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, 26 Aug 2019 01:46:39 -0700 Classic Annie's Mailbox from Creators Syndicate 43331c2deddd68de1818b8a15f8a13f1 August 26, 2019 for 08/26/2019 Mon, 26 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have been married to a wonderful man for 30 years. We have a large, supportive, loving family on both sides. I love my mother-in-law dearly. We have always had a wonderful, close relationship. </p> <p>Here's the problem. In Mom's will, it states that if she passes away before my husband, he receives the inheritance. If my husband passes away before his mother, our children receive the inheritance. While this is fine, it hurts me that I am not mentioned at all. My husband has talked to his mother about this oversight, and she said this is the way she wants her will set up. </p> <p>I have been a good wife, mother and daughter and don't understand why she would ignore me this way. I don't expect to inherit money, but a special token would be nice &#8212; perhaps a piece of jewelry that she wore or a cherished keepsake. The point is knowing that she thought of me.<p>Updated: Mon Aug 26, 2019</p> a9ede26b7acc04cd7acfd9b2cae3a4c3 August 25, 2019 for 08/25/2019 Sun, 25 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Our daughter will be a college freshman this year. She has been texting her new roommate so they can learn a little about each other.</p> <p>Our daughter recently received a text from her new roomie stating that her parents and boyfriend will be bringing her to the campus. Her parents will be staying in her brother's apartment, but the boyfriend is planning to stay in the girls' dorm room. The room has two twin beds and very little space.</p> <p>I was disappointed to hear this. My daughter is also bummed, but she is afraid to rock the boat with a new roommate. I contacted the university to see what their policy is. Even though it is an all-girl dorm, there is no policy against men staying in the rooms. <p>Updated: Sun Aug 25, 2019</p> 6a27bd9f00753a3ec5cd715f4fefacc5 August 24, 2019 for 08/24/2019 Sat, 24 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: A few years before my father passed away, he and I had a disagreement about the way he treated others in the family. After talking it over with my sister and brother, it was agreed that I would be the best one to stand up to him. I did this on a couple of occasions and felt that Dad and I were making some headway. But not long after, Dad died in his sleep. (He had a lot of health issues.)</p> <p>My sister and brother both put the blame on me. I made several attempts to get together with them to talk it through, but neither would have anything to do with me. My sister even got legal power of attorney over my mother and kept information about her from me. Then, when my mother died, my siblings decided we should be a family again because it is just the three of us. They now act as if nothing happened. </p> <p>Unfortunately, I cannot get over the horrible way they treated me. They were similarly unkind to my wife and child, which is the worst part. I went through sorrow, hate, guilt, etc., and finally reached the point where I stopped caring. I see my siblings occasionally, and they want to be friendly, but I am having a hard time accepting this. I feel they owe us an apology, at least one to my wife and child, and I don't see getting past this until it happens. I'd also like an explanation for their treatment, but I'm pretty sure I won't get that. Am I wrong? Should I let this go or stand my ground? &#8212; Confused Situation <p>Updated: Sat Aug 24, 2019</p> e640734e80723607f175f98f4028528c August 23, 2019 for 08/23/2019 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: We need some serious advice about a family member who is driving the entire family insane. When "Billy" was a child, he was considered gifted, and everyone predicted he would accomplish unbelievable things. After six years of college, he has no degree and is only qualified to be a bartender or a rugby player.</p> <p>But this hasn't stopped him from getting married and having three little kids. They all moved in with his mother and stepfather. They don't assist with any of the bills, but occasionally buy food that they mark as theirs and won't let anyone else eat. His wife has a good job, and we're afraid she might get tired of him being a deadbeat and leave.</p> <p>Billy has bounced from job to job and either quits or gets fired within weeks. He lost a managerial position when he was late the first day because he couldn't find his tie &#8212; he blamed it on his youngest child. Worse, he still thinks he's gifted. Several other members of our family have gone on to get degrees, but Billy makes remarks that indicate he's the genius and they haven't achieved anything. He dominates our family get-togethers. I don't think he realizes his faults or what he's doing to the rest of the family. He always claims to be the victim.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 23, 2019</p> 46605aa305ad90f41fe4b1fcb941a147 August 22, 2019 for 08/22/2019 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Here's my problem: 400-pound barbells dropped in my neighbor's garage. The young couple who moved in next door describe themselves as "practicing athletes" and pursue this hobby every night for 45 minutes. Each drop of the barbells is deafening and jolts our home. I have talked to "the athletes," and they don't care.</p> <p>Their two young daughters follow in their parents' footsteps by running to ring our doorbell and then dashing back home. They did it so many times that we had to have the doorbell disconnected.