Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 06 Apr 2020 03:17:47 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 90a3534739d84665d212a9431da3878d April 18, 2020 for 04/18/2020 Sat, 18 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My children's grandmother passed away a few weeks ago after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Her children decided to have a service in the northeast where her husband is buried and where they all grew up. None of them lives anywhere near that area. I live 1,200 miles away. </p> <p>I was very close to that family for 13 years before my husband and I divorced. I stayed in contact with his sister for a while by phone and visited and kept in touch with his mother even after I remarried. I hadn't talked to her in the last two years because they removed her phone. <p>Updated: Sat Apr 18, 2020</p> 2cc6c08c5701339caedba91eb93d6a13 April 6, 2020 for 04/06/2020 Mon, 06 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am expecting my first child. My mother is a wonderful, intelligent 68-year-old woman. She is also bipolar and seems incapable of keeping herself physically healthy and her house clean. I know her poor health almost certainly stems from the fact that her living conditions are filthy. She also has a sour smell about her that makes me worry that she is lax about her personal hygiene. </p> <p>I have tried many times over the years to help her keep her house clean, but inevitably it returns to a state of extreme disarray. The only visible floor is the pathway through piles of junk. The kitchen and bathroom are moldy biohazards. Eventually, I came to the realization that nothing I say or do is going to make her start taking care of herself. I can't afford to hire a caregiver to help her, and I'm past the point of trying to make a dent in the perpetual filth myself. </p> <p>My main problem is that when my baby is born, I know Mom is going to want to spend time with her. I don't feel comfortable allowing my infant child to be exposed to the unhealthy conditions of her house. I am ashamed to say that I also don't feel comfortable placing my baby in the care of a woman who seems incapable of caring for herself. <p>Updated: Mon Apr 06, 2020</p> 1bdfe5ec490ef7e8f31fcd408cd0d5d9 April 5, 2020 for 04/05/2020 Sun, 05 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband has the emotional IQ of a 10-year-old. I recently spent six hours in the emergency room for some tests to rule out a potentially life-threatening problem. I asked my husband to please drive me to the ER because the doctors did not advise that I drive myself home afterward. His response was that he needed to stay home and take care of our dog. </p> <p>This is the second time he has done this. Years ago, I had some outpatient surgery. When the nurse went to look for him, he was nowhere to be found. He had driven 45 minutes back to our house to take care of our dog and hadn't returned.</p> <p>After the six hours in the ER, I drove myself home. I was extremely tired, hungry (I had not eaten since breakfast) and stressed out. Due to nearby construction, I had to walk several blocks in the cold and the dark to get to my car. <p>Updated: Sun Apr 05, 2020</p> 5f8f362298dfefab156649f373eaf032 April 4, 2020 for 04/04/2020 Sat, 04 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am the mother of a 4-year-old girl. My mother, "Edna," watches her for a few hours every Friday while I'm at work. </p> <p>Last Friday, after I brought my daughter home, she told me, "Grandma was crying today and told me that 'Grandma Kitty' is not my grandma." Annie, Grandma Kitty is my Dad's fiancee. Kitty was the reason for my parents' divorce 12 years ago. Dad and Kitty have been together ever since. I have managed to forgive both of them for their affair, and we visit them weekly. </p> <p>We have found it easiest to differentiate between grandmothers by saying, "Grandma Edna," "Grandma Kitty" and, for my husband's mom, "Grandma Dina." I try not to mention either my father or Kitty when my mom is around, knowing she is still quite bitter. But I am aware that she tries to pry information out of my daughter. <p>Updated: Sat Apr 04, 2020</p> fb77ed4f359b51dafc9f3d7d50014d93 April 3, 2020 for 04/03/2020 Fri, 03 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have a 30-year-old son. "Brad" was the perfect child, loving and affectionate, until the age of 16. That's when I divorced my drug-addicted husband. I sheltered the children as much as I could from what their father was doing. </p> <p>When I transferred Brad to a public school, he got involved in drugs, quit school, became verbally abusive, did a stint in jail and more. I remarried a wonderful man who showed Brad nothing but love. Any disciplining was done by me. </p> <p>When I found out Brad was doing drugs at age 21, I kicked him out of the house. He abused steroids and who knows what else. He blames me for the way he is because I kicked him out. He claims no mother would do that. I told him it's called "tough love" and that I refuse to watch him destroy himself.