4b2baf9eb7791d8fab32f26b2 You Can Control Your Thermostat, But She Cannot for 02/24/2017 Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: For the past year, my wife, "Janie," has been getting hot flashes. She is always broiling in the house while the rest of the family freezes. She insists on keeping the temperature at 70, while the rest of us are most comfortable at 74. She recently purchased warm slippers for everyone and suggested we wear long sleeves. </p> <p>Annie, I like to wear T-shirts and walk barefoot. I work long hours, and when I come home, I like to shed most of my clothes. I pay the mortgage and should not be freezing in my own home. Our family doctor said the hot flashes could last for years. I say she is disrespectful to all of us. She says I am insensitive. We are at an impasse. </p> <p>I found out she is looking for an apartment. I love my wife and beg you to help us before it's too late. &#8212; Upstate New York Where It's 20 Degrees Outside<p>Updated: Fri Feb 24, 2017</p> a6b78e1edf8b73aa6087b75cd103319a Wake Up and Smell the Litter for 02/23/2017 Thu, 23 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Last April, I moved into an apartment with one of my best friends. We get along great except for one thing: her cats.</p> <p>"Renee" was born with no sense of smell. She's normally very organized except when it comes to the animals. She forgets to clean the litterbox because she can't smell it, so I have to remind her constantly. The odor can become so unbearable that I no longer allow my friends inside. Also, her cats play with their food trays and water dishes and knock everything onto the floor. She never cleans it up. I had to confront her about this because it was attracting bugs. And when the cats throw up, I'm the one who ends up cleaning it because I know she won't do it. It is absolutely disgusting. </p> <p>I don't like being confrontational, and Renee is very argumentative. Anytime I've tried to address this, it falls on deaf ears. I've managed to survive this long as her roommate, so right now I am simply biding my time until I can move out. However, Renee recently commented that she doesn't want me to leave when our lease is up. I wouldn't mind living with her again if she would give up her cats, but I know that isn't going to happen, and I'd feel guilty asking her. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 23, 2017</p> 2533de55ef22c61df907dce7673cef0d I Miss My Son for 02/22/2017 Wed, 22 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I were both widowed before meeting. We are now 70 and have been happily married for six years. We both have grown children.</p> <p>Everything is good in our blended family except for my son's wife. "Stacy" has been a thorn in my side from the day they married 20 years ago. My former husband and I always managed to keep her quick temper under control. But since he died and I remarried, she's gone completely overboard. She has stopped my son from having any contact with our family, including his brothers and me. </p> <p>Stacy has been unable to hold down a job because she can't get along with others. She's judgmental, critical and short-tempered. She is often jealous and has many unresolved issues from her childhood. She is keeping us away from her family, and none of us has seen my grandsons in three years. She says we aren't trustworthy, but that isn't true. We are not deceitful in any way, and our word is good.<p>Updated: Wed Feb 22, 2017</p> f6759bac87731fe88c05e5356448264b Friends Come First for 02/21/2017 Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 30 years. She has a son from her first marriage who lives in another state. We haven't been to "Keith's" house in four years because my wife has some health problems that keep her from traveling. Her relationship with Keith has always been turbulent. </p> <p>Keith and his wife are in the process of adopting a child from another country. They put together a booklet of family photos to present to the family that is currently raising the baby. When they showed us the booklet, we noticed that her daughter-in-law's family is well represented, and so is my wife's ex, but she and I are not in it at all. (We also are not in any of the pictures displayed around their home.) </p> <p>My wife is trying not to let this upset her, but I think they should know how much this hurt her. I don't want to jeopardize an already fragile relationship. What should I do? &#8212; Left Out <p>Updated: Tue Feb 21, 2017</p> e5aaab9fdacda75269d485918eaebe56 My Granddaughter was Inappropriate for 02/20/2017 Mon, 20 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have two grown children, both married with kids. My youngest, "Carrie," has a 14-year-old daughter who has been seeing a boy for a year. </p> <p>The other day, we were visiting Carrie, and my granddaughter and her boyfriend got very cozy at the dining room table while we were eating dinner. They started kissing and making out in front of the entire family. Carrie didn't say a word.