Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 01 Aug 2021 08:23:20 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 658dca263e979a87fb7c944be7c280f1 August 1, 2021 for 08/01/2021 Sun, 01 Aug 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My daughter graduated from high school in June. "Kaitlin" has a serious boyfriend, and they spend almost all of their time at our house. </p> <p>My husband says a 10 p.m. curfew is sufficient time to say goodnight, regardless of whether it's a Monday or a weekend. I think he could be a bit more lenient, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. </p> <p>We need help resolving this matter. Any rules for a daughter who is somewhat responsible would be greatly appreciated. I think it's a new generation and things are done differently than when we were growing up, but my husband sees otherwise. I'm at a total loss. &#8212; Mother Who Needs Rules in Florida <p>Updated: Sun Aug 01, 2021</p> d9d41589b47c3b6c86b84dfd572e4d51 July 31, 2021 for 07/31/2021 Sat, 31 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have three children under the age of 10. When our oldest two were very young, my husband and I asked my brother, "Ned," and his wife to be the guardians of our children, even though they lived in another state. We chose them over my sister, "Dotty," because at the time, Dotty was engaged to a man no one in the family liked. Their engagement was subsequently called off, and she met and married another man we liked much better. </p> <p>When my husband and I redid our wills five years ago, we decided to switch guardianship to Dotty to spare our children the possibility of a move in the event of our deaths. Plus, my in-laws live in the same general area, and we felt they could keep close ties with our kids and help my sister. </p> <p>Now, five years later, Dotty has children of her own, and my husband and I no longer think she and her husband are the best guardians for ours. Ned and his wife have children, too, now, and are doing a fine job raising them. And we have since moved across the country and are equally far from everyone. As you may have guessed, we would like to switch guardianship back to my brother and his wife. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 31, 2021</p> 58f05d9c26409bafd0c0415fe504a630 July 30, 2021 for 07/30/2021 Fri, 30 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My best friend and I are widows in our 70s. "Agatha" has suddenly gone gaga over a widower who wants her to move into his place, pay rent, and split the grocery and utility bills. He will take care of the garage, yard and car, and she will take care of the house. This man also wants her to rent her house for income for the two of them to share, or sell it and invest the money together.</p> <p>I explained that "taking care of the house" means shopping, cooking, dishes, washing, ironing, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping and dusting. I also warned her that he's taking advantage of her financially. She became very angry and said I don't want her to be happy.</p> <p>Agatha says she "can't wait to have a man to take care of again" and that I'm just jealous. Should I call her grown children and get them involved? I may lose a friend, but it's better than watching her get scammed. &#8212; Worried Friend Down South<p>Updated: Fri Jul 30, 2021</p> 715e2666fe0cab96d90dd89cdcff76b4 July 29, 2021 for 07/29/2021 Thu, 29 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Our son, "Cody," is 11 years old and a good boy. This was his first year competing on the school track team, and he did well, mostly third-place finishes and one second. We could not attend his last track meet, and when I picked him up, he excitedly told me that he'd placed first in the mile run. My husband and I were very proud of him and took him out for pizza to celebrate. Of course, we told all the relatives.</p> <p>The following week, at the night of the awards ceremony, Cody came to me and tearfully confessed that he had not placed first but third. He said he lied because he wanted to make us proud. I didn't get mad, but I told him we were happy about anything he did, as long as we knew he tried his best. Mostly, I was worried because I have read about young teenagers committing suicide for not being "perfect," and I tried to let him know we always love him, no matter what. </p> <p>The problem is, my husband does not agree with how I handled it. He says Cody lied and he suffered no repercussions because I let him get away with it. He said he already had talked with Cody after a previous lie. I didn't know about that, but I pointed out to my husband that Cody might feel stressed about living up to expectations that my husband may have, even unwittingly. What do you think? &#8212; Concerned Mother<p>Updated: Thu Jul 29, 2021</p> 1047f5cd5022f53652436f62cf57a4d3 July 28, 2021 for 07/28/2021 Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a young-looking, middle-aged woman and recently married a man several years younger than I am. My figure is petite, and I'm small-chested. Though he told me early in our relationship that breast size doesn't matter to him, he has made several remarks about breast implants and most recently said, "Everyone likes to look at a nice pair of breasts." </p> <p>This is a man who usually seems caring and sensitive, which is part of what I fell in love with. He made me