<p>Updated: Fri Apr 03, 2020</p> e28c952e84c0b644b976d79844f10ada April 2, 2020 for 04/02/2020 Thu, 02 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married to "Jerry" for 10 years. We each have adult daughters from previous relationships. </p> <p>Jerry has a peculiar relationship with his daughter, "Serena." She was taken from him by her mother at a very early age, and he did not see her again until she was 13. At age 15, she got into a fight with her mother and came to live with Jerry. He and his roommate allowed the girl to drink liquor and use their car. At some point, she was found in Jerry's bed having sex with a strange man. She also ran up $1,000 in telephone charges calling her boyfriend back home. </p> <p>When Serena went back to Mom, I moved in with Jerry. But Serena would call at all hours of the night. When she had another fight with Mom, Jerry invited her back without asking me. I put a lock on the phone, and Serena became angry and returned to Mom. After that, her relationship with Jerry was on-and-off for 10 years.<p>Updated: Thu Apr 02, 2020</p> bd5fed4d437b3f52556c804e9a742e70 April 1, 2020 for 04/01/2020 Wed, 01 Apr 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My son lives in California and is going to marry a local girl in the fall. Our entire family lives in the Midwest. My husband and I, along with our daughter's family, will attend. But I know it is far too expensive for any of my relatives to be there.</p> <p>Should they receive invitations even though we know they can't come? I don't want it to seem like a gift grab. Do I have a "meet the bride and groom" party in our hometown after the wedding? What is the proper procedure? </p> <p>I have another question, too. My husband and I are retired, but are giving our son and future daughter-in-law a large sum of money to help with wedding costs. As the parents of the groom, we will pay for the rehearsal dinner, but what about the rest? What are our responsibilities when it comes to out-of-state guests? &#8212; Don't Want To Get Another Job <p>Updated: Wed Apr 01, 2020</p> b6d16c3976db4656367e6ab9d9142aa7 March 31, 2020 for 03/31/2020 Tue, 31 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for three years and lived together for 15 years before that. Sex has always been difficult. Last week, I found him masturbating outside in the backyard. </p> <p>What should I do? Should I consult a doctor? My husband refuses to talk about it at all. &#8212; I Need Help </p> <p>Dear Need: If sex has been an issue for the past 18 years, there is more going on. Your letter doesn't provide many details. Is he masturbating because you aren't interested in sex? In that case, please talk to your doctor and see what can be done. Does he prefer self-gratification to being with you? That could indicate that he has an idealized version of the female body due to excessive pornography viewing. Or he could be gay and still in the closet. Or he might have issues being physically close. <span class="column--highlighted-text">For this, counseling could be useful, but only if your husband is willing to seek help, and apparently, he is not.</span> <p>Updated: Tue Mar 31, 2020</p> 1b0db7cfd3e4d738d3714a6373240250 March 30, 2020 for 03/30/2020 Mon, 30 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 13-year-old boy, and I'm too embarrassed to talk to my parents about this. </p> <p>I have been best friends with "Danny" since the first grade. We are like brothers. A few weeks ago, Danny and I were at my house, and he said he had something to tell me but was afraid of my reaction. I finally got him to confess that he thinks he is gay and in love with me. I was shocked. He said he wanted to kiss me to see what it was like. I didn't want to, but agreed to try. We sat on my bed and kissed for about a minute. I wasn't grossed out by it, but it seemed weird and uncomfortable. When I told him that, he bolted.</p> <p>The next day at school, I tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't even look at me. After a few days of this, he finally came by my house. We talked about what happened, and I told him it doesn't matter that he's gay, because he is still my best friend. But he said if I can't be his boyfriend, he doesn't want to be friends anymore. He said it would hurt too much. I told him I can't change the fact that I'm straight. He said he hates me and left. <p>Updated: Mon Mar 30, 2020</p> c2908b80efb5f2c34c703d5f9d280e33 March 29, 2020 for 03/29/2020 Sun, 29 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: A year ago, my husband's grown daughter announced that she would be getting married this summer. She has lived in another state since her graduation from college five years ago. Despite heated conversations, she decided to marry there, saying her friends' attendance is more important than having her family there.</p> <p>Her father has always tried to stay involved in her life (to the extent that her mother would allow), so you can imagine his shock when he was told she had decided to have her stepfather walk her down the aisle. This has caused a huge rift in the family, and my husband feels the only way to save face is to stay away from the ceremony. Eager to avoid the expense of attending the wedding, his extended family has also decided not to attend as a show of support.