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, 27 Aug 2016 18:57:55 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 661ea34962e1f450472917def8b2a2d6 Mom's Attitude Is Impacting Daughters for 08/27/2016 Sat, 27 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm writing about my elderly mother. It's gotten to the point where we (her daughters) don't want to spend time with her. Mom is an intelligent, active and independent 75-year-old. She also is critical, rude and insensitive, and always has been.</p> <p>Mom makes unkind remarks in almost every conversation. After each encounter, we go away frustrated. When we tell her how we feel, she becomes sarcastic and defensive. She now is alienating her grandchildren because she makes insensitive comments when they stop by to visit her. We feel bad that we don't spend more time with her, but it's just too difficult. This behavior isn't new for her, but it has gotten worse over time. </p> <p>Do we tolerate this carping out of respect? Is there any hope she will see how her behavior is affecting her relationships with her children and grandchildren? &#8212; Three Sisters <p>Updated: Sat Aug 27, 2016</p> a0cc306e713863ee2b2a8747adf51960 French Connection for 08/26/2016 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have a boyfriend of one year, and we are considering marriage, but we are not officially engaged.</p> <p>My problem is his sister, who lives in Paris. I've never seen or talked to "Amelie," but have been told a lot about her. She has been in Paris for three years, but no one knows what she is doing there, since she has no job experience. All her expenses are paid by her parents, but sometimes she calls my boyfriend collect demanding money. He always gives it to her. He also sends her expensive gifts on holidays and birthdays. </p> <p>My boyfriend doesn't make a decent income, nor has he saved a lot. I want him to stop sending money to Amelie, but I don't want to cause problems in their relationship. What should I do? &#8212; Potential Sister-in-Law in Seoul <p>Updated: Fri Aug 26, 2016</p> 805abcf29e1bda8a04479b9e3e2cc6c5 Father Might Not Know Best for 08/25/2016 Thu, 25 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My father turns 80 this year, and my three siblings and I were thinking of giving him a birthday party. We are doing this mostly out of obligation, as none of us enjoys my father's company and hair-trigger temper. </p> <p>My father lives four hours from me and even farther from my siblings. He has been married to my stepmother for 20 years, and we all adore her. My stepmother has a son, "Leo," who is married with children and lives close to my father and his wife. </p> <p>I mentioned to my father that we would like to have Leo and his family at the birthday party, and Dad exploded. He said if Leo comes, he will not attend. He went on to say he hates Leo and never wants to see him again. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 25, 2016</p> 42ff4a28f657df18566bf31995cbdb79 Sexually Active Sister for 08/24/2016 Wed, 24 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have 19-year-old sister who I think is sexually active. A few weeks ago, I went over to "Carol's" apartment to help with some cleaning. When I went to throw some garbage away, I noticed her jewelry box was open. I looked inside and spotted an unopened condom at the bottom. I was shocked. </p> <p>Carol has been seeing her boyfriend, "Vince," for about three years, but I never thought they could be having sex. I know my parents don't agree with having sex before marriage (neither do I), but I don't know if they are aware of this. </p> <p>As a concerned sister, what should I do? Should I tell my parents, talk to my counselor or talk to Carol personally? She would kill me if she knew I went through her stuff, but I want to protect her. &#8212; Confused and Concerned <p>Updated: Wed Aug 24, 2016</p> 4e44273d7973e629872ce385aa6612d3 What Could Have Been for 08/23/2016 Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I've been married to "Joe," a wonderful man, for eight years. A year ago, I came across an old letter (from 10 years back) from a friend, "Mike." Joe knows that I had a crush on Mike, but we never dated. In the letter, Mike (who is married, and was at that time he wrote it) said he wanted to catch up on lost time and said I should write or call "any time."</p> <p>Annie, since the discovery of the letter, I think about Mike all the time. I don't want to cheat on Joe. I just want to know what Mike is up to these days. We were great friends back in the day.</p> <p>I want to write Mike and possibly get together, with our spouses, but I have a feeling Joe won't be too keen on the idea. He doesn't know about the letter. Is it realistic for two people of the opposite sex to remain friends even though the spouses don't know each other? &#8212; Contemplating a Reunion <p>Updated: Tue Aug 23, 2016</p> ea124309f3fcddae024f16bb79a91103 Tried of Being Tied to a Tightwad for 08/22/2016 Mon, 22 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: "Harold" and I have been married for two years &#8212; both second marriages. We are in our 50s, with children from our first marriages. I help one son with some college tuition and living expenses, but he also works and gets loans and scholarships. Harold has three children in college whom he supports entirely.