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, 25 Jan 2021 19:30:21 -0800 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 0d2e760a4e1c8d7f8bdb2427a7ae5c9d January 25, 2021 for 01/25/2021 Mon, 25 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: A friend of mine has Type 2 diabetes and an eating disorder. Recently, she visited the doctor and her blood pressure and blood sugar levels were extremely high. The doctor spoke to her about the consequences of her diet, and after the visit, she spoke to his nurse. She was told that if she keeps her blood sugar under 200, she doesn't need to worry and the doctor won't be mad at her. </p> <p>She came away from the visit with a determination to do a better job with her diet. But within a week, she went back to eating the "banned" food items. She tests herself and thinks that levels in the 190s are OK. </p> <p>I have been trying to work with her on her diet. I have introduced her to better food choices. I listen to her and give advice when the opportunity comes up. I have made the decision to keep the lines of communication open by not criticizing her choices. Is there anything I ought to be doing? &#8212; The Listener <p>Updated: Mon Jan 25, 2021</p> 438f0dcc838b034d0afaa5015bd357f7 January 24, 2021 for 01/24/2021 Sun, 24 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been trying to conceive for three years, with no luck. I've tried almost everything there is over the counter, and I can't seem to bring myself to see a doctor. I'm afraid he'll tell me there is something wrong with one of us and we'll resent each other. </p> <p>As time goes on, my depression and anger grow. I feel physical pain when I think about how much I want a baby. I have no one to share my sorrows with. My family has grown tired of my crying, even my husband. So I've learned to keep it to myself, and find a place where I can be alone to cry.</p> <p>I've noticed that holidays make the pain worse knowing I've failed once again to give my mother and mother-in-law a grandchild. My sister isn't much help, either. She is trying, too, and tells me she thinks both of us have some kind of fertility problem. I don't need to hear that, especially since I could never afford treatment. My grandma hurts me as well. She tells me almost every time I see her, "You know your sister is probably going to get pregnant, because you want a baby so much." <p>Updated: Sun Jan 24, 2021</p> ad1e55215111339cbe72132c0da93094 January 23, 2021 for 01/23/2021 Sat, 23 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I've been with a wonderful gentleman for several years. Our biggest issue is that he has no idea how to make love.</p> <p>At the beginning of our relationship, I would try to guide him on what felt good to me. He was a little clumsy about it and gradually lapsed into thinking a few kisses constituted sufficient foreplay. Meanwhile, I was doing everything for him. After a while, I became resentful of this one-sided sex, since he never touched my body. So now there is no sex at all. </p> <p>Discussing it is not an option. He gets defensive. Therapy is also not an option. The truth is, I'm pretty satisfied the way we are. So too bad for him as he is simply not aware of why things are this way. &#8212; Not Worth It<p>Updated: Sat Jan 23, 2021</p> bc83426ae096c18ae67e72005bbea735 January 22, 2021 for 01/22/2021 Fri, 22 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Please help me before I pull my hair out. I am 40 and have been married for the last eight years to a man I love more than I thought possible. We have a good relationship. We are open and talk often. </p> <p>My dilemma is that he complains all the time about aches and pains. Not a day goes by that there isn't some ailment bothering him. I have tried to think back to earlier in our relationship, and I don't recall whether he's always done this and I had blinders on, or if his complaints have become more frequent. </p> <p>Granted, he has had his share of minor health problems, but so have I and many other people. I don't want to overlook anything serious, nor do I think he is a hypochondriac, but I have found myself becoming more and more callus and dismissive of his complaints and have even caught myself rolling my eyes. This is not in my nature and I don't like responding this way. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 22, 2021</p> 19f2845556e5e78edf04500f34e85217 January 21, 2021 for 01/21/2021 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a healthy, active, 68-year-old divorced man, still employed and productive. About a year ago, I met "Caroline," a pleasant, generous, compatible woman, and have since enjoyed her company on a regular basis. We spent Christmas together in Europe. It was lovely.</p> <p>Unfortunately, there is one problem that drives me crazy: Caroline is a compulsive talker. It doesn't matter if we're in a movie theater, we're watching a TV show or I'm trying to read the newspaper. She just starts yakking in my ear. I try to ignore it, but she goes right on. She doesn't get the hint that I'm not interested in chatting at that precise moment.</p> <p>How do I tell her nicely to shut up for a while? &#8212; Patient But Tired <p>Updated: Thu Jan 21, 2021</p> 4f0245f6fe7c33909037de5f5be80edf January 20, 2021 for 01/20/2021 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: You must know that for every letter that you get, you only hear half of the story. I read the letter from "Wife on the Outside," who said her husband talks to his mother negatively about her. I hope that my wife reads that and follows your advice to go to counseling. </p> <p>I am a loving husband and father, and tired of accusations of disloyalty. I love my wife. When my mother asks me how she's doing and my answer is, "She is very unhappy," I am not being disloyal. I am being truthful. But my wife doesn't like it.