feel so good about myself in the beginning but now seems to be picking me apart, little by little. When I express concern about his attitude, he gets defensive and suggests that maybe he shouldn't say anything at all, and then won't speak to me &#8212; sometimes for hours. </p> <p>I've done without ampler breasts my whole life and am not a fan of cosmetic surgery. What's your opinion? &#8212; Cupcakes Not Cantaloupes <p>Updated: Wed Jul 28, 2021</p> c654d2a1f65c8233329767b62e64f59e July 27, 2021 for 07/27/2021 Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am married with three children. Recently, my husband, without much research, discussion or preparation, decided that he was going to join the Army National Guard. (He had served in the Army before I knew him.) I know this is something he really wants to do, but I am worried about the impact his choice will have on me and our three children in the event he is called to duty.</p> <p>My husband always has worked and supported our family, although I will be working again once my youngest starts school this fall. I feel anxious because we are not prepared financially or emotionally for such a huge change. I can't help but think he is being too quick to make such a big step, and one that ultimately may jeopardize our family's stability. What do you say? &#8212; Mixed Feelings in North Carolina</p> <p>Dear N.C.: Of course it will be a huge change if your husband is called to active duty, and that is a real possibility. This does not mean you can't weather the hardships as other military families do. <p>Updated: Tue Jul 27, 2021</p> cd90200bf497bdcfbe247ccff7c1460a July 26, 2021 for 07/26/2021 Mon, 26 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I work in an office of about 100. About six months ago, two co-workers (male and female) began arriving at work early, together, walking each other to their offices and hanging out. Both of them are married to others. </p> <p>At first, their actions weren't noticeable, but now, more and more people are talking about the obviously close "friendship" between these two. The female co-worker, "Beth," has started dressing differently and now acts like she is Miss Congeniality. Before, she was kind of shy and reserved. </p> <p>I'm not a close friend to either of them, but I do believe this is not normal behavior for Beth. She's always bragged about what a masculine husband she has and how she is so lucky to be married to him. Yet, in my opinion, she is putting her marriage at risk by carrying on with this male co-worker. <p>Updated: Mon Jul 26, 2021</p> 2e38f8fe3db23cdcd2d7332ed69e4e8e July 25, 2021 for 07/25/2021 Sun, 25 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a 35-year-old mother of five. In January, I was rushed to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack. It turned out to be a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). After leaving the hospital, I did everything the doctor told me. I quit smoking cold turkey after 20 years, and I changed my diet. </p> <p>Physically, I feel fine, but mentally, I'm losing it. I cry all the time. My husband and children have been wonderful and supportive, but they don't know how I really feel. (I tell them my eyes are puffy from allergies.) Please help me. &#8212; New York </p> <p>Dear N.Y.: It is not unusual for a life-threatening event to cause depression. This is a natural reaction to stress and fear. And for some people, giving up smoking can cause depression all by itself. Instead of feeling empowered by your recent decisions, you are adrift.<p>Updated: Sun Jul 25, 2021</p> 96114b7178777e2e1f3c18dce5e9f8c7 July 24, 2021 for 07/24/2021 Sat, 24 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 20-year-old, single female. I have been friends with "Tony" for two years. Tony is 25, married and has two children. </p> <p>About a year ago, I started having feelings for Tony. He and his wife were separated at the time. (She'd had an affair.) Then he and his wife got back together. Two weeks ago, Tony told me he has feelings for me and was afraid he'd made a mistake returning to his wife. I told him I felt the same way, and we kissed. My intentions are not to be a homewrecker, but it may appear that way. </p> <p>Should I tell Tony I love him? Or should I just try to be a supportive friend? &#8212; Loving Friend <p>Updated: Sat Jul 24, 2021</p> c21eb93eda5e7bfe7889eff999fa2541 July 23, 2021 for 07/23/2021 Fri, 23 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am one of three adult children in our family. We had another brother, but he died several years ago, leaving a wife and child.</p> <p>When our mom passed away recently, she left me as the administrator of her trust. Mom had the idea that since one of her four children was gone, her inheritance should be split between her three living children. She thought that her dead son's family should not be included. The three of us siblings attempted to explain to Mom that this policy surely would create a rift, but she didn't change the trust. </p> <p>Upon Mom's death, I conferred with my two siblings, and we unanimously agreed that my brother's family should receive a fourth portion of the inheritance. We care for this family and want them in our lives. Months after the settlement, we learned that our sister-in-law, "Betty," believes that Mom's inheritance was much larger than it really is. She is now questioning us as to whether she actually got "her share" of one-quarter of the trust. