Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Thu, 02 Jul 2020 13:10:22 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 5a15692c52c1ded64a22566e10b74975 July 2, 2020 for 07/02/2020 Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am gay. Two years ago, my partner of 34 years told me that my brother-in-law had touched her breasts inappropriately. I didn't believe her and we had a huge fight over it. She never confronted him or told my sister, and she has continued to socialize with my family. </p> <p>Last weekend, we attended my niece's graduation, and much to my horror, my brother-in-law rubbed his hand across my butt. Worse, I then had to get into the same car with him. I was shocked and said nothing, even though I was terribly upset. I avoided him the rest of the weekend, but things haven't been quite right since.</p> <p>A year ago, I moved to another state and spend vacations with my sister and her family, either in her home or mine. Now I'm not sure I should continue. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 02, 2020</p> c38035d476ac94a53a5b72a0087a1c2d July 1, 2020 for 07/01/2020 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My father passed away many years ago and my mother remarried and moved to a vacation home. However, she still owns the house we grew up in and two of my siblings now live there for free. My sister is 60, and my brother is 46. Neither has worked for years. </p> <p>I talk to my mother about it all the time, telling her she is not doing them any favors by allowing this to go on. Can you tell her what a horrible thing it is to enable two perfectly capable grown adults this way? My mother is 82. What will they do when she is gone? I have two other siblings and the three of us don't take advantage of our mother this way. &#8212; Not Right </p> <p>Dear Not: We agree that this type of financial enabling is a huge liability. <span class="column--highlighted-text">But a good work ethic and accountability need to be instilled when young.</span> Your mother may consider these two children to be incapable of working, and that her support is all that keeps them off the streets. She does it out of compassion and guilt. She isn't asking us for advice, nor is she likely to take it, even if we point out the problems this will create when she is no longer in the picture. <p>Updated: Wed Jul 01, 2020</p> d6728a0c69777753385a5accc9876720 June 30, 2020 for 06/30/2020 Tue, 30 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have two sons, both married with children, living in two different states. For several years, my older son "John" has refused to talk to his brother, "Teddy." I don't know why, except that John's wife initiated it. </p> <p>My husband and my sons and their families were at a wedding a few years ago. John's wife refused to acknowledge Teddy's family. She stayed for all of the wedding festivities, but walked away whenever Teddy, his wife or children came near.</p> <p>Since then, John and his family have visited cousins who live near his brother, but they have not once contacted him. My husband and I are stressed over the situation, but don't know what to do about it. Any suggestions? &#8212; Cornered <p>Updated: Tue Jun 30, 2020</p> 4c1c49a3e2beea6228d49277281b2503 June 29, 2020 for 06/29/2020 Mon, 29 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Not long ago, I discovered that my husband of 25 years was living a completely secret life. This life included pornography, voyeurism, physical affairs, emotional affairs and flirtations with hundreds of women he met through his sales job. Many of the women thought he was going to divorce me, even though he was manipulating them to get his fix. He is a sex addict. At that point, I simply stayed with him for the sake of our children.</p> <p>According to my husband, his addiction to pornography and masturbation started after he was abused as a child. He shared with me that he used lust, fantasy and sex to numb his pain and the belief that he was fundamentally flawed. As he is learning to deal with his old trauma, I have given my husband mountains of grace, though he raged and verbally attacked me. Lately, he's doing significantly better and is regularly attending meetings of Sex Addicts Anonymous.</p> <p>My husband claims he has been in recovery for 18 months, but he has yet to disclose everything he did, and I have come across evidence that he is still looking at racy photos on his phone. (Voyeurism is also his thing, so he stares at women in public and then denies it.)<p>Updated: Mon Jun 29, 2020</p> 088a34a9ded75b1bca122ef1fa4e283a June 28, 2020 for 06/28/2020 Sun, 28 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My sisters and I have always been close, but some changes have occurred this year that threaten our relationship. </p> <p>My youngest sister, "Carrie," separated from her husband of 13 years and it has been a tumultuous four months for all of us. She began dating again a month ago, and one relationship has progressed nicely. She has already introduced her new beau to her kids. But the presence of another person in Carrie's life has added more conflict to the separation, and we've all been affected. Her kids have confided in us how unhappy they are, so we mentioned it to Carrie. That talk didn't go over well.