</p> <p>My wife drinks a lot of wine in the evening. When she is no longer sober, she becomes nasty to the point where she is unbearable. She refused to go for counseling, so I went alone. My counselor recommended that I attend Al-Anon, and I plan to go back soon.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 20, 2021</p> 259dff62034ffb4223adcb949a50f667 January 19, 2021 for 01/19/2021 Tue, 19 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My half-brother and his wife are old enough to be my parents. He is quite well-to-do and so are his children. I am only six years older than his oldest child and have always felt more like one of his kids than his sister, especially after my parents died. </p> <p>However, I am never invited to spend holidays with them. I was widowed 25 years ago, and one of my children has since passed away. My brother and sister-in-law have gifted me $300 each year on my birthday, and although it would give me great pleasure to reciprocate, they rarely allow me to do so. Last month, they discouraged me from giving them gifts for Christmas, which I understand. They are trying to pare down their belongings. </p> <p>Last year, I saved up and gave them a $100 gift card. I thought I'd hit on the perfect present. But this year, my sister-in-law said bluntly, "Don't be coming in here with presents like last year. Save your gift cards for your daughter. The money we give you is for you &#8212; not to be returned to us." <p>Updated: Tue Jan 19, 2021</p> 8cafafa6e1e710c25b735a1699d3377a January 18, 2021 for 01/18/2021 Mon, 18 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 23-year-old female who recently moved to a new town. I have met a few guys, but it never seems to go anywhere. I can't seem to find someone who wants anything more than sex. I used to sleep around, but I'm more mature now, and I value myself enough not to throw my body at every guy I meet. I've learned from my mistakes. </p> <p>Not a single man I've met in my age range is interested in a real relationship. They expect me to hop into bed with no commitment whatsoever. I value relationships, and commitment, and have no intention of behaving like this. It irritates me when I put myself out there and meet someone who I think is different, but as soon as they learn that I'm not going to give them sex, they forget all about me.</p> <p>I know I'm still young and that there are plenty of fish in the sea, but I am ready to settle down. I am far from perfect, but sometimes it seems as though I will never meet anyone worthwhile.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 18, 2021</p> af50a6c83677c500a25dc4a129215360 January 17, 2021 for 01/17/2021 Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: When my father passed away, I moved in with my mother to help with her bills. Five years later, I've paid off her mortgage and continue to live with her and pay her utilities. </p> <p>I now have the opportunity to purchase my own home. At age 33, I feel I need my own space. The predicament is, Mom cares for my ailing sister and her son every day. It means Mom doesn't have time to get a job to support herself. I've told her that I can afford to continue paying her utilities, but she refuses. She said if I move out, it's like I am "throwing her away like trash." </p> <p>My siblings weren't treated this way when they moved out and started their families, but they are making me feel selfish for wanting to be independent. Am I? Is it because I'm still single and don't have any kids? How can I help my mother and siblings see my point of view? &#8212; Emotionally Blackmailed <p>Updated: Sun Jan 17, 2021</p> be4882b8b7e15a539b747ba97d93079d January 16, 2021 for 01/16/2021 Sat, 16 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I read with great interest the letter from "At My Wits End," whose rude neighbors take up too many parking spots on her street. </p> <p>We had a similar situation a few years back. After several attempts to resolve the problem, I waited until the street was empty of cars due to street cleaning. I then called all of my friends and had them bring as many cars as they could and park them all over our street. I belong to three car clubs, and it was easy to fill every spot. I then printed up a letter that I circulated to our other neighbors explaining the reason for the cars and who was causing all the problems. </p> <p>One week of this, and the rude neighbor changed his ways. I even got thank-you notes from some of the other neighbors. I know you would never recommend this as a solution, but it worked for us. &#8212; California<p>Updated: Sat Jan 16, 2021</p> eeff80c42982970078b98091e029c125 January 15, 2021 for 01/15/2021 Fri, 15 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I met my husband in college. He was outgoing, handsome and a star athlete. We now have two beautiful babies and, I thought, a perfect marriage. </p> <p>A month ago, we had dinner with a couple we've known for years. One of them said something about "bisexuals," to which I replied, "There is no such thing. You are either gay or straight." Everyone looked uncomfortable.