</p> <p>There are only a few months left before the big day, and I fear this may cause a permanent end to the father-daughter relationship, along with those relatives who feel she has made a big mistake. Is there any way for this to be resolved? &#8212; Evil Stepmother<p>Updated: Sun Mar 29, 2020</p> 0bccf0622e7967ff4b6d51c2cce5f9a2 March 28, 2020 for 03/28/2020 Sat, 28 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I are successful professionals with no children. Our mothers are both well off and have been generous to our siblings, who, for various reasons, have needed a lot of help. My husband and I tender free professional and some financial assistance to both sides of our families.</p> <p>My mother-in-law takes opportunities to show her appreciation by paying for meals or offering to reimburse costs. She is a delight, and we see her often. My mother, however, is the opposite &#8212; always a guest, never offering to reimburse costs or pay a share. She has even invited us and others to events and then stuck us with the bill. My husband does not complain, but I am ashamed of her stinginess. Subconsciously, we do not seek out my mother, and our visits are becoming rare.</p> <p>Both mothers are up in years, and I do not expect any changes. Writing to you is therapeutic, although if you have any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. &#8212; Anonymous<p>Updated: Sat Mar 28, 2020</p> a7b2cac3a72acdc14f1cfb863330dbef March 27, 2020 for 03/27/2020 Fri, 27 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My youngest son is 34 years old and lives with my wife and me. He is an alcoholic and is unemployed, with no interest in getting a job. He helps at home by doing the cooking. He is a great cook by trade. He was laid off as head cook at a restaurant and can't get over it. </p> <p>My son is a good person, and I love him very much. He claims he was blackballed. He has had 10 good jobs over the past 15 years, but has had at least five DUIs and has been in jail three times.</p> <p>Could this be true? Is there any way I could get him out of the house and into a work program? My wife will not back me up when I tell him he has to get a job. &#8212; Beside Myself<p>Updated: Fri Mar 27, 2020</p> 9929b45d6a318256d0455d65c67eb801 March 26, 2020 for 03/26/2020 Thu, 26 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am very concerned about my brother's daughters, ages 18 and 20. My brother and his wife divorced when the girls were young. He and his ex do not get along and communicate poorly. She often berates him, and he remains silent. </p> <p>Their daughters were shuttled back and forth between their parents' homes, but they lived mainly with their mother. Last fall, she announced that she had had enough and the girls would now live with their father while they attend college nearby. </p> <p>The girls have been with my brother and his wife for several months, and they are miserable. They have no friends there. They communicate very little with their father and stepmother and remain in their bedrooms most of the day. My brother's wife has reached out to them, to no avail. The older girl is doing well in school, but the younger one dropped out. She promised to get a job, but hasn't found one yet. I don't think she is very motivated. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 26, 2020</p> 2920d768ef2257e161f85e521fe24585 March 25, 2020 for 03/25/2020 Wed, 25 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a male, over 60, gray, balding and noticeably overweight. Because of back problems, I choose to wear suspenders instead of a belt. So, why is it that women of all ages think it's OK to snap my suspenders, or at least express a desire to do so? Most recently, it was a younger woman on the staff of a hospital ER while I was waiting for my wife to be treated. </p> <p>I'm fairly certain that if I were to snap their bra straps, they would slap my face and call the police, and rightly so. Why, then, do these ladies believe they have a right to put their hands on me? &#8212; Lost for an Answer </p> <p>Dear Lost: We have no clue why anyone, male or female, would think it is OK to treat your suspenders as though they were a child's toy to play with. You likely appear to others as jocular and friendly, which makes them treat you as though you are familiar and accessible &#8212; their favorite uncle. And there may be something about suspenders that encourages people to touch them. But this doesn't excuse their behavior. <p>Updated: Wed Mar 25, 2020</p> cd056620f1519793e45b58f2823b493a March 24, 2020 for 03/24/2020 Tue, 24 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a 24-year-old male who has been crossdressing since the age of 8. It started with collecting my own bras and panties, and now I have an entire wardrobe of women's clothing. </p> <p>Because I currently live on my own, I change out of my male clothes into my female ones as soon as I come home from work. I've also had very serious thoughts and dreams about being a woman. </p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">This is confusing to me, and I want to know whether there is someone I can talk to about these feelings.