Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Fri, 24 Jan 2020 19:18:47 -0800 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 7a1e47075019672be0f7f3c099b8486d January 24, 2020 for 01/24/2020 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My mother is 90 years old. She recently loaned one of my nephews a large sum of money to purchase a house. "Todd" and his wife borrowed enough for the house, a new washer and dryer, and then more for homeowners insurance and property taxes. They moved in last August and have not paid anything toward the principal or interest.</p> <p>My mother took the money from her savings, paid for the property in full, and let the couple put the house in their names. When Mom got the loan agreement papers drawn up, Todd told her he "didn't feel comfortable signing" and he didn't. Today, neither Todd nor his wife acknowledge the loan or take responsibility for payments.</p> <p>In no way was this supposed to be a gift. This was made clear to them when they asked Mom for the money, because they could not get the money from any bank. They agreed to everything until it came time to sign the papers.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 24, 2020</p> 1231e0e57825caf87e4f7837acca2a04 January 23, 2020 for 01/23/2020 Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 19-year-old full-time college student and I work part-time at a fast food place. I started my job two years ago, and for the most part, I enjoy it and have made several friends.</p> <p>Eight months ago, "Ally" joined our team. I happened to have attended elementary school with Ally. We always butted heads back then, but my first impression of her at work was a good one, and I was happy to think she had matured. Or so I thought. As time went on, her true colors reappeared. Despite my initial kindness to her, she has singled me out and treated me horribly.</p> <p>The problem is that everyone else seems to love her. Even worse, she was promoted last month, which was surprising considering she's so new. Now it would be difficult for me to complain about her to my supervisor. She's my supervisor.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 23, 2020</p> 32e22defd00c41909800cd14b9248f98 January 22, 2020 for 01/22/2020 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My father died a year ago. Since then, I have ignored my extended family, but I'm close to my children and grandchildren. Christmas passed and I never phoned my sick mother, even though I live 15 minutes away. I want to make it right, but can't just waltz into their lives and say, "Here I am." </p> <p>My younger sister has been taking care of Mom without a break. I can't stand to be around my older sister, who handles Mom's finances. She is hateful and judgmental, and frankly, she scares me. And then there's my mother. We have a strained relationship. When I was a little girl, my parents would argue and she'd tell my father to leave and take me with him. Only me. My mom always treats my siblings and their children with kid gloves, but my sweet, intelligent kids she treats like lepers. </p> <p>I want my family to be together like we used to be. If you could print this, maybe my mother and sisters would see it and know that I beg their forgiveness. &#8212; Lost in Louisville, Ky.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 22, 2020</p> 530d43090b1a634aefc4eb0f8d228a7e January 21, 2020 for 01/21/2020 Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: A year ago, I bought a house for my niece Alice, her boyfriend and their two daughters, so they could have a better life and become homeowners. The house is still in my name, and our agreement was that Alice could live there for five years so she could build up her credit and save enough for a down payment on a home of her own. </p> <p>The problem is Alice's sister, "Tonya," who is fond of partying. Alice allowed Tonya to hold parties for underage kids, with alcohol, in the house. Tonya is now in college but still comes home on vacations and expects to host parties for her friends, including high school kids. I found out that Tonya gets so drunk at these parties that she has thrown up in the kitchen sink.</p> <p>I am livid and hurt that Alice would allow her children to witness such irresponsible behavior. Alice's mother, my sister, also permits this. I told Alice's boyfriend that I would sell the house if Tonya has another party there. I am afraid to talk to Alice, Tonya or my sister because I'm sure to let slip what I really think of this and then it will cause major family issues.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 21, 2020</p> 473efa366b209c78866f91c5b7a3e154 January 20, 2020 for 01/20/2020 Mon, 20 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our late 70s and we raised four children. We lost our second son to suicide when he was 7. He suffered from major depression.</p> <p>A few years ago, our daughter wrote us, saying that her eldest brother had sexually molested her when she was very young. She said we knew about it and covered it up. We knew nothing about it and were very upset. I confronted our son, now 42, and he admitted to it and was so sorry for what he did all those years ago. He also said he is not the same person he was then.</p> <p>I told our daughter that her brother admitted everything and felt terrible about it and that I hope at some point, he will tell her directly how sorry he is. Since he became an adult, this son is the kindest person and has the closest relationship with us of all our children.