</p> <p>We are planning a small get-together for my great-aunt's birthday and Carrie is planning to bring her (uninvited) new beau. To be frank, my older sister and I aren't ready to meet him. We're still knee-deep in the conflict with Carrie and her husband. While the separation is not the boyfriend's fault, his presence reminds the kids of their parents' conflict and hurts them tremendously. It also will affect whatever chances Carrie has to reconcile with her husband or even manage to have a civil relationship with him should they divorce.<p>Updated: Sun Jun 28, 2020</p> 1e5bea3902afcc18b39f00c46b4b1148 June 27, 2020 for 06/27/2020 Sat, 27 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I used to be one of those people who, when I heard that someone was ill or injured, would say, "If I can do anything to help, please call me." I meant it with all of my heart, but of course, no one ever called, so I wrongfully assumed they were OK. Then disaster struck our home. My husband fell down some steps and suddenly was a quadriplegic. Not only did it forever change our lives, it also made me realize that even though I needed help, I was hesitant to reach out. So here is my advice to those who really want to be of assistance but don't know how:</p> <p>1. If it's the season to do something around your house (mow the grass or clean the gutters), your friend will need to do the same thing. If your snow needs shoveling, so does hers. If your leaves need raking, so do hers. Don't ask. Call and say, "I have an extra hour. I'm going to run over and rake your leaves," and don't take no for an answer. My pride kept me from asking, but I would gladly have accepted help from someone who insisted. </p> <p>2. Don't make promises you don't intend to keep. We had a neighbor who told us on four separate occasions that he would come by to fix a broken door but didn't show up. <p>Updated: Sat Jun 27, 2020</p> 89379613bd436eea88ea3520f2c46e4a June 26, 2020 for 06/26/2020 Fri, 26 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My father-in-law "Ron" is having an affair. At first I was not sure, but now I have proof, and my husband has seen his father with this woman, as well. Even my in-laws have told us that they only coexist with one another. I am not sure if my husband's mother knows of the affair. She might. </p> <p>Since we saw my father-in-law with this woman, things have not been the same between him and my husband. My mother-in-law is not the same, either. One minute she is fine and the next she is not. </p> <p>We will be leaving soon for a joint family vacation and I am not sure I want to be there. I don't even want to bring my children to their home to visit. My father-in-law has cheated before. I think my mother-in-law should divorce him and my husband agrees. He said his parents never seemed compatible when he was growing up. It seemed as though they were forced to be together because of his sister and him.<p>Updated: Fri Jun 26, 2020</p> 6db82cbe40d1a0dbf88e374ec8dc5191 June 25, 2020 for 06/25/2020 Thu, 25 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for nine years. When we were dating, we had the best conversations. He would remember events that happened in my life and would follow up with questions later. He talked about things going on in his life and would include me in the conversation, asking my opinion.</p> <p>After we married, he has either stopped listening to what I say or doesn't really care anymore. He constantly asks me the same questions over and over, and can't seem to remember the answers I give him. Yet he can quote you chapter and verse about any celebrity &#8212; where they went to school, who they married, who their children are &#8212; as though they are his best friends. </p> <p>I've asked him how he can remember all of that trivia, but can't remember things I tell him that touch our lives. He said that he found celebrities interesting. I guess that means our lives are not important enough to matter. <p>Updated: Thu Jun 25, 2020</p> a8c64d90d6dcb46656e7be0032c407ed June 24, 2020 for 06/24/2020 Wed, 24 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My father is starting to have trouble managing his banking. He has a decent fixed income, but somehow, he is now living from one check to the next and he's getting costly overdrawn notices. I have started to write out his bills, and I try to keep his checkbook balanced. </p> <p>Last week, I went to the bank with him for the first time. He could not remember his account number. He knew nothing about how much was in his account and it was obvious that the tellers were aware of this. They called him by name, trying to help him. </p> <p>When he finished his depositing a check, he tipped the teller $30. He said he tips them all the time because they help him. Annie, I know he makes withdrawals every Friday to "make it through the weekend," but I didn't realize he was tipping the tellers.