</p> <p>We have asked the police to stop the barbell noise, but they tell us people in our subdivision can make noise until 8 p.m. Waiting for this agonizing racket every night, day after day, is enough to make me sick. My nerves are in shreds. <p>Updated: Thu Aug 22, 2019</p> a1b5ec817abc91cd31abeddf005b147e August 21, 2019 for 08/21/2019 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have a question for parents. Why, when the kids' soccer, football or baseball games are over, do the parents open up the trunks of their cars and get out the beer? Tailgate parties with alcohol do not belong at children's events. </p> <p>When my children played sports, we went out for ice cream. Alcohol was not permitted before or after. What kind of behavior is this teaching our children? Where are the police? They have to know this is happening. Their children play sports, too. Not to mention, these same parents put their children in the car and drive home after drinking in the parking lot. Please explain this to me. &#8212; Concerned Grandparent </p> <p>Dear Concerned: There is no rational explanation. <span class="column--highlighted-text">These parents are irresponsible and idiotic.</span> The organizations or schools that sponsor the sports should issue rules about parental behavior before, during and immediately after the games, and you (or the parents of your grandchildren) should request that it be done.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 21, 2019</p> fc5d79bd5ea48b1b910e750dd89320e4 August 20, 2019 for 08/20/2019 Tue, 20 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: Eight months ago, our highly educated 43-year-old daughter informed my wife that she hates her. She put on a humiliating performance in front of her two children, a stepchild, her husband and us. We don't understand this at all, but she now wants nothing to do with us. </p> <p>We do not deserve such treatment. We have been good, helpful parents and grandparents. In March, I phoned my daughter and asked why she hates her mother. She refused to discuss it. Three months later, I wrote her a letter and asked again. She has not responded.</p> <p>Our daughter's first marriage was not good, and we helped her emotionally and financially. Is a therapist giving her bad advice? Does she have a split personality? Might she be in a cult? Is her husband pushing her to do this? Please help us find a reason for this shabby, disrespectful treatment. &#8212; Bewildered Dad in Illinois<p>Updated: Tue Aug 20, 2019</p> 754f37901cbec011b4cae65459a67a30 August 19, 2019 for 08/19/2019 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My 5-year-old son has been claiming to see the paranormal. I'm sure part of it is just his imagination. But sometimes he describes in great detail people and even pets who have died. He mainly claims to see a cousin he never met, but whom he can describe accurately. Sometimes, he will sit up in bed and start talking to a wall, saying he is talking to his cousin.</p> <p>Now he says he can see someone else. He isn't sure who it is, but it frightens him. My son won't even walk past the bedroom door without me or another adult with him and the bedroom light on. </p> <p>We don't let him watch scary movies or anything like that. Is it possible that he is really seeing these things? I've mentioned it to a few different ministers who just laughed it off and said there is no such thing as the paranormal. Any advice would be appreciated. &#8212; A Fan of Your Work <p>Updated: Mon Aug 19, 2019</p> 4d900b8ffeedd567714e14b79f1e983c August 18, 2019 for 08/18/2019 Sun, 18 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I recently purchased a new home. It took us a while to reach this point. In the course of trying to purchase, we were offered help by a good friend, "Mary," who lives 1,500 miles away. Mary referred us to her mortgage lender, also 1,500 miles away. We engaged the lender, who worked hard, but things didn't move as quickly as we needed, and we lost a large deposit on the house, along with the costs of an appraisal and inspection. This was money we could ill-afford.</p> <p>We recently found another house and used a local mortgage lender. Everything went smoothly, and we'll be moving soon. Here's the problem: Last month, Mary called to chew me out because we didn't use her mortgage person. I told Mary that we lost a lot of money due to that person's inability to help us, and we've moved on. Mary was mean and nasty and hung up on me. I haven't heard from her since. </p> <p>Mary and I have known each other for 30 years, and we've been through a great many of life's ups and downs. She's like a sister to me, and our husbands get along well, too. I was astonished that she would be so obtuse about what we'd been through. Mary often reacts like this when she's angry, but I wonder why it's up to me to make the effort to fix things. Should I reach out to her? It saddens me that such a longtime friendship would end this way, but I'm ready to let it go. &#8212; Arizona<p>Updated: Sun Aug 18, 2019</p> 2b6c973844a0c84c105186eb8df1174a August 17, 2019 for 08/17/2019 Sat, 17 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband and I used to be close to my mother-in-law. We took trips together and enjoyed one another's company. But since our oldest child was born, things have changed. Even though she has an open invitation, Mom rarely comes around. She often won't return phone calls or respond to emails and texts. </p> <p>Mom says because we won't let her babysit her grandchildren, she has no interest in seeing any of us. Annie, we have used babysitters maybe twice in the past six years. We have told her we would love to spend time with her as a family, and she says that will never happen. When my husband tries speaking to her in person, she gets angry. We are heartbroken.