Establishing Ownership Without Estrangement Dear Annie: My sister, "Ellen," bought my mother a car when Mom moved in with her. Ellen promised it would belong to Mom when she paid her back. Mom has made payments for three years. But she and Ellen had a fight, and not only did my sister kick …Read more. Turn Off the TV and Get Your Volunteer On! Dear Annie: Two years ago, at the age of 62, I was forced to take early retirement from my teaching job. My pension is miniscule, and despite trying to find full-time work, I have only been able to string together part-time jobs. I have been …Read more. Don't Let Meddling Mom Bring Down the House Dear Annie: My lady and I have been together for nine years, and we have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter. We have had our own two-bedroom apartment for five years. A year ago, her mother fell ill. We decided to move her in with us to take care of …Read more. The Makings of a Sociopath Dear Annie: You recently printed a letter from a woman who asked whether her biological daughter could be a sociopath. Could you please list the characteristics of a sociopath in your column? Our adult daughter is involved with someone we feel is …Read more.more articles
Nosy Neighbors and Inconvenient Ordinances
Dear Annie: My husband, "Ken," has been self-employed for 25 years. He owns two large trailers and has always parked them in our driveway. However, in the past two months, we've had visits from the police department nearly every night. A neighbor we have never met keeps reporting us. He complains that when my husband gets home from work, he sometimes parks his truck with one tire resting in the dirt.
A city ordinance requires us to have the section where we park either rocked or paved. We can't afford it right now. Times have been really tough. Ken tries very hard to park our trailers and truck in our driveway without touching any grass, but it's difficult to do. The police have been sympathetic, saying the neighbor is targeting us. They know him as the local troublemaker. He has a view of our driveway from his backyard and watches it all the time.
We are honest, hardworking people and wouldn't harm a soul, but this situation has become personal. Yesterday, we asked the police officer to file a neighbor nuisance report. We don't know what else to do. I can't sleep, and I'm scared for my family. I have no idea what else this man is capable of. I'm ready to have a restraining order placed against him, but as far as I know, he doesn't approach our house. He only watches it, which creeps me out even more. Can we do anything? — Illinois Neighbor
Dear Illinois: Your unkind, nosy neighbor has way too much time on his hands. He can watch your house from a distance all day long if he wishes, and as long as you keep violating a city ordinance, he will keep reporting you. First, see whether there is a neighborhood association that could help the two of you resolve this. Sometimes, such neighbors simply crave attention and need to feel important. Then start saving your pennies to enlarge the driveway area.
Dear Annie: My friend "Lonnie" smokes both tobacco and marijuana in the presence of her young child.
I am ready to move on from this tainted friendship, but hate the thought of never spending quality time with Lonnie's little girl. She is always put on the back "burner." Any suggestions? — Burned-Out Friend
Dear Friend: Lonnie is addicted. Quitting is too difficult for her, and she doesn't want to be lectured about it. She is unlikely to admit that she values her smoking above her child's health. Is there a father in the picture? Would he do anything about this? Would you be willing to report Lonnie for possession? Regardless, please stick around in order to keep an eye on the child. Offer to baby-sit. Take her to your home or to the park as often as you can. We hope Lonnie will soon realize the damage she is doing and shape up.
Dear Annie: "Saskatoon" asked whether it was rude for someone to leave the TV on while others were visiting. There could be another reason besides rudeness.
I am the caregiver for someone who keeps the TV on all day. Unfortunately, people don't realize she has dementia and is mostly deaf. Since she cannot understand conversations going on around her and becomes more confused if asked to participate in them, the TV provides a safe and comfortable haven.
Please help your readers understand that there may be other reasons why someone keeps the TV on, and the caregivers are the ones who would appreciate a visit with conversation. — New Hampshire
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