</p> <p>The next day, my husband told me said that he is bisexual. He said he'd had a relationship with another man in college before he met me. But he reassured me that I had nothing to worry about because he loves me and has no desire to be with anyone else of either sex. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021</p> ddfdf197d2c2f87a7adc931cef04c5f3 January 14, 2021 for 01/14/2021 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 30 years and we've had the same problem all of that time. She doesn't have an outside job, but she doesn't do much around the house, either. She doesn't clean and rarely cooks. It is always up to me to tidy up. I am forever picking up stuff, clearing piles of papers and eating mostly store-bought meals. </p> <p>After a day at work, I would like to relax a bit. But I cannot tolerate this type of messy, dirty atmosphere. It upsets me and I lose my temper. This has been going on for our entire marriage and nothing changes. When I raise my voice, I am blamed for having a temper and made out to be the bad guy, and around and around we go. What can I do? &#8212; Going Mad in Canada</p> <p>Dear Mad: This type of issue should be addressed early in a marriage, before the behavior comes entrenched and resentment builds. After 30 years of enabling, you are delusional if you expect your wife to suddenly turn into a housekeeper. Losing your temper obviously isn't working. Instead, find ways to cope. Can you hire cleaning help so that the house stays mostly tidy? We also recommend that you stop making an issue of it. Instead, say nothing. Cook your own meals, clean your own dishes, wash your own clothes, and if your wife objects, tell her as sweetly as possible that she is welcome to do the same.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 14, 2021</p> 01b13929d0db41d059a97d40c025146d January 13, 2021 for 01/13/2021 Wed, 13 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Several years ago my brother-in-law died. He had been married to my older sister for 50 years. They had no children. She did not want to live alone, nor did she want to live with a roommate. In order to solve the situation, I sold my home and bought a duplex where she could live in one unit and I would live in the other. This arrangement has worked out very well for both of us. </p> <p>Here's the issue: My siblings never visit with me, even though they often come to see my sister. I always learn of their visits after the fact, when my sister tells me about them in conversation. At first I was puzzled by their lack of consideration to take a few moments to say hello to me, at least periodically. But then I realized they had made a choice as to who they would visit and who they would not. </p> <p>If I happen to be at my sister's place when one of my siblings stops by, I am always very cordial. I spend a social amount of time in conversation with them and enjoy their company. I do not overstay my visit in order to allow them time to visit with one another. <p>Updated: Wed Jan 13, 2021</p> a452b4f9b741f6a8cbda0d3f832f2f7c January 12, 2021 for 01/12/2021 Tue, 12 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: In October, I visited my family in France. Three weeks after I returned home, the terrorist attacks occurred. My husband was out of town and I was all alone. My family in France, thankfully, was safe. </p> <p>I consider myself a loyal friend. However, only one person called to ask about my family and about me. That person was actually a business acquaintance. I am deeply grateful for that call, but truly surprised and disappointed that there were no others. A family member phoned two days later, saying he had been so busy with work that he didn't hear about the attacks until later. I was polite, but seriously, people would have to be living under a rock not to have heard the news immediately. </p> <p>It was an extremely difficult time for me, and I am terribly hurt and angry that no one else took a few seconds to ask whether my family was OK or to find out how I was handling things. I received a Christmas card from one friend who wrote only to brag about her job promotion. <p>Updated: Tue Jan 12, 2021</p> 1457f29cb8c3e9c74b29177bb5e2b4fa January 11, 2021 for 01/11/2021 Mon, 11 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I'm 48 and have been married to my beautiful wife for 21 years. Lately, whenever we argue, she will withhold sex. This could be anywhere from a week to three months. And she won't talk about it.</p> <p>This is putting a huge strain on our relationship. We've been to counseling for a year, but it hasn't helped. She tells me that men my age don't really need sex and that my libido is too high. Every fight we have brings back arguments from 10 or 15 years ago. It's like she cannot forgive and move on. </p> <p>Women wonder why men stray. I don't want to leave her, but I've had enough. How can I explain this to her? Every time I bring it up, she shuts me down. &#8212; Cut Off in Montreal<p>Updated: Mon Jan 11, 2021</p> 95c7b79d7a0307cb5000b4e9f260a8d5 January 10, 2021 for 01/10/2021 Sun, 10 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Six years ago, our son married a woman with a 4-year-old daughter. We immediately fell in love with this little girl. There is no biological father in the picture, and her maternal grandparents live out of state. We have always told her that we consider her to be our granddaughter, with everyone's blessing. </p> <p>This will be the second year that my husband and I have