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 24, 2020</p> fa865f035b29c153aed20a3c1f6af557 June 23, 2020 for 06/23/2020 Tue, 23 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am 50 years old. After 10 years of marriage, I feel I must tell my wife of the reason for my declining ability to perform in the bedroom. </p> <p>After three months without intimacy, she requested that I see a doctor and I agreed to do so. However, what she doesn't know is that in order to have a marriage with this wonderful woman, I have been suppressing my desire to cross-dress. </p> <p>I have been searching the Internet for days to find a therapist who can help me bring this issue out in an appropriate way. Many of the websites I've seen don't appear to be professional. <p>Updated: Tue Jun 23, 2020</p> e354c9b6982867351d62132b62135067 June 22, 2020 for 06/22/2020 Mon, 22 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Is it unorthodox to have a one-year anniversary party? A friend of mine was married last summer. By November, she had created a save-the-date on Facebook for a one-year anniversary party. "Leona" invited everyone who had been on the wedding list, whether they attended or not. So far, only a handful have responded. Leona has since sent out printed invitations with RSVP cards. The party has been described as a casual, potluck barbecue. </p> <p>To me, the whole affair is a bit unseemly. I understand wanting to have a party, but the context of it being an anniversary party to commemorate a couple that has yet to get out of the honeymoon phase seems self-centered. There is little excitement about the event, and after a few conversations with friends, I get the sense that other people feel the same way. </p> <p>I'm not sure how to respond, and am a bit worried about how Leona will feel if few people show up to her gala. &#8212; Confused in California <p>Updated: Mon Jun 22, 2020</p> 3c67966a2c8dc8c27067ec875cb4d2a5 June 21, 2020 for 06/21/2020 Sun, 21 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Readers: Happy Father's Day to all of the men in our reading audience who have had the pleasures and responsibilities of raising children. This includes fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers and those who have stepped in as father figures for children who need them. Bless you all. Having a caring father is not only one of life's great joys, but fathers also are tremendously important to a child's emotional, academic and moral development. Studies have shown that children who maintain close relationships with loving fathers do better in school and are more likely to stay off drugs. Please take the time today to let yours know you are thinking of them.</p> <p>Dear Annie: Please urge your readers, both male and female, to pay more attention to men's health. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Women's health gets a great deal of attention all year, but men's health is rarely promoted.</span> </p> <p>Men's life expectancy still lags almost six years behind women's. Many women are negatively affected by men's poor health and early deaths. Women should urge the men in their lives to get annual physical checkups at the doctor's office, eat better and get more exercise. And men should listen to that good advice. <p>Updated: Sun Jun 21, 2020</p> 1c1e9a8dec3b435f36462d370f069981 June 20, 2020 for 06/20/2020 Sat, 20 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My mother had a stroke seven months ago and now cannot walk, read or speak. She will never be able to return to her house, which will need to be sold should she run out of money for the care facility in which she now lives. Her house sits exactly as she left it, full of her things, and we maintain her lawn and check her mailbox for monthly bills. </p> <p>I see no reason to hang onto the house. I think it honors Mom for her children to fairly divide her things and to care for, love and admire those items that she holds dear. It would make us feel closer to her to have some tangible items, and they all hold wonderful memories. </p> <p>Here's the problem: One of my sisters thinks it is exceedingly disrespectful to take Mom's things from the house while she is still living. But I think it would please Mom to see her things cherished by her kids. Why is that disrespectful? This has caused quite a ruckus amongst the six kids, and no one wants to hurt the others' feelings. What do you think? &#8212; Sibling Unrest <p>Updated: Sat Jun 20, 2020</p> e6abd4a6979333cf831d322fef5d31cf June 19, 2020 for 06/19/2020 Fri, 19 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: For the past 20 years, a good female friend of mine and I have gotten together every few weeks for walks, lunch and movies. </p> <p>The problem is, whenever we go to the movies, she always picks. I'm a pretty easygoing person and will see whatever she wants because even if the movie doesn't sound great, I'm willing to give it a try. But whenever I say I would really love to see such-and-such a movie, she will never go. She gives excuses, like reading a review she didn't like. In all the years we've seen films together, she has never once agreed to see one of my choices.</p> <p>Don't all relationships require compromise? I feel like I do all the giving and she does all the taking. When I brought it up to her, she replied, "Well, everyone doesn't like every movie." <p>Updated: Fri Jun 19, 2020</p> 8f113dd8b5a105eda5b881ce836d5df8 June 18, 2020 for 06/18/2020 Thu, 18 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Recently, I insisted a dear friend move into my home so I could help him after he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After a lengthy surgery, doctors managed to remove it. Two weeks later, I took him to a rustic cabin retreat so he could rest. </p> <p>The morning we were to leave for home, I woke up and went to open the front door, but it was blocked. Apparently, my friend had gone out earlier, tripped and hit his head, and had died in front of the door.