</p> <p>A few years ago, she was constantly buying expensive toys for our oldest child. We kindly asked that she stop, except for birthdays and Christmas or to give the kids money for their college accounts. This upset her, and as a result, none of us gets any cards or gifts for anything, even though we continue to buy presents for her. <p>Updated: Sat Aug 17, 2019</p> 9c14d48225234b181fc76c2e0e0a6562 August 16, 2019 for 08/16/2019 Fri, 16 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My mom is in her 70s. She always has had trouble controlling what comes out of her mouth, but it seems to be getting worse. </p> <p>Mom often insults others by making offensive comments or asking rude questions. When they attempt to respond, she laughs in their face. I have heard Dad rebuke her on occasion for this behavior, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. She goes on to offend or tease the next person.</p> <p>Mom monopolizes every conversation. She answers every question, even those not directed at her. She chatters nonstop and will not allow for any silence in a conversation. Simply being around her is exhausting.<p>Updated: Fri Aug 16, 2019</p> 9be47ffc5eb8f0e9b4f4e3c2a1df81f0 August 15, 2019 for 08/15/2019 Thu, 15 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm 50 years old and have two adult children. Their mother and I divorced 15 years ago. Throughout our marriage, my wife had many affairs. She's married twice since we split up. </p> <p>Five years ago, my son married a woman who has become close to my ex. My daughter-in-law has labeled me a mental case to many family members, friends and acquaintances. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen my son in the past five years, and each time, he was extremely disrespectful and said horrible things to me. They now have a 2-year-old son, whom I have seen only briefly on three occasions even though they live nearby. I believe my ex-wife has had a great influence in turning my son into a cold, ruthless person. </p> <p>I'm financially well off and recently updated my will to leave my son only $20 because of all the pain and anguish he has caused me. I prefer to distance myself from him, but I would like to have a relationship with my grandson. Is there any way to do this? &#8212; Proud Grandpa <p>Updated: Thu Aug 15, 2019</p> 1b05614babe39f64315f1e1c6183d8b8 August 14, 2019 for 08/14/2019 Wed, 14 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My dad passed away three years ago. He was one of my best friends, and we shared a love of classic automobiles. </p> <p>The day Dad died, I chose to stay at work rather than go to the hospital. I run a business, and if I don't work, I don't get paid. That evening, when I tried to console my mother, she asked, "Where were you?" She refused to look at me, so I left.</p> <p>To my mother and her side of the family, it seems I am always doing the wrong thing. It was Dad who encouraged me to go my own way. My sister and her husband took over the sale of my mother's house. I didn't ask for anything. However, I do know classic car restorers and offered to help with the sale of my father's cars when Mother said she wanted to get rid of them. <p>Updated: Wed Aug 14, 2019</p> 140ca22de3ea29677cbc6983cb0e7296 August 13, 2019 for 08/13/2019 Tue, 13 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: How do you get help for a friend who appears to be drifting into dementia? </p> <p>"Marjorie" and I have known each other for more than 20 years, and we have lunch every two weeks. When we first met, Marjorie was bright, energetic and involved in many activities. She is now in her mid-60s. </p> <p>Two years ago, she suffered a couple of mini-strokes. At first, there were no obvious changes, but as time goes on, it has become more and more difficult to converse with her. She speaks in non sequiturs, has great difficulty finding the right word to express herself and often uses inappropriate phrases. She frequently misunderstands what I am saying and responds oddly. She now has considerable difficulty dealing with calculating the amount of her lunch check tip. <p>Updated: Tue Aug 13, 2019</p> cd9e91a635597bf4451ae43738119244 August 12, 2019 for 08/12/2019 Mon, 12 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I'm a young woman with a degree in education. After spending several years as a student teacher and co-teacher, I decided that I really don't want to remain in teaching. I know I should have switched majors in college, but I hoped this would work out. I also was worried about what my family would think. </p> <p>These same well-meaning family members are now actively pushing me to accept a teaching position in a nearby small town. I went to the interview to please them, but the entire time, I was wishing I were somewhere else. I have told only my immediate family that I'm going to turn down the job if offered. </p> <p>So what do I tell these other relatives about my job decision? How do I keep them off my back? I'm already suffering health issues due to anxiety, and I don't know how much more I can take. I'm tempted to move out of the area, but I love living in my town. Any help would be much appreciated. &#8212; Ready To Run Away <p>Updated: Mon Aug 12, 2019</p> c09bd316e2c6c5cd62d41dcdaef0b0a6 August 11, 2019 for 08/11/2019 Sun, 11 