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 20, 2020</p> 68bafb0b05504c099736b33cbf378f31 January 19, 2020 for 01/19/2020 Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: For 10 years, my daughter has been in a relationship with a man from another culture. He is controlling, manipulative, arrogant and patronizing. He was raised with servants, nannies and drivers. Now my daughter fills those roles.</p> <p>I limit visits to once a year because he never fails to make snide comments to me when he is sure my daughter cannot hear him. Once, I asked him what his intentions were toward my daughter, and he said never to question his authority.</p> <p>After a recent visit, my daughter accused me of not being respectful and loving toward her partner. She said I am jealous of their wonderful life. This could not be further from the truth. I feel sorry for her. I don't know how she endures his daily criticisms and verbal abuse. She constantly sings his praises as a good provider and father to their child. I know she is ashamed that he has refused to marry her, but this is probably cultural. She will always remain his mistress but never be an equal.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 19, 2020</p> b44e366fd60dcdba7f72a0a92d7dc29c January 18, 2020 for 01/18/2020 Sat, 18 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I recently came home to find my husband looking at pictures of nude women on the computer. I didn't know whether to be hurt, sad or furious.</p> <p>He defended himself, saying he is the same as any guy looking at girlie magazines. After a much-heated argument, I discovered he was also looking at each girl's videos and had downloaded the photos onto DVDs and was storing them in our closet. He's apparently been doing it for years. I also suspect there have been other women, but he denies it. I found out he went to topless bars whenever he was traveling on business (and he traveled a lot).</p> <p>Annie, I have for many years felt that maybe my husband has a sex addiction, but I also have thought there is something wrong with me for not wanting sex as much as he does. Over the past 10 years since menopause, I've had very little interest in sex. We are intimate perhaps three times a month.<p>Updated: Sat Jan 18, 2020</p> b3897b33d8154d8a66e5aff5f9679742 January 17, 2020 for 01/17/2020 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 29-year-old woman with a medium build and long, thick black hair that's never been cut. I am also a virgin.</p> <p>My family members continue to ask me about a boyfriend, and I tell them that I have never been with a man. They think something is wrong with me. I am a perfectly normal woman, and I dream of being married and having children one day, but until I am blessed with the right man, I will continue to wait. I know that one day, he will come, and there is no hurry.</p> <p>I have met several guys over the years, but they are no good for me. All they think about is sex. I am not walking around with a "use me" sign on my forehead. I don't know how often people meet through your column, but if it is possible in some way, I would like to meet "Mr. Lonely in Pennsylvania," who is also a virgin. &#8212; Also Lonely in Chesapeake, Va.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 17, 2020</p> 6c7beb2b93d5c5c426d1e58e3d3b1047 January 16, 2020 for 01/16/2020 Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Please comment again about emotional affairs. My husband says this is a bunch of malarkey.</p> <p>He has been hanging out quite a bit at a local establishment, which is owned by a woman who is rather flirtatious. She can get the men who come there to do little favors for her, and this includes my husband. I also know that he has been confiding in her and telling her details about some problems in our personal life that I would like kept quiet in the community. I believe the conversations he is having with her are the ones he should be having with me.</p> <p>Many times when he comes home after seeing her, he hardly speaks to me for hours because he is all "talked out." He says that there is nothing going on and that he is true-blue for me. But I am uncomfortable with the amount of time he spends there.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 16, 2020</p> ac7c23d440a3ac3249688ae0f00b18bc January 15, 2020 for 01/15/2020 Wed, 15 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I are in our 60s and have known each other since high school. We reconnected five years ago, and for the past 18 months, we've been living together.</p> <p>At first, my boyfriend was loving and sweet and promised all sorts of dreams for our future. But after several months, he changed. He became distant, sometimes even cruel in his actions. I begged him to tell me if there was another woman, but he always denied it, in spite of rumors and the fact that things just seemed off.</p> <p>The problem is, even after all this time, I still have moments when I'm convinced he had a fling with a certain woman, and I can't get over it. He still denies it, and I am confused and hurt. But when I ask, he will respond by withdrawing from me for months.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 15, 2020</p> 456e1e3eecb804a7a3b68afd0dea3aab January 14, 2020 for 01/14/2020 Tue, 14 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My daughter and her husband are using a surrogate to have a baby. What do I do about a shower when someone else is carrying their child?