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, 22 Sep 2018 20:21:36 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 650684b22190ae5d90ec30a770343445 My Brother Has a Secret Life for 09/22/2018 Sat, 22 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I just found out that my brother, who I thought was in graduate school studying to be a teacher, is actually working as a prison guard. I'm the only one in the family who knows. When I phoned him to get the details, he told me that he'd quit school after one semester because he never really wanted to be a teacher. He said our parents bullied him into graduate school when he had trouble finding work after his college graduation. Prison guard was the first job he could get. </p> <p>I asked him why he is leading this double life. He said our parents told him that graduate school was "not negotiable." So he figures they can live with their delusions. At family dinners, Mom and Dad ask him about school, and he says, "Fine, but dull." Then they drone on and on about the importance of attending school since he couldn't find a job, and our grandfather makes a point of telling him how easy he has it compared to serving in Korea. Like we care. If they don't want to hear what my brother says, they shouldn't ask.</p> <p>I agree with him that my parents are narcissists. They live in total denial of their kids' lives. For my 30th birthday, they gave me a check and said, "We didn't know what to give you since you don't want to go to culinary school." I never expressed a desire to go to culinary school. I once taught myself to cook something, and they became obsessed with the idea that I should be a chef. I have zero interest. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 22, 2018</p> f2095765cf8d9bd11547a54593585dcd Crossing Phone Lines for 09/21/2018 Fri, 21 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife of 50 years told me that a longtime friend has called her twice trying to have phone sex. I exploded! She told me not to say anything because it would ruin our friendship with this couple. </p> <p>I confronted him anyway and told him he disrespected my wife, me and all women in general. He did not deny what he had done. Frankly, I can't blame him too much, considering his wife of 50 years. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Still, as far as I'm concerned, he totally crossed the line, and our friendship is over. </span>My wife, however, continues to associate with both of them. What do you think? &#8212; Mad in the Bluegrass<p>Updated: Fri Sep 21, 2018</p> 961a9c07ee0940b788d0d941d7966271 Can You Trust Him? for 09/20/2018 Thu, 20 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 19 years, married for nine. I love him and never had any serious issues with our marriage until four months ago. That's when I discovered that my husband was having an affair. He's been lying to me about it for nearly three years, telling me his work schedule changed. We sought marriage counseling, but he wouldn't go back after the first session. </p> <p>He knows I have all of the details of his relationship with this woman. <span class="column--highlighted-text">He says he's trying to work on our marriage, but I am not sure he is sincere.</span> I thought I could trust him, and he ripped my heart out. </p> <p>Annie, I have processed all of the disappointments and believe I can move on. But my husband says he wants to save our marriage. I don't want to set myself up to be hurt like this again. What should I do? &#8212; Need a Word of Truth from Him <p>Updated: Thu Sep 20, 2018</p> 1e7d77872e7846a521c9739ad64d5c6e Between Him and His Children Is Not a Good Place To Be for 09/19/2018 Wed, 19 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm dating a divorced man with five children, two of whom still live with their parents in a shared-custody arrangement. The divorce was very bitter, and she put him into bankruptcy. She is a spendaholic and not a pleasant person to be around, always making herself the wronged party.</p> <p>We put up with her at all functions that include the kids &#8212; school sports, birthdays and things like that. But now she insists on inviting herself to functions with my boyfriend's extended family.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">When is it appropriate to tell her, "Stop inviting yourself. You are divorced from this family"</span>? After all, my boyfriend is never invited to her family functions. Neither of us wants her at these events, but my boyfriend is afraid that if he says anything to her, it will hurt the kids. <p>Updated: Wed Sep 19, 2018</p> 5a0a57441d94acbb6c00c436b9ff681d Son Needs to Man Up for 09/18/2018 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My son recently married a young woman from an affluent family. When he was first engaged, we began to see less of him. We invited him and his fiancee to dinners, vacations, etc., but were usually turned down. They do, however, spend a great deal of time with her family, so we have just backed off. </p> <p>My husband and I contributed almost half of the money for the wedding. We offered to help with whatever we could, but were told that our help was not needed. Her family did all of the planning. She and her mother conjured up lies to throw us off from planning our guest list, what we should wear to the wedding, etc.