</p> <p>I think this is terrible. Carrie is not the easiest person to approach about it, however. If I say anything to her, I doubt she'll respond well. Any suggestions? &#8212; Grandmother in Boston<p>Updated: Mon Feb 20, 2017</p> 684264a141678bc0d802c73dfd132ffa She Needs Help for 02/19/2017 Sun, 19 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My roommate, "Michelle," is suffering from depression. Six months ago, she suddenly lost interest in going out with friends and would cry for no reason. She began calling in sick so many times that she was fired. She cashed out her 401(k) and now sits in her room all day watching TV and eating. In the past six months, she has gone from a size 10 to a size 24. </p> <p>Michelle seldom bathes or does laundry. Once in a while, she'll go on a shopping spree. Last month, she spent $1,000 getting oddball things like yarn and coffee cups. Her bedroom is a hoarder's dream, and it's spilling over into the rest of the house.</p> <p>Today, she went to the mall, and I cleaned her bedroom so we wouldn't get ants from the dirty dishes. I found a shoebox full of prescription medications, all belonging to her grandmother or ex-boyfriend. I even found one of mine, along with bottles of alcohol on her nightstand. I confronted her when she got home (with $200 worth of peanuts and birdseed). She claimed she may someday need those medications and got angry. I called her mother with my concerns, but she was more worried about how it would look to her friends to have a daughter like that.<p>Updated: Sun Feb 19, 2017</p> 6dff4c4a20cfbabf097836a3c7a7c298 Contact Families Anonymous for 02/18/2017 Sat, 18 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My 20-year-old nephew has been a troubled youth, despite all the attempts of his family to help him, including counseling and rehab. When he was 18, he became involved with a messed-up 14-year-old girl who used drugs, alcohol and sex to get her way. </p> <p>A year ago, my nephew's family moved out of state, but last fall he reconnected with the old girlfriend via Facebook. The girl's father bought my nephew a plane ticket to come visit. She is now a spoiled 17-year-old dropout who refuses to get a job. Worse yet, while visiting, my nephew also reconnected with all their former drug-using "friends." </p> <p>My nephew is now back with his family, but the girl constantly texts and calls. It seems she is planning to run away and join him. His family is furious. They hadn't known about the plane ticket and never wanted him involved with this girl. They are trying to get him back into rehab, but he refuses to do anything to help himself. Any ideas? &#8212; Florida <p>Updated: Sat Feb 18, 2017</p> 241cbdff917d139b26ac83030582b71c Picking Favorites for 02/17/2017 Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have two daughters, ages 5 and 2. My in-laws favor the older girl. They buy her more presents, give her more money and pay way more attention to her than to her sister. They almost seem obsessed with her. As soon as she walks in the door, they grab her and make her sit next to them on the sofa for the entire visit. </p> <p>If they give my children gifts when we are at someone else's house, they become annoyed if I make the girls say hello to our hosts before they are permitted to play with their new toys. I feel it is only polite.</p> <p>We recently visited with them three times over a six-week period. We drove three hours to see them twice, and the third time, they came to us. My mother-in-law then became angry because I refused to visit again two weeks later. Both of my daughters get carsick, and they have to take medication in order not to throw up.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 17, 2017</p> 6c04158defeeac0ad1b51e92e7c30422 Zero-Tolerance for 02/16/2017 Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: After eight years at my job, I was let go. I have a felony record. The CEO who knew of my background retired last year. He felt I had proved myself and had no problem with me. When he retired, we got an interim CEO. I told him about my record as soon as he came on board. Today, he decided our company would have a zero-tolerance policy for any criminal records, so I was fired. </p> <p>Annie, I voluntarily told my supervisors of my conviction. I worked hard to show that I had overcome my record. Was this a fair thing for the temporary CEO to do? Shouldn't I have been "grandfathered" in? I was told if I kept to the straight and narrow, I would be fine. I have not done one thing out of line and don't plan to. My conviction was more than eight years ago. But apparently, my honesty didn't pay off. No one forgives. No one believes me. I am devastated. What can I do? &#8212; Think I'm a Good Person </p> <p>Dear Good Person: If a company fires you because of your race, sexual preference, gender or religion, you would be able to sue them for wrongful termination. If the zero-tolerance policy was implemented solely to skirt around one of the reasons listed above, you might have a case. Otherwise, there doesn't seem to be much recourse, although you could consult an attorney. Please know that your eight-year record as an exemplary employee should help you land another job at a more tolerant company. Also contact the Safer Foundation ( for suggestions and assistance.