</p> <p>It is my daughter's first child, and she and her husband are in their late 40s. Should I make the shower for them as a couple? Does she not get a shower because someone else is actually pregnant with the child? I have no idea what is proper here. Please help. &#8212; Grandma-To-Be</p> <p>Dear Grandma: It doesn't matter who is carrying the child. Any new mother &#8212; and your daughter will be one &#8212; is entitled to a baby shower if someone wants to host one. Of course, it is better if the shower is given by friends and not immediate family, but these days few people pay attention to those rules. Couples showers have become more popular, since both Mom and Dad (presumably) are raising this child. Whether you do that or not is entirely your choice. Congratulations.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 14, 2020</p> acabc8735cce5bdd515f29153e7e76e8 January 13, 2020 for 01/13/2020 Mon, 13 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I are in our 60s and have been together for 12 years. We recently had a disagreement, and he walked away. I emailed him and he said he has feelings for me and always will, but he can't make me happy. He said I need someone who is as romantic and financially secure as I am. He has no pension, no savings and a business that is barely surviving. He also told me that his health problems are why we haven't had sex in four years. </p> <p>I am his fifth relationship that hasn't worked out. He used to phone me every night and I miss that. After previous disagreements, he always came back. He said he doesn't want to be in a relationship now and needs to look after his business. He claims to be a workaholic. Should I contact him again? &#8212; J.</p> <p>Dear J.: How much do you want to suffer? There are reasons this man is incapable of being in a permanent relationship. If he wants that to change, he would likely need counseling to understand his motivations better. But you cannot make that happen. <span class="column--highlighted-text">You can only decide what is best for YOU.</span> Unless this man gets help and makes major changes to his life, he cannot give you any type of commitment, nor does he want to. He prefers to leave the relationship. We think you should let him.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 13, 2020</p> 0cf270b53a98ce91e94e6c70089a1cf4 January 12, 2020 for 01/12/2020 Sun, 12 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am married to one of four siblings who dutifully took care of their aged parents until their mother died a few years ago. Daddy, in his mid-80s, met a bevy of women at his new upscale care facility and proposed marriage to one of them within two weeks. She turned him down, but a mutual friend accepted and she secretly married Daddy shortly thereafter.</p> <p>The woman has two children, both in professional jobs, one of whom is an attorney. At first, we liked the stepmother, laughed a bit and everyone got along well. But 18 months later, Daddy died and we discovered that he had drafted a document leaving his estate, worth almost a million dollars, to her.</p> <p>Now the stepmother will not answer any of our calls and hangs up if we somehow manage to get through. We certainly feel slighted, but this woman is our legal stepmother and we would, with civility, like to make our case to her to use some of that money to help with our children's college tuitions. How do we address her? &#8212; Bombed in Birmingham<p>Updated: Sun Jan 12, 2020</p> 0bdbb0b5656cc4bce540c773e698e2f7 January 11, 2020 for 01/11/2020 Sat, 11 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Several years ago, my husband of 45 years took an aerobics class composed of six students &#8212; four women and two men. The instructor, "Lynette," is single and in her late 40s. Over time, the group became friendly and would socialize for an hour or so after workouts. Even when my husband stopped taking the class three years ago, they continue to invite him to these gatherings. I am acquainted with all of the women, and they have attended our birthday parties and an anniversary party. </p> <p>Here's the problem: The group recently had a birthday breakfast for Lynette. My husband was invited, and several days before the event, mentioned buying her a gift. I suggested a gift card. He suggested cash, but I said a gift card would be better. He ended up giving her $50 in cash inside a card that he signed with only his name on it. When I said I didn't think it appropriate for him to give her cash, he asked me to get your opinion. (I also thought $50 was a bit much, but we didn't get into the amount.) </p> <p>Was this an appropriate gift for a married man to give a single female friend? Am I living in the dark ages? &#8212; Open-Minded<p>Updated: Sat Jan 11, 2020</p> 91f9f8e9ad79e77c1b134a05238a410b January 10, 2020 for 01/10/2020 Fri, 10 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My 16-year-old son, "Freddie," has always kept to himself. We see Freddie's uncle about once a year, and I only recently discovered that this same uncle molested Freddie when the boy was 7 years old. I had no clue. When Freddie was 11, I spoke with him about inappropriate touching, but he never told me about his uncle.