</p> <p>When we married, I sold my little house and moved into Harold's huge place. I do all the housework, laundry, most of the shopping and cooking, and some of the maintenance. Harold does the yardwork. </p> <p>We both work full time, though he makes roughly five times my salary. I continue to pay all my own expenses, including clothes, insurance, car expenses, etc. I buy at least half of the household groceries and pay the insurance premiums for both of us. I never ask Harold for a penny, nor do I spend any of "his" money or use his credit cards. Harold pays for our vacations, dinners at expensive restaurants, and the mortgage, maintenance and utilities. (The house is in his name only.) <p>Updated: Mon Aug 22, 2016</p> 1caa6d7dd8058ba5f83676b69736ad5c Guy Time Trumping Family Time for 08/21/2016 Sun, 21 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married 15 years, and we have two beautiful daughters, ages 7 and 10. "Luther" works hard as a fireman and is a good husband and father, except for one small problem &#8212; he goes out with his buddies to a bar every single weekend, until all hours of the morning. I've asked him to compromise and go out only once in a while, but he won't budge. He feels he is owed "guy time." </p> <p>We never go out together like we used to, and I never get "girl time" because he is always out. Our children also are suffering from not having their daddy around more. I'm certain he's not cheating, but I do feel that his buddies, all of whom are single, are coming between us. </p> <p>What should I do? I am thinking of leaving because it makes me angry that he cares so little about my feelings. Please help. &#8212; Brokenhearted, Lonesome Wife<p>Updated: Sun Aug 21, 2016</p> 7c52e45693a8e5483029100a5c3392a0 Hidden Deceits for 08/20/2016 Sat, 20 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married for 13 years, and during all that time, my husband, an outwardly friendly, kind person and successful businessman, has struggled with addictions to drugs and hard-core pornography. Naturally, my willingness to trust him also has diminished, mostly because of his deception. He claims that he loves me, but he refuses to go for counseling and has quit attending meetings of Narcotics Anonymous. </p> <p>When I told him of my concerns, he demanded I stay out of his personal life and stop trying to control him. I don't need perfection, but I would like to be able to trust again. I am not sure how to proceed, and I am not quite sure I have enough energy to continue worrying over his health, his business and the constant nagging thought that he is not telling me the truth. We have not spoken to each other for over a week. Where do we go from here? &#8212; Burned Too Many Times </p> <p>Dear Burned: To a marriage counselor, without him if necessary. You have some hard decisions to make, and you will need help. If your husband wants this marriage to survive, he has to work at it, too. There is help for those with addictions, but he is the one who must want to get better. Meanwhile, contact Nar-Anon (for family and friends of addicts) at 22527 Crenshaw Blvd., Suite 200B, Torrance, CA 90505 (<p>Updated: Sat Aug 20, 2016</p> d9eee6d77d330102050f6fb76153fa5d Who Let the Dog In? for 08/19/2016 Fri, 19 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: At a family gathering two years ago, my in-laws' dog attempted to bite my then 2-year-old daughter. "Fido" is a large dog and could have done considerable damage had he actually gotten hold of her. This all took place during a very busy party where many people not only saw but heard the incident. </p> <p>The next time we visited my in-laws, we asked if they could please put Fido outside. They were extremely offended, stating we were blowing things out of proportion, but they reluctantly agreed &#8212; until we got there. Then Fido was let back in. When we objected, they responded as if my husband and I were asking them to put the dog to sleep. Since then, we rarely visit their home, instead inviting them to ours, and relations have become quite strained. </p> <p>My daughter is not afraid of dogs, but she has not forgotten what this dog did to her. We have taught her appropriate ways to approach any dog and to stay away from a dog she does not know. Are we wrong to ask that they tie Fido outside or, as they suggest, should we just "get over it"? &#8212; Once Bitten, Twice Shy in New York <p>Updated: Fri Aug 19, 2016</p> f4a93b647ca764286d8f7a7e9fa49417 Nothing but the Truth for 08/18/2016 Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I adopted two children out of the foster care system. Our daughter, "Tabitha," is almost 11 and lies to anyone any time it will benefit her. For example, she hates doing homework and will spend an hour lying to us about it rather than the 15 minutes it would take to complete the assignment. She also will lie to her teachers and grandparents to get something she wants or to get out of something she doesn't wish to do. </p> <p>We have explained to Tabitha that lying is wrong and it hurts the people she lies to. We also told her that if you lie to people all the time, they won't believe you even when you are telling the truth. This, in fact, happens all the time now, and Tabitha gets very angry if we don't believe her. She admits that she wouldn't believe someone who lied all the time, yet she doesn't connect it to her behavior. </p> <p>It's becoming a very frustrating