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Annie's Mailbox, July 10

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Dear Annie: My husband, "Matt," and I have been married two years. We have a pretty good relationship, don't fight often and make up quickly.

Before our wedding, some of Matt's friends hosted a bachelor party for him in Vegas, strippers included. This really upset me. Now, a good friend of his is getting married, and Matt will be attending two bachelor parties. The thought of it makes me angry and worried.

I know it's a trust issue and Matt has never given me any reason to distrust him. Still, I don't know what to do. — P.H. in California

Dear P.H.: Although many women find bachelor parties harmless, our mail indicates a majority have difficulty tolerating their husbands or boyfriends attending events which involve strippers.

We agree that men who deliberately frequent such places show a certain lack of respect for their partners. However, we also realize that guests at bachelor parties do not choose the locale, and it can cause a great deal of resentment if women prevent the men in their lives from attending such celebrations with their friends.

If you trust your husband, talk to him about your concerns and let him know you expect him to behave like a happily married man regardless of the circumstances in which he finds himself. Then take a deep breath and let him go with a smile.

Dear Annie: I am a 32-year-old woman who has gone back to work after 10 years of staying home with my children. My baby just started pre-kindergarten. I was lucky enough to get a job in the school system, so I go to work when the kids do, and I come home with them.

The only problem is, our entire family is having a difficult time adjusting.

My house looks like a tornado went through it, and my car could have been attacked by a whirling dervish. When we need clothes, we always look on the couch or in the dryer. My bills are late for the first time in 11 years of marriage.

My husband helps as much as he can, but his job keeps him extremely busy, and sometimes he's away from home for weeks at a time.

I've tried better organizing myself, but things just get more hectic. I am now off for the summer and hoping things will get better, but I know it will just start up again once school begins in the fall. Any suggestions? This is driving me crazy. — Disorganized Career Girl

Dear Career Girl: You are fortunate to have the summer to get it together, but this should be a year-round project. Don't try to do the entire house at once. It's too overwhelming. Start with one room. Set up a list of chores for your children so they can help out and derive satisfaction from being useful. They are not too young to put the dirty clothes in the hamper and the clean ones away, set the table, etc. Also, look into flylady.com, a very helpful website with tips on keeping your home organized.

Dear Annie: I read that vehicular crashes are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 15 to 20. For the last few decades, just about every car commercial on TV shows a SPEEDING car. Our children grow up watching these ads and think they, too, can zoom down the road like that. Maybe that's why I read about so many accidents where a kid loses control and crashes into a tree, or ends up flying off the side of a mountain. Maybe it's time for automakers to show their vehicles being driven safely. — Cruising in Los Angeles

Dear Cruising: Yes, many automakers sell speed, although movies and TV shows are more apt to glamorize high-speed car chases, drag racing and the like. As long as people are attracted to velocity, car manufacturers are not likely to stop promoting that feature. So, parents need to talk to their teens about the real life-and-death consequences of speeding and pray they are listening.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2006 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



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