Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: I belong to an informal dinner club that meets once a month for dinner in one of our homes. One of the women has appointed herself "social director" and is making our lives miserable.
"Irene" phones everyone to remind them of the upcoming dinner plans, which is fine. The problem is that she always tells the hostess what to serve. She does not have food allergies or any medical problems; she just likes certain things. Irene eats enough for two people, so making an extra dish for her is a major annoyance.
The rest of us in the group do not want to disband, and Irene would be terribly hurt if we excluded her. Any suggestions? — Too Much Cooking in Alabama
Dear T.M.C.: Since the major problem seems to be that Irene is too managerial, simply ignore her suggestions about what to serve. You do not owe her special privileges, or quadruple helpings. Treat her cordially, and make sure all the members have their first helping before Irene has her second — and third.
Dear Ann Landers: Yesterday, we buried our only son. He was 9 years old. Apparently, he found the loaded gun my husband kept in the drawer of his nightstand, and well — you can guess the rest. Please tell your readers NEVER to leave a loaded gun where a child can reach it. Even better advice, don't have a gun in the house. It won't protect you. The invader is more experienced at shooting, and he will get you before you get him. It is too late for us to protect our son from our carelessness, Ann, but maybe my letter will save someone else's child. — Grieving in the Midwest
Dear Midwest: You have written a powerful letter, and I thank you. I hope my readers will give it the attention it deserves.
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.