problem. Tabitha lies so much, we doubt every word that comes out of her mouth. She went through therapy a few years ago, and the therapist basically said that she knows lying is wrong, but she has to be the one who wants to stop. So, Annie, how do you convince an 11-year-old to stop lying? &#8212; Lied To in Virginia <p>Updated: Thu Aug 18, 2016</p> 364f177155c956d2ee6d4c9ac822d48f Toddlers Caught in the Middle of Divorce for 08/17/2016 Wed, 17 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My son and his wife are in the process of getting a divorce. The problem is that the children, both toddlers, are being neglected. This was going on even before the divorce. The mother would leave as soon as my son got home from work. He'd come in the door and have to take care of the children, fix dinner, give baths, etc. She went out to taverns and saw guys on the side. </p> <p>Many times, my husband and I had to go out and buy groceries because there was no food in the house. We would clean because the house was filthy. My son is going through a heavy depression. </p> <p>The problem is, neither my son nor daughter-in-law really wants the children, so they are asking for shared custody. Right now, when it's my son's turn to take them, he gives them to us. When it's the mother's turn, she often puts them in the YMCA baby-sitting program, even though she is supposed to bring them to us when she needs a sitter. She also is defying a court order by bringing her male friends to spend the night when the kids are at her place. This is very confusing for the children. <p>Updated: Wed Aug 17, 2016</p> ac6a8835b6920191e562252ec6b04bec Expectations of Perfection Are Ruining Parenting for 08/16/2016 Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I married a generous, kind and funny man three years ago. "Brent" has no children, but I have two sons from my abusive previous marriage who are now 18 and 15. Their father has little to do with us, and I've had my share of problems raising the boys. We have attended counseling many times.</p> <p>The problem is that Brent cannot see anything positive about my children. He expects perfection and cannot forgive them for any mistakes. He also believes they are guilty unless they can prove themselves innocent. </p> <p>Brent is a very giving person when it comes to everyone else, but he feels my children don't deserve anything from him. My older son has asked to borrow tools when working on his car, and Brent says no. Last year, we attended counseling as a family, but unfortunately, Brent has forgotten much of the advice. <p>Updated: Tue Aug 16, 2016</p> 95b9aa31a66ceb6b3a139c205231104d Friend with Dementia Needs Assistance for 08/15/2016 Mon, 15 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have an 85-year-old acquaintance who has dementia. "Rosa" lives alone, but she can no longer cook, operate the microwave, stove or even the toaster, so a year ago, I called Meals on Wheels. </p> <p>Yesterday, I picked Rosa up at home, and when she opened the door, the heat almost knocked me over. It was in the 90s, and instead of turning on the air conditioning, Rosa had accidentally turned on the TV. She was wearing the same suit she'd worn to church for two weeks, and it was filthy and stained. Her hair hadn't been combed in days.</p> <p>Rosa has no idea what day of the week, month or year it is. A woman comes to help her four hours a day, but Rosa doesn't trust her, so they argue constantly, and the care is substandard. Meals are not eaten or refrigerated, her clothes are not washed, and she is not bathed. She also doesn't take her medication.<p>Updated: Mon Aug 15, 2016</p> dc92f1def348ed7823a7707286eb511b Open-Door Policy for 08/14/2016 Sun, 14 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Every time my girlfriend comes over to my house, my dad always tells me to keep the door to my room open. I know it is because he doesn't trust us, but I have never done anything to lose his trust. My girlfriend and I are almost 16, and we are smart enough to know that nothing is going to happen when my parents are home. </p> <p>One time, I closed the door partway because we were listening to music, and Dad barged right in. He didn't even knock or anything, and told me rather loudly to keep the door wide open. The only reason I want to keep the door shut is to give my girlfriend and me a little privacy. We just want to talk, and we don't want anyone else to hear, and we certainly don't want Dad checking up on us every couple of minutes. </p> <p>Annie, my dad is hard to reason with &#8212; it's always his way or the highway (which frequently results in fights). When I ask him why I can't close the door, he says, "Because I said so." <p>Updated: Sun Aug 14, 2016</p> ba160959f466e3a40c4f73ed2f12d773 Duped or Dating? for 08/13/2016 Sat, 13 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a female in my late 30s and somewhat intelligent, but I can't figure out if I'm being duped or not. </p> <p>I have been dating "Stan" for five months. He is 10 years my senior, but I don't see the age difference. What I do see, however, are a lot of blank spots. I meet Stan once a week, usually for an overnight tryst. He calls me twice a week, mostly to plan our regular hook-up. He is not married. He says he just likes to take things slowly. I still don't know much about him, and when I press for details, he gets annoyed. </p> <p>When we are