</p> <p>We hosted a beautiful rehearsal dinner, with no "thank you" or even a smile from the bride. On the day of the wedding, our daughter-in-law was embarrassingly rude to my husband and me. It wasn't until the next day, when she refused to attend a family function before going on their honeymoon, that I found out she was angry with me because of what I wore. Annie, I wore the dress my son told me to wear, but he will not admit that to his wife. <p>Updated: Tue Sep 18, 2018</p> a7de0986670f1544222d286ab3f7e61e Throw Another Rat on the Barbie for 09/17/2018 Mon, 17 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Last year, my husband and I attended my cousin's annual summer barbeque. After we arrived, I looked for a place to tie up our dog in the backyard and noticed a few dead rats. They appeared to have been there for some time. I made mention of this to my cousin's husband, but he made no attempt to remove them even though they were only a few steps away from the barbeque pit. </p> <p>I tied my dog several feet away from the dead rats. Later, when we returned home, our dog started scratching. This continued for several days until we noticed his fur was falling out. I believe he contracted mange from the dead rats. </p> <p>We've been invited to their "last nice weather barbecue," but I am reluctant to go. <span class="column--highlighted-text">My husband says we should go regardless, but I feel that if they don't care to get rid of the dead rats in their backyard, they shouldn't expect to entertain guests there.</span> And also, the guest bathroom is never clean when we visit. What do you think? &#8212; Disgusted in the Midwest<p>Updated: Mon Sep 17, 2018</p> e72ab3e6a517adb25c7c0b2dd415c0ce And Now 'She's' Irish Step Dancing for 09/16/2018 Sun, 16 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: On a recent trip to visit my daughter, I found out that my 12-year-old grandson has taken up Irish step dancing. What bothers me is that he dances in the girls division. </p> <p>My daughter told me it began when a girls troupe needed one more dancer and he agreed to join them. He had to wear a girl's costume, and the judges allowed it. Now my daughter is regularly entering him in competitions for girls. The last time I saw an event program, I noticed that his name was spelled with an extra "i" at the end so it appears to be female. And I have to say, dressed in a girl's costume with wig and makeup, you can hardly tell he's a boy.</p> <p>Is this fraud? There is prize money involved. Could my daughter be sued? When I talked to my grandson about this, he said he doesn't mind. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Should I inform the judges at the next performance or just leave it be?</span> &#8212; Surprised Grandmother<p>Updated: Sun Sep 16, 2018</p> 25010a0ecf47b445538ce15648c873fc Using and Abusing Grandma for 09/15/2018 Sat, 15 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My cousin's daughter, "Julie," moved her family of four in with my aunt (her grandmother) after my aunt's husband died. It was done on the pretense of helping Grandma maintain her home and large yard. </p> <p>In fact, the opposite has happened. They've created more work for her by making a mess, not doing their laundry and not picking up after themselves. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Julie has a 5-year-old boy who constantly damages things in the home, and his mother does nothing to admonish him. </span>The boy goes into Grandma's room and takes her things, and when she confronts both Julie and her son, she's told to lock up her possessions. This same child has hit her and cussed at her. </p> <p>Grandma's doctor has told her that she needs to move the family out of her home to reduce her stress levels. But when she tells this to Julie and Julie's mother (my cousin), Grandma is told that she's exaggerating or lying about the situation. I've been in my aunt's home and have seen what's going on. I am helpless to do anything but try to calm her nerves and clean up the house. Other family members also have witnessed this and commented to the same effect.<p>Updated: Sat Sep 15, 2018</p> 852d6fd524f65fdb596d2353c97d3fa6 How to Give Your Cat a Pill for 09/14/2018 Fri, 14 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Years ago, Ann Landers printed a hilarious piece called "How To Give Your Cat a Pill." I have two cats and can truly identify with the sentiment. Can you find the piece and put it in your column? &#8212; Condo Owner</p> <p>Dear Condo Owner: With pleasure. The piece originally appeared in the Laguna Beach, Calif., Coastline NEWS and appeared in the Ann Landers column in 1999. And before we get any complaints from cat lovers, this is a piece of humor, not to be taken seriously.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">"How to Give Your Cat a Pill" by Bob Story</span> <p>Updated: Fri Sep 14, 2018</p> 33b7d13f48be13149ac834f829001cae Babysitting Burden for 09/13/2018 Thu, 13 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My granddaughter, "Mary," is employed full time, has two daughters, ages 10 and 5, and is pregnant with her third child, even though a divorce has been in the works for at least a year. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">The problem is that Mary expects her mother, my daughter, "Cindy," to provide daycare, often for 12 hours a day.</span> Cindy is in her 60s and finds that her stamina is winding down. Not only that, but her loving care has been unappreciated, and she has been treated with disrespect and even contempt.