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am the mother of a biracial child. My son's father, "Derek," and I are not currently together, as he resides some distance away, but we visit often so Derek and our son can have a relationship. Ultimately, we would like to be together. </p> <p>The problem is my father. He is not, and never has been, a fan of interracial dating. Over the past five years, he has come to accept his grandson, but on more than one occasion, he has expressed his "disgust" and "disapproval" of the relationship I have with Derek, even using the "n" word. I have zero tolerance for this. My father doesn't have to like Derek, and I've never tried to force a relationship between them. But he needs to respect that I'm an adult, and regardless of whether Derek and I are together, I am going to encourage him to have a healthy relationship with our son. </p> <p>How do I get my father to understand this and, in the meantime, allow him to have a relationship with his grandchild when he harbors such ignorance and animosity? &#8212; Stuck<p>Updated: Sun Aug 11, 2019</p> 8c937d8e13ad00aaa363a9dab57898c3 August 10, 2019 for 08/10/2019 Sat, 10 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have a dear friend who means a lot to me. "Sherri" moved in with her boyfriend, and as their relationship began to spiral downward, they started seeing other people while still living together. Some of this was done without the other's knowledge, although each of them has been caught by the other on several occasions. </p> <p>Sherri has been pressuring her boyfriend to stay faithful to her and cease contact with his other girlfriends. But at the same time, she confides in me about her ongoing intimate relationships with several other men in her life, for which she feels no remorse or guilt.</p> <p>This is my problem: While she is sharing her happy escapades with me and admitting she has no intention of ending her other relationships, she asks me almost daily for advice on keeping him "in line" and making him stop seeing other girls. I have managed to remain diplomatic with my responses, saying, "You both need to decide what works for you individually, and either agree to an open relationship or part ways." But she still bombards me daily for advice. She doesn't seem to grasp that relationships are a two-way street. <p>Updated: Sat Aug 10, 2019</p> 6433cb405b455365eb75b1f27ae1bddb August 9, 2019 for 08/09/2019 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I have one surviving parent nearing 90 years old, who until five years ago was able to live completely independently. A serious injury greatly reduced Dad's mobility and caused chronic pain and hearing impairment. But he is mentally competent and able to live at home with some help. </p> <p>I live a couple of hours away, but I talk to Dad daily, supply nutritionally correct homemade frozen meals and make regular trips to help with house and yard work, minor repairs, appointments, errands and so forth. I also have a job and provide limited care for an in-law, as well, and my husband has serious chronic health issues that also require significant care. I am spread thin, and I am tired. </p> <p>The problem is my sister, who is single, retired, has no children and lives walking distance from Dad. She likes to play the martyr, insisting that Dad's condition is far worse than it really is and that he's had dementia for 20 years. She claims to be his 24-hour caregiver. None of this is true. In fact, Dad tells me that my sister rarely calls him, and when she does, she is verbally abusive. <p>Updated: Fri Aug 09, 2019</p> 381195b07a39668c7b04c01d8d0a9652 August 8, 2019 for 08/08/2019 Thu, 08 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My daughter was recently ordered by the court to have her 5-year-old son visit his biological father and grandparents every other weekend. They live 200 miles away.</p> <p>The boy has always lived with his mother, because the biological father felt he was not ready to be a dad and deserted them. He and his parents cut off contact for five years, and now they have decided they want to spend time with the boy.</p> <p>Here's the disturbing part. When at their house, my grandson is not permitted to eat at the family table. He eats at a small table in the corner. He's only permitted to eat or drink at certain times, he cannot phone his mother when he wants, he sleeps in a room in the basement, he must call the grandparents by specific names or they won't speak to him, and most recently, he came home with so many mosquito bites that he required medical attention. Once, the biological father brought him home so sick that he missed a week of school.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 08, 2019</p> 63d96ed357093aac6eae0a2c3a212525 August 7, 2019 for 08/07/2019 Wed, 07 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 13-year-old boy and can't talk about this with anyone I know.</p> <p>My father isn't in my life. It never mattered because I have the best older brother anyone could ask for. "Tommy" is 21, and he is my hero. He helps me with my homework, teaches me about life, takes me places, protects me and loves me unconditionally. </p> <p>But here's the problem. I think I'm in love with him. Is that possible? He's all I can think about. I'm not gay. I like girls. I have never felt this way about any other guy. Tommy has a girlfriend, and they plan to get married. He's never done anything to make me think he has other feelings for me, although he's very affectionate. He gives me hugs and kisses the top of my head.<p>Updated: Wed Aug 07, 2019</p>