</p> <p>Since then, I haven't been able to eat or sleep. I don't know where to turn and am about to have a breakdown. I can't afford therapy. Do you have any advice? &#8212; Devastated in Ohio<p>Updated: Thu Jun 18, 2020</p> cf51f386e2840ea4d26d0c2b2dbf2b3d June 17, 2020 for 06/17/2020 Wed, 17 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: A couple of years ago, my husband and I introduced ourselves to our new neighbor. We helped her catch her dog when it took off down the street and lent her our cellphone when her dog locked her out of the car. We waved hello and goodbye. She told us that her husband was in the service. He came home and before we knew it, he was moving out.</p> <p>The problem is, this woman is now coming home in the wee hours of the morning, sometimes as late as 5 a.m. She often returns slightly drunk and with some random guy. They slam the car doors and beep the horn multiple times trying to lock the car, laughing and talking loudly out in the road. They wake us up all the time.</p> <p>My husband asked her nicely one day to please use the lock inside the car door instead of using the key fob, which beeps. Well, now when we're outside, she will beep the car horn for no reason. Her new, live-in boyfriend is a police officer in a neighboring town, and he likes to beep the horn late at night.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 17, 2020</p> 4705096ad00ff5d3790caf528a3d2823 June 16, 2020 for 06/16/2020 Tue, 16 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My friend, "Josie," recently joined a popular online dating site after her husband decided he'd rather be single. Josie met several interesting men on the site, and after chatting with them for a week or two, every single one of them asked her for money. She refused.</p> <p>Finally, one asked her to cash a check for him. He spent about a month setting her up to be comfortable doing this favor and she fell for it. He and the bank took her money. The man said he would straighten it all out, but of course, he has failed to show up. </p> <p>I want your help exposing this supposedly reputable online dating site. It's a very bad place for single women to find true love. It is really a site for unscrupulous male thieves to prey on vulnerable women. Something needs to be done to put a stop to this abuse and hold these larcenous Lotharios accountable for their misdeeds. What can we do? &#8212; Angry Ann<p>Updated: Tue Jun 16, 2020</p> 169e2cf5cdb98f790a0202817d05f933 June 15, 2020 for 06/15/2020 Mon, 15 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have two daughters-in-law who seem disrespectful to me. The first one only visits on Christmas day. Yet she has no problem calling when she wants me to take her kids to a doctor's appointment or pick them up from school. The other one does the same, but her excuse is that they are too busy to see me because they are spending time with her side of the family or they are having friends over. </p> <p>I don't want to waste any more of my time on people who have no other use for me, and this upsets my husband no end. But, Annie, it's simply not fair. I am entitled to some respect. Why do these women think I owe them everything, but they never reciprocate? &#8212; Mother-in-Law from Hell </p> <p>Dear Mother-in-Law: <span class="column--highlighted-text">Respect has to be earned, no matter who you are.</span> A relationship with an in-law takes time and effort from both sides. Apparently, you get to see the grandchildren. Some parents would be thrilled to have that much. <p>Updated: Mon Jun 15, 2020</p> 62f2336f8338f446d6809011adb9d531 June 14, 2020 for 06/14/2020 Sun, 14 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: When my brother "Steve" comes home from college, he stays up until 3 a.m., sleeps until 2 in the afternoon, and leaves his chores and homework until the very last minute. </p> <p>I don't understand why he doesn't keep a regular sleep schedule or take care of his homework and other chores early in the week. Instead, he dumps his laundry on the floor and "forgets" about it until he has no clothes left, something that stresses him out and makes him lash out at me. He also complains to me about incidents that occurred years ago and still make him angry now. </p> <p>I've tried to talk to my mother about it, but I end up sounding like a broken record. Steve manages to be responsible for himself at his school, so why doesn't that responsibility follow him home? &#8212; Pulling My Hair Out <p>Updated: Sun Jun 14, 2020</p> 2d26c7b776ed76e147bcd3425886e804 June 13, 2020 for 06/13/2020 Sat, 13 Jun 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: A good friend of mine was recently married, and I was her maid of honor and happy to do it. The bride had only one other woman in her bridal party, a high school classmate who now lives halfway across the country. That meant all of the bridal party duties became my responsibility. </p> <p>I thoughtfully planned, budgeted for and hosted both the bridal shower and the bachelorette party. I slaved over my wedding reception speech and mustered up my courage to deliver it. I wanted everything to be memorable and joyous, and I especially wanted the bride to know that this was her time to shine. </p> <p>So you can imagine my dismay when the bride and groom neglected to mention any member of the bridal party when thanking special people in their speech. The bride admitted that they wrote their speech on a whim, and although she later acknowledged that she had forgotten to thank her bridesmaids, I am still resentful weeks later for her lack of appreciation for my efforts. <p>Updated: Sat Jun 13, 2020</p>