</p> <p>Without affordable daycare, Mary would have to quit her job and go back on welfare. She is putting a real guilt trip and extreme pressure on Cindy, and so are her husband and soon-to-be former in-laws. <p>Updated: Thu Sep 13, 2018</p> 526176c3764fba7739c79bea2bfc28fe Prescription Pains for 09/12/2018 Wed, 12 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My dad's cousin, "John," is an internist from another state. During my younger sister's wedding weekend, Dr. John stayed with us. Two days before the wedding, my sister was stressed and couldn't sleep. John offered her Ambien. The pill was blue and in a blister pack. He gave her two, even though the label states you shouldn't take them unless you can get six hours of sleep. My sister absolutely didn't have time for that. </p> <p>I have a prescription for Ambien, and it's white. I have no idea what John gave my sister. At the hairdresser's the next day, she was totally zoned out.<span class="column--highlighted-text"> Isn't it wrong for physicians to dispense such medications without a prescription?</span> </p> <p>There have been several incidents in the past where John has given prescription medications to my family members without seeing them. He once sent my dad expired ointments for a rash that turned out to be shingles. When my mother had pneumonia, he told her to take flu medication. He didn't examine them, nor did he write a prescription. What do you think I should do? &#8212; Furious and Concerned <p>Updated: Wed Sep 12, 2018</p> fa57a13b35bb54fb8f4dd0e55c098ad8 No-So-Quick Tips for 09/11/2018 Tue, 11 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I make my living by helping people with computer issues, setting up, getting rid of malware, etc. I love helping clients and truly enjoy my profession. I do an excellent job for my customers and am completely devoted to customer satisfaction. </p> <p>My problem lies with friends, neighbors, etc., who take advantage of my knowledge and expertise. It usually starts with a phone call or an email saying, "I just have a quick question." These questions are not usually so quick, involving at least a half-hour and often many hours on the phone. When the problem is solved, they say "thanks" and hang up. Meanwhile, I have spent hours of my time that should have been billable. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">I am looking for a professional but pleasant way to handle those who don't offer to pay me. </span>Should I say something upfront? I don't mind helping when it actually is a quick question: under 10 minutes. I do it all the time and am happy to do so. But the rest of this is beginning to be a financial drain, and I really need your help. &#8212; Always Willing To Help <p>Updated: Tue Sep 11, 2018</p> a4f8d685fb87998b2db9dfdd0e23f6b6 Afraid to Change for 09/10/2018 Mon, 10 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 34-year-old wife and mother of four. My husband is 44 and drinks on a daily basis. I don't mind a few cans of beer when he gets home. However, he drinks at least a six-pack, usually more, every day after work. I'm tired of arguing with him about his drinking. He always responds, "At least I drink at home and not at the bar."</p> <p>My husband also refuses to get an annual physical exam. He never sees a doctor or a dentist, even if he is sick. I'm really worried about his health. I want him to live long enough for our children to reach adulthood.</p> <p>I have asked my husband whether he will let me take him for a physical. If the doctor says he is healthy, my heart will be at peace. I think he is being selfish, only thinking of himself. He talks so much of pride. But he doesn't consider what would happen to his family if anything were to happen to him. My youngest child is only 4. How do I get him to cut back on his drinking and see a doctor? &#8212; Worried Wife<p>Updated: Mon Sep 10, 2018</p> 13d4eab3ecfbf058f7d7dbde937f5ea8 Why Mom Chose Pedophile Over Daughter for 09/09/2018 Sun, 09 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My mother chooses to hide the fact that her boyfriend is a pedophile. He abused me 15 years ago, when I was a teenager, and it still haunts me.</p> <p>Mom broke up with him for a short period of time, but they got back together, and the abuse started again. She didn't want to press charges because it would mess up his retirement. She is still seeing this man.</p> <p>I have had great therapy. My wonderful husband and I have a 5-year-old daughter. We used to allow her to stay overnight at Grandma's until she told us that Grandma took her to her boyfriend's house. I wrote my mother a letter and told her that as long as this man is in her life, we wouldn't be. That was a year ago. Our daughter has not seen her grandmother since then.<p>Updated: Sun Sep 09, 2018</p> 72a704c5555282b56cd84dac0ad32e0f Do Not Tiptoe Around This for 09/08/2018 Sat, 08 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for three years. It's a second marriage for both of us. We are in our 50s. </p> <p>Here's my problem: My husband still keeps in close contact with his ex-wife. I understand that a certain amount of communication is necessary because they have grown children together. But I recently found out that he sent her money for her car loan and bought her a pair of sneakers, and I saw a text message in which he asked whether there's any jewelry in particular she's been looking at. He also commented that he thinks of her often. </p> <p>I feel betrayed. I keep in touch with my ex when it comes to the kids, but that's as far as it goes. I also tell my husband when I've contacted my ex and what the conversation was about. My husband is closemouthed about everything, including his kids. I constantly have to pry out of him how they're doing and whether he's heard from them. I receive short, nondescript answers. <p>Updated: Sat