</p> <p>I've always been protective of Freddie and thought we were fine, until an aunt confronted Freddie, saying he had inappropriately touched my adult niece a few months ago. What do I do about this? &#8212; Mom's Heartache </p> <p>Dear Mom: <span class="column--highlighted-text">Sexually abused children can become sexual abusers if the original abuse was not properly dealt with. </span>Your niece is an adult and more capable of protecting herself from a 16-year-old's inappropriate touching than a child would be. But it indicates that Freddie may still need help. Please contact RAINN for information and referrals.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 10, 2020</p> 671b14c8ec3ce4ccd235c5e368340516 January 9, 2020 for 01/09/2020 Thu, 09 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My parents are getting divorced after 22 years of marriage, and it seems to be strongly affecting my mother in a terribly negative way. </p> <p>Mom has told me that she has contemplated suicide twice. Once, she even held my brother's gun to her head. Everyone in the family, including my grandmother, my aunts and even my boyfriend, thinks Mom needs counseling. </p> <p>So how do I suggest it without making her think I'm calling her "crazy"? And another problem is the cost. Mom may refuse to go because it's too expensive. Do you have any suggestions that may help? &#8212; Concerned Daughter <p>Updated: Thu Jan 09, 2020</p> 295f7aeb57ad16ea7103042818bf0b7e January 8, 2020 for 01/08/2020 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Twelve years ago, I married my best friend, lover and the woman I believed to be my partner for life. Before we married, my wife and I were physically active: hiking, biking, skiing, rollerblading, you name it. We enjoyed movies, plays, board games and talking for hours. We also had a fantastic sex life.</p> <p>Seven years ago, all of that began to change. She lost interest in outdoor activities and board games. Hours of talking have been replaced with hours in front of the TV or staring into our cellphones and computers. Our sex life became nearly nonexistent. We've both put on a little weight, but for me, it's 10 pounds, and for my wife, it's 40. I still think she's incredibly sexy and tell her so. I have maintained a regular fitness regimen and a few years ago started competing in triathlons. My wife views this as encroaching on our social life. </p> <p>I love my wife, but I'm no longer in love with her the way I once was. Not long ago, we had a heart-to-heart, and I said I no longer wanted to be married to her and told her why. She responded by telling me she recognized that I had been pulling away and understood why. She said she wished things could be different, but she would move forward.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 08, 2020</p> 69903fad46618f37ca56d4039ccb54d7 January 7, 2020 for 01/07/2020 Tue, 07 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My sister-in-law always makes comments about what I am eating. I keep myself trim and am careful about what I eat, but I don't deny myself.</p> <p>Last week, we went to lunch at a favorite place, and I ordered a cheeseburger and fries. It is a lovely restaurant, and the servings are large. I always take half of my meal home, as it is too much for me to eat at one time. My sister-in-law said, "If they put something like that in front of me, I would get sick to my stomach immediately." </p> <p>I have put up with her comments for many years, but that one upset me, especially since she said it while we were eating. Afterward, I wrote her a note stating that I am a widow and those lunches are my biggest meals of the day. She has a husband and, of course, fixes their largest meal in the evening. She no longer speaks to me. Was I wrong, or was she? &#8212; Sister-in-Law<p>Updated: Tue Jan 07, 2020</p> 25076cb14e3c86354d32c22cc17f5795 January 6, 2020 for 01/06/2020 Mon, 06 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My lifelong friend "Georgia" has a 7-year-old son who frequently plays with my 6-year-old. Georgia and her husband are divorced and share custody. The problem is, I fear her son is being exposed to things that are not appropriate for his age. He plays adult video games, and both parents allow him to watch frightening, sexually suggestive adult TV shows. The boy has made several inappropriate comments and gestures to me. The father doesno't seem to notice.</p> <p>I do not want my son exposed to any of this. But I also want to help Georgia's son, as I feel this could have damaging long-term effects. My son adores this boy and gets upset when I try to discourage interaction between them. Georgia lives nearby, and when her son is at her house, it is difficult to keep them apart. Any advice? &#8212; Growing Up Way Too Fast </p> <p>Dear Growing: Some single parents are so overwhelmed with parenting responsibilities and guilt about the separation that they set no boundaries for their children. They think this makes the child happy, but in reality, it undermines the child's level of security &#8212; <span class="column--highlighted-text">if Mommy and Daddy don't care what he does, does that mean they don't love him?</span><p>Updated: Mon Jan 06, 2020</p> 9986db7aad65947f32cdeb4369df7e42 January 5, 2020 for 01/05/2020 Sun, 05 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I lost my grandmother to suicide when I was 7. The day before Grandma died, she made comments to me about going away wh