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 23, 2021</p> b49824560d0f5e6d1c8ab46a23fbbfff July 22, 2021 for 07/22/2021 Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Last week, I made a shocking discovery while cleaning my bedroom. My husband had several pornographic tapes that he had recorded from the adult-channel network. </p> <p>We work opposite shifts and see each other only on weekends. I had no idea he was keeping this pornography in our house. We've been married 30 years and have always enjoyed a healthy sex life. After this discovery, I can barely stand to have him touch me. I could never compete with the women in these tapes. I assume that when he is making love with me, he is actually thinking of all that pornography. </p> <p>When I confronted him, he said he was only curious and did not mean to hurt me. I loved this man, but his "curiosity" has changed how I feel about our life together. When I am at work, I can't help imagining that he is at home watching this stuff. I am thinking of leaving him. Our kids are grown, and I can support myself. What do you say? &#8212; Devastated Wife <p>Updated: Thu Jul 22, 2021</p> d539806f6c824267a80e0a8663434fa2 July 21, 2021 for 07/21/2021 Wed, 21 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a 55-year-young woman. On Mother's Day, I went to lunch with my family, at my sister's house.</p> <p>One of my brothers was giving the other brother advice about something that was happening in his life. They were sitting across from me, and when my brother was finished, he looked in my direction, and I started to sing. It was only a few words of encouragement, but before I could finish, my sister said curtly, "You don't sing at the table." </p> <p>If the dinner table is a way for the family to come together to communicate, was I wrong for singing? &#8212; Humming in Biloxi, Miss.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 21, 2021</p> 133879fa590742ef569a0a0faad3c6da July 20, 2021 for 07/20/2021 Tue, 20 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have a baby girl, "Alice," now a year old. My wife's divorced sister, "Leora," stayed with us during most of my wife's pregnancy and moved into an apartment across the street several months after Alice's birth. She has been around constantly ever since.</p> <p>The sisters always have been best friends. The two of them ended up giving the baby her first bath, taking her on her first stroll, her first trip to my mother-in-law's, lots of "firsts," while I am left out. I would like Leora to go home, so my wife and I can enjoy our baby's accomplishments.</p> <p>I was hoping my wife would realize what was going on, but I fear she took my passivity as indifference. At one point I told her how I felt, and she said she understood, but things haven't really changed. Meanwhile, I have gotten reports from friends and family that Leora talks behind my back, questioning my parenting skills since she "always has to do everything." Worse, my wife says similar things about me to others.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 20, 2021</p> d3cc8c5de84c44ee0b356abc8529ef20 July 19, 2021 for 07/19/2021 Mon, 19 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband, "Jack," and I have been together for 11 years and married for one. When we first met, he was dating "Sofi." He broke off the relationship with her when he met me. The breakup was extremely difficult for Sofi, and she had trouble letting go. </p> <p>Recently, Jack's job has brought the two of them back into contact. This job is a really good opportunity for Jack, but I'm afraid Sofi still hasn't gotten over him. She calls constantly on his cellphone and finds ways to work late nights with him. She has a relatively good position in the company, and her opinion of him counts.</p> <p>A week ago, at the last minute, Jack's boss invited him for a four-day outing at his lake cabin to discuss his future with the company. I didn't mind the command performance, but I did not care for the fact that Sofi also was there. <p>Updated: Mon Jul 19, 2021</p> 0c6cd5ca0540fbcc48998e5a3fe7d2e7 July 18, 2021 for 07/18/2021 Sun, 18 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: During a recent family gathering, my mother-in-law referred to me as an "out-law" instead of an in-law. This comment was totally out of the blue. Not only was I embarrassed, but I have never felt so unwanted and hurt in my entire life. With that one statement, she has completely destroyed our relationship. </p> <p>My in-laws and I never have had any disagreements in the past. My husband says that I should just get over it and move on, because it is a waste of time to confront her. In her mind, she is right and always will be right. </p> <p>Now I am very uncomfortable being around her, but I do it for my husband and children. If I confront her, she is the type of person who will make her son choose between us. Please help. This is eating me alive. &#8212; Heartbroken <p>Updated: Sun Jul 18, 2021</p> 973df52230995681f7c0404c314fe08f July 17, 2021 for 07/17/2021 Sat, 17 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 40-ish mom to three children ranging in age from 2 to 8. My husband and I have been together 14 years. When we first started dating, sex was awesome. Over the years, our responsibilities, priorities and workloads have changed. </p> <p>My husband works full time and also does projects around the house. I work full time, and my nonworking time is spent picking up the kids from day care, fixing meals, cleaning the house, doing laundry, paying bills, grocery shopping, arranging doctor's appointments, helping with homework, etc. You get the gist.