Sep 08, 2018</p> d2d3d6177ed5e223ac590fd8e899f59e He Likes a Lot of Women for 09/07/2018 Fri, 07 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been in a relationship for a year, and my boyfriend has already cheated on me twice. In fact, he continues to talk and text with one of these ladies, and she recently posted a picture of them hugging closely. </p> <p>My boyfriend says they are just friends, and he doesn't see how it affects me. I happen to know he slept with her in the back of her car. Also, he blew money we needed for bills to see her. When I found out, I was furious. He couldn't seem to apologize to me, but he did apologize to her. </p> <p>How am I supposed to believe he loves me when all he does is hurt me? &#8212; Crying in California<p>Updated: Fri Sep 07, 2018</p> 2777ff9080ee159ef24cc8009375d266 Stuck Between for 09/06/2018 Thu, 06 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am involved with a wonderful man who has three grown children. The youngest, age 25, is still in college. He seems to have made college his career. Dad has put himself into debt putting his children through school. </p> <p>This young man was failing his classes, so he decided to take a break and moved back into his father's home six months ago. He does not have a job, nor is he putting any effort into getting one. He recently mentioned that he is planning to go back to school, and it seems that Dad is again going to pay for it. </p> <p>I think it is time to cut the cord. <span class="column--highlighted-text">What advice do you have for the 25-year-old who is not ready to become a productive citizen? </span>What about the father who feels it is his responsibility to keep paying for his child's education? And what about me? I want us to spend the rest of our lives together, but I have no desire to be financially and emotionally drained by a child who doesn't want to grow up. &#8212; Stuck Between<p>Updated: Thu Sep 06, 2018</p> 39bf690456e6cfd51143e486eb6be8d8 Instinctive Protection for 09/05/2018 Wed, 05 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 35-year-old man. Years ago, my mother developed a bad habit. Whenever I was in the passenger side of the car, if she stopped short, she would put her arm against my chest to prevent me from going through the windshield. This infuriated me. I'm already wearing a seatbelt, and there is no way a woman her size could protect me. Every time she did this, I would yell, "Keep your hands on the wheel!" Eventually, she stopped. </p> <p>My mother has always looked for ways to control me. She complains about every problem under the sun, and when I offer a workable solution, she says, "Well, some people can't afford to do those things," and we end up arguing. Her arguments are always stupid, and she'll flip sides to make me look like the aggressor. It's very manipulative and makes me furious. </p> <p>In the past two years, I've avoided seeing or speaking to my parents. Recently, Mom asked me to see my grandmother. Against my better judgment, I went with her, and out of the blue, she did that thing again, putting her arm across my chest when she stopped suddenly. <p>Updated: Wed Sep 05, 2018</p> d4fa2e4668e5a3292f4e2e5d54f9c1c1 Atrial Fibrillation Awareness for 09/04/2018 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Atrial fibrillation is a serious health issue that can lead to stroke. I didn't even really know about it until my wife and I attended a preventive health screening at a local church where they checked for atrial fibrillation and other stroke risk factors. It turns out that atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that you may not even feel. We had no idea my wife had this condition until the screening. We brought the results to our doctor's office, and they jumped on it. An EKG confirmed the screening results and told us that my wife was on the verge of having a stroke. This screening saved her life.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">September is Atrial Fibrillation Awareness Month, and I hope everyone will be checked for it. </span>It is treatable. Finding it and working with your doctor to manage it can save your life or the life of someone you love. &#8212; Dewey Bandy, Zephyr Hills, Fla. </p> <p>Dear Dewey Bandy: Thank goodness you and your wife attended the screening. We hope your letter will serve as a reminder to all of our readers to talk to their doctor about being tested for atrial fibrillation. <p>Updated: Tue Sep 04, 2018</p> 24226a62d42a22fc159346b6916b0684 The Pressure for 09/03/2018 Mon, 03 Sep 2018 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a college student who is about two years from graduating. I have been living with my parents while I am in school, because it's cheaper than living on campus. </p> <p>A few years ago, I decided, for several reasons, to move from Ohio to Florida when I graduate. Although my parents have told me my entire life to do what I want to do, they are against this move. When I first told them about this decision, they thought I was just dreaming. However, as my college education is winding up, they are trying to convince me to stay. They will not let up with their reasons for me to continue to live here. </p> <p>I keep telling my family that moving is not a final goodbye. They are welcome to visit anytime, and I surely will return to Ohio now and then. But this information hasn't convinced them to stop badgering me. <span class="column--highlighted-text">I don't think I can take the pressure anymore. What do I do?</span> &#8212; Pressured Family <p>Updated: Mon Sep 03, 2018</p>