</span> I'm way too scared to come out to family or friends because of what they would think. &#8212; Lost in Ottawa <p>Updated: Tue Mar 24, 2020</p> a3526f4876c67b68a69c70222a3caaa6 March 23, 2020 for 03/23/2020 Mon, 23 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 55-year-old man, divorced for the past 15 years. My daughter is 24 years old and married to a good guy, and they have two lovely boys. Although I have struggled with depression over the years, I try to live a good, honest Christian life. I raised my two children as a single parent, and my ex has become a deadbeat mother. My ex has married several times since our divorce. Each of her subsequent husbands has been an alcoholic or a drug user. </p> <p>My problem is that my daughter and her mother seldom speak or see each other. My ex will see my son on occasion, but not much. She's the kind of person who cannot admit fault. When my ex was married to one of her drunken drug users, she let him kick my daughter out of their home because she broke curfew once. </p> <p>I can see how much this estrangement hurts my daughter, and I want so much for her to reconcile with her mother. My daughter reaches out to my ex through mail, birthday party invitations and occasional voicemails. Her mother never responds. <p>Updated: Mon Mar 23, 2020</p> 08e322b6ca2cb13eb4fbf6766147105d March 22, 2020 for 03/22/2020 Sun, 22 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: At least once a week, I get an unsolicited phone call from "Rachel from Cardholder Services." This seems to be an obvious scam to get me to switch to another credit card or maybe just to get personal information. I have received these calls both in Connecticut and Florida. When I ask, "Who do you represent?" they hang up.</p> <p>I am now getting calls from some individual telling me his organization detected a problem with my computer the last time I was on the Internet. That one is more worrisome because they are searching for access to my computer, and again, I assume it's an illegal call.</p> <p>What agency do I contact to get help shutting down these scam artists? &#8212; B.<p>Updated: Sun Mar 22, 2020</p> db01799658ba664806c5ce35dd77bad4 March 21, 2020 for 03/21/2020 Sat, 21 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Richard," who was named for a hero of World War II, but whose nickname ("Dick") elicits snickers. My name is Richard, and my friends call me Dick. I'm 79 and 6-foot-4. I was football captain in high school, played at university, and spent four years as a military police paratrooper, so I have a few advantages working for me. </p> <p>But I have never understood why anyone would worry about hurting the feelings of some nitwit who failed to show the respect that any person deserves. A few times over the years I've suggested to the speaker that he stuff that comment where it belongs and said I'd be glad to assist if he needed any help, although none of them seemed to need help. They didn't bother me again, nor did they attempt to socialize with me at all, but it was their loss, not mine. Richard sounds like he's capable of the same approach but chooses not to use it. Perhaps he should. &#8212; Another Richard </p> <p>Dear Richard: We were surprised at the number of men named Richard who wrote to us about their names and nicknames. Read on for a sampling:<p>Updated: Sat Mar 21, 2020</p> 88e088f5ed0ec78351b2517038b9b3fd March 20, 2020 for 03/20/2020 Fri, 20 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 54-year-old widow living in a large and active retirement community. I am engaged to "Pete," a 64-year-old man whom I've been seeing for a year. We get along very well and have many common interests. </p> <p>Pete has a 20-year-old mentally challenged son living with him, and we also get along fine. (My grown children live in another state.) Pete's son would live with us after we marry, and I am OK with that. We've set a date and even had an engagement party. Now everything is turning into a nightmare. </p> <p>Pete and I have had some heavy make-out sessions, but we have never had sex. He now tells me he cannot "perform." It doesn't really matter to me, but he's turning it into a huge problem. He says that in order to really be married, according to his religion, it has to be consummated, and that because he isn't capable of doing so, his son should be his stand-in. Pete would be there to make sure everything was completed. I was shocked to say the least. He has told a number of our friends about this, and they think he's crazy. They also think I'm crazy to still be with him. He says if I love him it won't matter and that it is only a one-time thing. <p>Updated: Fri Mar 20, 2020</p> 89cf1ae8ef42a0b069b105745a4c1f19 March 19, 2020 for 03/19/2020 Thu, 19 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My dad was a proud veteran of WWII. When he died 20 years ago, he willed his medals to my brother "Jim" and the Bible he carried during the war to my brother "Ray." Eventually, Ray gave the Bible to Jim. My mother also gave other army memorabilia to Jim, thinking it should all be together. </p> <p>Jim recently informed me that when he dies, he's passing on all of Dad's things to "Margret," his second wife. Margret met my father only once. Jim has no children, but the rest of us do. Several of my nieces and nephews have a keen interest in their ancestry and would love to own these war mementos. </p> <p>I suggested to Jim that he consider passing on Dad's things to the next generation, but was forcefully told they were going to Margret. I realize that these items belong to Jim now, and he can do what he wishes with them, but I'm extremely upset that such precious memorabilia will end up being lost to us forever. I can't speak to Jim further about this. Margret was also shocked by Jim's reaction, but he has forbidden her to talk to us about it. <p>Updated: Thu Mar 19, 2020</p>