</p> <p>My husband's only housework responsibility is to empty the dishwasher. When he feels like it, he might make dinner, and he will give the baby a bath every once in a while. I agree that his projects are important, but they tend to be weather-related, like mowing the lawn. In the winter, all he does is empty the dishwasher, but if he can't find a clean shirt, I get harassed and told I'm lazy. <p>Updated: Sat Jul 17, 2021</p> 592a0a28ee1ad9776faa83aadcbcb2cf July 16, 2021 for 07/16/2021 Fri, 16 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am 28 and have been with my 23-year-old boyfriend for over four years. We have lived together for the last three. Last month, "Kyle" talked about our relationship, and he acknowledged that we might be headed in different directions. He said he wanted some time apart. </p> <p>Throughout our relationship, whenever I felt something wasn't right, I'd ask Kyle about it, and he would assure me that we were fine and he was happy. Is it possible for him to suddenly be unhappy, or has he been holding it all in? </p> <p>After telling me he needed to "see what else was out there," we agreed to separate. I loved him enough to let him go, and if he came back, well, you know how it goes. After a few days, Kyle decided we could remain apart without sacrificing what we have. He insisted he wasn't interested in being with anyone else. <p>Updated: Fri Jul 16, 2021</p> 07e9dab96e9e3adc918a243d3354e0b8 July 15, 2021 for 07/15/2021 Thu, 15 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Every summer, my husband and I go away to our beach house for several weeks. My husband leaves the key to our suburban home with a neighbor in case of an emergency. The problem is, when we arrive back home after our vacation, I find things not the way I left them. I would never go out of town and leave spills on the kitchen floor and a mess in my oven.</p> <p>My husband denies it, but I'm pretty sure the neighbor is letting my mother-in-law use the key. I suspect Mom and her friends come in and make themselves right at home. (My mother-in-law always refers to our home as "my son's house.")</p> <p>I feel my privacy has been violated, and worse, that my husband is betraying me by being loyal to his mother at my expense. I'm not sure what to do aside from changing the lock and giving the key to one of my friends with instructions not to give it out to anyone. We have had many arguments over this, and he is losing all credibility with me. Please help. &#8212; Frustrated in the Northeast <p>Updated: Thu Jul 15, 2021</p> 711b4807cd498cbe49f30613881a0354 July 14, 2021 for 07/14/2021 Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I recently moved to a new town due to a job transfer by my company. We have two sons, ages 7 and 10, who have quickly made new friends. It turns out two of their buddies are children of neighbors living two houses away. They recently have taken to playing in our backyard and get along extremely well. We really like their friends.</p> <p>Two weeks ago, we were invited over to meet the parents of these neighbors, and my wife and I were left gasping. It turns out they both are very heavy smokers. I mentioned that my wife is an asthmatic, but this made no difference to them. Without exaggeration, they smoked nearly a pack between them in just over an hour. We finally had to make our exit, as I was afraid my wife would experience an attack.</p> <p>Since that visit, we have begged off on subsequent invitations to get together and have curtailed our children's visits with flimsy excuses. We learned from another neighbor that this couple smokes incessantly in other people's homes, so asking them to come to our place is not an option.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 14, 2021</p> 36d8768e5259ffaff5fa1f18da580842 July 13, 2021 for 07/13/2021 Tue, 13 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have a wonderful daughter-in-law who is the stepmother to my two granddaughters, ages 8 and 9. My son has had custody of his little girls since they were toddlers, and "Jeanette" has been a real mother to them. She has done a good job teaching them responsibility and how to behave like young ladies. However, I am concerned that she expects too much. </p> <p>The girls wash dishes, clean rooms in the house and do their own laundry &#8212; including their bed linens. I know things have changed since I raised my son back in the '80s, but do you think it is right to make kids this age responsible for their own laundry? Jeanette does not work outside the home and has time to do this. Am I just old-fashioned? Should I say something or keep my mouth shut? &#8212; Concerned Gram </p> <p>Dear Gram: Although most children probably don't wash their own linens at the age of 8 or 9, there is no reason they cannot be taught to do so. If done properly, operating a washing machine and dryer is neither difficult nor dangerous, and the ability to handle their own laundry will give those girls a sense of accomplishment and independence. Say nothing, Gram.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 13, 2021</p>