<p>Updated: Thu Feb 16, 2017</p> b80730c141a0029bbe40186c20279da4 Leaving Work to Do More Work for 02/15/2017 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I work comparable hours, but I earn less than half of what he does and have little discretionary income. I come home to my "second shift," which includes cooking, cleaning and picking up after this man, who leaves his dirty clothes, snack packaging and other things strewn about the house. Meanwhile, he runs off to play golf. After dinner, he falls asleep in front of the TV. He doesn't even mow the lawn or do routine household maintenance. He hires out for those things. </p> <p>Anything he's asked to do, he deflects by saying "I pay." To an extent, this is true. He pays the majority of household bills. But I pay for most of the food and all of the household products (bathroom tissue, toothpaste, shampoo) that we both use. I even keep a garden to help pad our grocery bill in the summer months. </p> <p>I've told him I feel like his servant. I don't earn enough to hire a housekeeper. And don't tell me to go on strike. I've tried it, and he is perfectly content to live in a pigsty. He says I'm a clean freak. I am not. I simply cannot live in such clutter and filth. <p>Updated: Wed Feb 15, 2017</p> e3fd6f72286d9b083267088e76d43bdc Happy Valentine's Day for 02/14/2017 Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Readers: Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of you.</p> <p>Dear Annie: "Sex Therapist" does not need a refresher course. You are mistaken when you say that the "vast majority" of older women lose interest in sex. </p> <p>The Harvard Women's Health Watch newsletter reported that in a survey of 27,000 women enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), more than 60 percent of women in their 50s, 45 percent of those in their 60s and 28 percent of women in their 70s reported that they were sexually active, and almost two-thirds said they were happy with their level of sexual activity. Of those who were dissatisfied, more than half said they would prefer having sex more often. Even these numbers may be misleading, because when healthy women stop having sex, it is not necessarily due to a lack of libido. Often it's because they lack a partner or because topical treatments have not resolved the common problem of vaginal dryness, which can cause pain during intercourse. &#8212; Carole Wade, Ph.D. <p>Updated: Tue Feb 14, 2017</p> a552d9a84e1ec94c46af197682967539 The Ex is in the Picture for 02/13/2017 Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: "Ron" and I have been living together for more than a year. I love him and believe he loves me. We are both in our 60s and retired.</p> <p>Ron is good to me in all but one way: He can't seem to cut off contact with his old girlfriend. He was still with this woman when we met, although he was the one who broke it off. He hadn't heard from her in months, and then she called him on his birthday. That started it.</p> <p>I told Ron I wouldn't share him and don't believe it is good for our relationship if he keeps in touch with her. I admit I went a little nuts at first, and it affected our relationship. While I was out of town with my sisters, he made plans to see her, although I don't know whether he actually did. This betrayal caused me to have a mental breakdown, and I ended up in the hospital for a week and had therapy for another two. <p>Updated: Mon Feb 13, 2017</p> dc2408a726806ccf0ff635aa5f0c112b He Needs to Study for 02/12/2017 Sun, 12 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Our 22-year-old son is in college. He lives at home, and we pay all his expenses, which is fine with us. He was never particularly interested in school until his last year of high school. Now he's doing really well.</p> <p>The problem is, he wants to go to medical school and needs to pass the MCAT exam. He is studying very hard and barely speaks to us. This is frightening for us. He is our only child, and we are trying very hard to be nice to him, but he dismisses us completely. When he eats dinner with us, he barely answers our questions and gets up as soon as possible. Even when he's watching TV in his room, he locks his door. </p> <p>It's hard to deal with this. How we can make him understand that success isn't everything? &#8212; Worried Mom<p>Updated: Sun Feb 12, 2017</p> 71bf8c07ff1e929f0fbbc6cf496af401 Happy Family for 02/11/2017 Sat, 11 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am 90 years old and am concerned that after I die my kids will squabble over my things. So I would like to work it out before that happens. </p> <p>I have a daughter who lives in another state and two wonderful daughters-in-law who live nearby. "Dora" and my oldest son have helped me the most. When my husband was still living, they arranged a reverse mortgage on our house by making us a loan from their personal funds. When my husband became feeble, Dora began doing my grocery shopping. Every Sunday, she brings a nice dinner, and my son does any needed repairs around the house. She always brings me a gift on Mother's Day and on my birthday. </p> <p>I already have given Dora two nice heirlooms, and I know she would like to have my mother's sterling silver. My daughter will get the antique wall clock, and my other daughter-in-law gets the china closet. How do I divide the rest of the stuff? Should I give Dora the sterling now? &#8212; Old in Indiana <p>Updated: Sat Feb 11, 2017</p> de9fde4efeb8319a14bd3c0f7c7ec663 Call Adult Protective Services for 02/10/2017 Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My mother is 86 and lives in another state. My 33-year-old nephew and his three kids live with her, as do my niece, "Joanna," and her two children. Not one of them has a job.