Dear Annie: I am a young single mom. The father and I are not together.
I am lonely at times without a man in my life, but I don't know how to approach men and have no idea how to bring up the fact that I have a son. I promised myself that I would not bring a guy into my son's life until I've been seeing him for at least a year and the relationship is serious. In the meantime, I feel awkward about the situation and don't know how to behave. Any suggestions? — S.
Dear S.: You are smart not to bring random men into your child's life, but please don't be in a hurry to get attached. It's more important that you devote some time to yourself, figuring out what you need and want in life. Let your friends and family members know you are interested in meeting people. Get involved in activities that will allow you to become friendly with others in pressure-free circumstances — through work, church, community projects, volunteer work, choirs, theater groups, civic organizations, political groups, etc. Also, consider joining Parents Without Partners. Doing interesting things will make you more interesting to be around. Female friends can introduce you to their single male friends or relatives. And as you get to know others, the fact that you have a child will come up naturally.
Dear Annie: I am frequently amazed by how many people fail to realize the unnecessary but real danger they put themselves in by not knowing a simple rule that I clearly remember learning in third grade: If you ride a bicycle on a road, stay on the right side to flow with traffic. If you are walking on a road, stay on the left side, facing traffic.
This week, I saw two women walking on the right side of a two-lane highway with their backs to speeding traffic. I pulled over and explained to them that they were one distracted driver away from a coroner. They never would have seen it coming. I once saw three women with baby carriages walking abreast the same way. If they are facing traffic, they can move over if a driver doesn't seem to be giving them enough room. And they should get off the road anyway. Likewise, bicyclists coming directly at oncoming traffic leave a driver no opportunity to slow down until it is safe to go around.
If you print this, I believe a lot of people will recognize themselves and make this simple lifesaving adjustment. — Concerned for the Clueless in New York
Dear New York: Bicyclists must obey all traffic laws, which means they need to face the same direction as the traffic. Pedestrians should face the opposite way so they can see what's coming toward them and get out of the way. Needless to say, no one should walk on a roadway unless absolutely necessary. Let's hope your simple reminder saves a life or two. Thank you.
Dear Annie: "Dry in California" wanted to know how to deal with party hosts who insist on pouring her a drink. I'd like to give a tip to those party hosts and suggest a practice that I always use for informal dinners, as well as bigger parties.
I offer guests "something to drink" and then suggest (in this order) juice, soda, tonic water, wine, beer and harder stuff. Some of our friends do not drink alcohol, and a few are recovering alcoholics. One of the juice drinkers always specifies that his drink be served in a lovely wine glass so no one will question why he's "not drinking."
Since these friends have continued visiting us for years and enjoying our parties, I assume this strategy works. — Party Girl in Vermont
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.