together, Stan is wonderful to me. He makes me laugh and is always considerate. But I wonder a lot about what he's doing when I'm not with him. What do you think, Annie? &#8212; Confused 30-something <p>Updated: Sat Aug 13, 2016</p> d9d9f23ff7a979d7ef102877140aacb7 Hoping for a Change of Heart for 08/12/2016 Fri, 12 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband recently had a heart attack. While the paramedics worked over him, I was shocked by my reaction. I hoped he would die. </p> <p>For the last 30 years, I have begged, threatened, bribed and cried to him to show me some physical affection. He always says he'll change but has never once kept his promise. When he finally decides to make love, his approach is so unenthusiastic, it makes me ashamed. </p> <p>I have asked him if he is gay, and he says no. He has never cheated on me, as far as I know. Our day-to-day existence (we are both retired) is depressing. I am attractive, slim and energetic, and our home is a showplace due to my construction, design and organizational abilities. Our children are successful, well-adjusted adults who love our family life. Our assets are too considerable to divorce. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 12, 2016</p> d9769812dbe6239221f271784f408025 It's Me, Not You for 08/11/2016 Thu, 11 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I know you've covered this before, but please bear with me. I am a man in my late 30s who is too nice and has no luck. I never dated in high school or college, and my adult dating experience amounts to what I can count on two hands. Married women think I'm great because I am no threat to their marriages, while single women avoid me like the plague. It's almost as if I am invading their space. </p> <p>I have tried everything I can think of to find someone to share my life, including online dating services. I am tall but nothing much to look at, and no one is beating a path to my door. I am painfully shy in the company of women, which can be mistaken for aloofness and arrogance. I am extremely tough on myself. </p> <p>I do not want to be hurt again and feel as though I cannot trust any women. Don't get me wrong, I love women and almost everything about them, but I know they don't think of me in the same way.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 11, 2016</p> bbbb309629bd9cadd8cc349af728ba57 Missing the Physical for 08/10/2016 Wed, 10 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been dating "Kelsey" for four months. Everything about her is great. She is very attractive, she is a professional, she has an amazing sense of humor, and she really has her life together. She is everything I am looking for in a girlfriend. If we are not physically together, we are emailing, text messaging or on the phone. Since the day we met, we've spent part of every single day with each other.</p> <p>Kelsey does many nice things for me, even romantic things like leaving roses for me on my car "just because." We have a lot in common, and I find her to be a perfect mate. She has told me she feels the same about me. </p> <p>Here's the issue I cannot figure out. Kelsey is not affectionate at all, even when we are alone. We have yet to hug or kiss. I have talked to her about this numerous times, explaining that being physically affectionate is important in a relationship, and she agrees, but still, nothing. <p>Updated: Wed Aug 10, 2016</p> c3afc0d9e0b7748462bace79c276eff2 Wouldn't It Be Nice to Be Older? for 08/09/2016 Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 15-year-old male, and I have a dilemma about a dating situation. The trouble is that my parents do not want me to date until I am 16. There is a girl I'm interested in, and we could be dating if my parents would let me. Right now, we are just keeping things as friends, but we really want to spend time together. </p> <p>I am going into my sophomore year and feel that if I let this chance of having a relationship pass by, I'll have allowed two of the four years of my high school life slip away, since I don't turn 16 until next May. I don't want to waste any more time. </p> <p>At the start of my freshman year, I lied to my parents about a different relationship, and I don't want to lie to them again, but I want a chance with this girl. I haven't talked to them about this yet, and I want to be careful about how I approach them and explain things.<p>Updated: Tue Aug 09, 2016</p> 7556224206e7d2a665dc14caa39ee31d Finding Help Through Rape Crisis Centre for 08/08/2016 Mon, 08 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My 22-year-old boyfriend recently told me that he was raped by a man when he was between 9 and 10 years old. He will not tell me the molester's name. This was a shock, and I feel very sorry for him. He tried to tell his mum, but she dismissed it and told him she didn't believe him, so he did not tell anyone else. </p> <p>As a rape victim myself (about a year ago), I understand his emotions. He says he feels dirty and that sometimes he's wanted to commit suicide, but he has pushed the thought to the back of his head. He also commented that he thought something was wrong with him, because when he thinks about what happened, his stomach goes round and round and he feels sick. And he is sick a lot. </p> <p>I just want him to get over this awful ordeal and wonder if you could help. &#8212; England Friend<p>Updated: Mon Aug 08, 2016</p>