</p> <p>Several months ago, Mom broke her hip and was in rehab for four months. During that time, Joanna used Mom's ATM card and took all the money out of her account. She also opened credit cards in Mom's name and ran up huge bills and stole Mom's mail-order pills and sold them on the street. </p> <p>What's worse is that my sister, the mother of this niece and nephew, insists that I am not permitted to say one negative word to my mother about them. She claims the thievery is between Joanna, Mom and God. My mother is scared of all of them. I have called Adult Protective Services, but was told they'd only step in if my mother made a report. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 10, 2017</p> 615a60640b04b0e9255a2dc4ed7950f3 Identical Twins, Identical Names for 02/09/2017 Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife, "Jane," and I have been married for five years, and she is the love of my life. She has an identical twin sister named "Jordan." The two women are best friends. Jordan is at our house four or five times a week, but does not impose on our marriage. She is a great sister-in-law and gives us our space. </p> <p>Jane has an 8-year-old son from a previous relationship whose middle name is also Jordan, after his aunt. I've watched the boy grow up and have gotten to know him well over the past several years. I love him as if he were my own. </p> <p>Recently, Jane discovered she is pregnant with our first child. Naturally, I'm thrilled. However, despite my objections, she is determined to name the child Jordan, regardless of gender. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care, because Aunt Jordan is a good role model. But there are already two people in the family who have that name. <p>Updated: Thu Feb 09, 2017</p> 48bb027101698dbc6dada31e75266810 He Loves His Secretary for 02/08/2017 Wed, 08 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married to "Clifford" for 36 years. He recently told me he is in love with his secretary and wants to be with her. Did I mention she is 23 and in the process of getting a divorce?</p> <p>Clifford is the last person I would have expected to do this. I know I can be difficult, but he's not perfect, either. I love him and thought he felt the same. He says he doesn't know whom he wants to be with, but he spends all his time with his girlfriend, so I don't have much of a chance of getting him back. </p> <p>We have two grown children who are totally disillusioned and disappointed in their father. Do I wait for him to decide? For how long? &#8212; Crushed Heart<p>Updated: Wed Feb 08, 2017</p> 5a3dc337db175ea7b3cf06939c8a96fd Tell Her You Want to Marry Her for 02/07/2017 Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: After 40 years of marriage, my wife came home from work one day and said she was leaving. I decided then that I would never marry again. </p> <p>Four years ago, I met "Lynn." Now, of course, I am madly in love with her. She never ceases to amaze me with her big heart and infectious smile. She accepts that I don't want to marry, but I have noticed that when someone gets engaged, her mood changes dramatically. She becomes depressed and cries, and I can see the hurt in her face. </p> <p>I've decided I do want to marry Lynn, but the problem is her 20-year-old son, "Mike." He is bipolar and uses that as an excuse to sleep all day and play video games all night. He once said he can't get the mail because he is bipolar. He lives with multiple friends, each of whom eventually kicks him out because he won't help out and he steals from them. When Mike lived with Lynn, he stole from her, screamed at her, snuck out at night and got into legal trouble. They went to counseling together, and Lynn was on serious depression medicines until Mike moved out. When Mike calls, Lynn breaks out in a nervous rash. <p>Updated: Tue Feb 07, 2017</p> 6b171957bc023db8f4f50473d699d24e Without Common Sense, You Ain't Got Nothin' for 02/06/2017 Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married nearly 30 years to someone who is a self-centered, selfish, immature mama's boy. Mama is so controlling, and yet so needy, that every time we've moved, she's moved nearby. She has switched to the same doctor and even goes to the same hair salon her "baby" uses. She gets to know the employees at these places and then interrogates them and blabs our business to everyone. </p> <p>My husband has had several affairs over the years, and Mama has met every one of these women. Most of these affairs begin as a way to get these women to buy him items we cannot afford, such as cameras and computers. He gives them my old jewelry, thinking I won't notice. As soon as he gets what he wants, he dumps them. </p> <p>My husband tells everyone we are in debt because I don't know how to handle money. The truth is, I am very frugal, but am unable to keep up with all the debt he has accumulated through his Internet spending. I've been on the receiving end of STDs three times. My mother-in-law is happy to be involved in all his little schemes.<p>Updated: Mon Feb 06, 2017</p>