not been invited to her birthday party. Over the years, we have tried to do special things for her, such as outings, new clothes, toys and books, just as if we were her grandparents by blood. She never calls us "Grandma" or "Grandpa," but her parents say she refers to us as her grandparents to others. Our son was also given a birthday party by our daughter-in-law, and we were not invited to even stop by. </p> <p>I don't know why we are being left out of these celebrations and we are incredibly hurt. We spend other holidays together, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we are always very generous in contributing toward those times. We also help them if they run short of money. <p>Updated: Sun Jan 10, 2021</p> 9caa44c83264f4e8bd9f398ed0bd1ce7 January 9, 2021 for 01/09/2021 Sat, 09 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a 70-year-old woman, respectable, attractive, well-educated, retired and totally self-sufficient. I owe no one anything and ask for nothing. </p> <p>The problem is my family. Although I have always treated them with kindness and respect, they are extremely disrespectful and spiteful to me. My narcissistic drama queen "victim" sister, who brags how "competitive" she is, sobbingly tells our relatives that I am "so mean" and that I have said derogatory things about her and her husband. This is completely untrue. I have never said such things. I don't know exactly what she told them, but my relatives now barely speak to me. </p> <p>My sister has a history of going behind people's backs and making false accusations, but my extended family is unaware of this. She lied about poor treatment at her job and got several people fired. She is so manipulative and believable that no one ever questions the validity of her false accusations. Meanwhile, she looks like a helpless little victim, needing desperately to be rescued, as she is "only trying to do the right thing." <p>Updated: Sat Jan 09, 2021</p> 3de23a7396d6ae84703ddeba43ab44c5 January 8, 2021 for 01/08/2021 Fri, 08 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for a long time. In the last couple of years, she has developed an incontinence problem. She seems not to be aware of how bad it is. She leaves rather fragrant underwear in the hamper, and the odor is horrible. If I bring up the subject, she gets very angry. She is in denial. </p> <p>I wish I could suggest to her what her options are, what products are available for this problem and to wash her underwear more thoroughly. The odor is so strong, guests coming into the house can smell it. Maybe she simply can't tell how bad it is. What do you suggest I do? What do you suggest she do? This is a fairly urgent matter. Thank you. &#8212; Embarrassed</p> <p>Dear Embarrassed: Your wife might be surprised to learn that incontinence affects more than 25 million people in the U.S., and most cases are treatable. There are different types of incontinence: Stress incontinence (leaking when you cough, sneeze, laugh); urge incontinence (a sudden need to use the bathroom, usually due to other conditions, such as an infection); overflow incontinence (the bladder doesn't completely empty when you use the toilet); functional incontinence (wherein a physical or mental impairment creates a problem, such as severe arthritis that makes it difficult to unzip fast enough); or mixed incontinence (more than one type).<p>Updated: Fri Jan 08, 2021</p> ea42d99071381a541ddfdae88ec70afe January 7, 2021 for 01/07/2021 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My pay isn't great, but it's better than minimum wage. I get no benefits, and my boss refuses to train me for anything more skilled than what I'm doing now, because he needs me for the lowest position. I ride a bike to work, and he often has me work at multiple locations in the area, sending me to pick up supplies.</p> <p>Recently, he wanted to borrow my bike to get to an appointment and didn't want to pay for a cab. I said, "Nobody rides my bike but me." He was very insistent, but I still said no. If he damaged it and refused to pay, what would I do? </p> <p>Anyway, he said, "I'm going to remember this the next time you need a favor." I wasn't aware that I had ever asked him for a favor. When I questioned him, he rattled off the time I left early to see the doctor because of a job-related injury, and the time he gave me the day off because I was sick, and I had to agree to come in the morning anyway. I wasn't paid for the sick day, either. I once asked to attend a safety seminar, but he wouldn't allow it. I told him those "favors" don't count, but he was still angry.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 07, 2021</p> 9b1d536d7eab600582b5a5f2dc62edf6 January 6, 2021 for 01/06/2021 Wed, 06 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: Am I out of the loop or just a prude? It bothers me to see a mother cradling her infant child, one latching off and on to mom's exposed breast? This was the recent scene in the crowded men's department of a popular store. </p> <p>I am certainly in favor of nursing an infant, due to the enormous benefits to both the child and the mother. I nursed all three of my children. But this total exposure seems extreme. When in public, a scarf or a small lightweight blanket would be perfectly fine to cover the infant. I find the mother disrespectful of others and going too far in making her statement. </p> <p>I'd love to hear other comments on this subject. &#8212; Wondering Mom <p>Updated: Wed Jan 06, 2021</p>