Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 25 Jan 2021 21:31:56 -0800 Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate 1f5f6b955aef82455a84d2f0c2314a2d Horse Has Left the Barn for 01/26/2021 Tue, 26 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Readers: A number of you wrote in concerned about the woman who is Living With Scrooge, the husband who has plenty of money but keeps his wife on a tight budget and makes her life miserable. I suggested marriage counseling, which many readers agreed with, but an equal number feel that the horse has left the barn and I should have advised her to run for the hills. I would agree if there were an issue of physical safety, but that was not the case. Still, I find alternative opinions to be interesting and wanted to share some with you.</p> <p>Dear Annie: Pease get back to this lady. By the tone of her letter and what was left unsaid, I'm sure she is being emotionally, and even perhaps physically, abused. I would definitely suggest that this lady leave Scrooge as soon as possible. She is suffering, and God knows what her insides (heart, liver and brain) must be like, slowly dying as well.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 26, 2021</p> 39c8458e564f745874e90f3c6cd387e7 Communicate Through Challenges for 01/25/2021 Mon, 25 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been together since 2008 and married since 2011. We slept in the same bed, held hands and talked about everything in the beginning. Then, in 2013, he got a job in Iowa. I stayed home until my youngest went to college.</p> <p>I joined him in September 2014. He wasn't the same man I fell in love with and married. Remember, I said we talked about everything. But he doesn't communicate with me anymore.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 25, 2021</p> 6b11cf52b87672fb70ed97f1a5e6d6d0 TMI Phone Calls for 01/24/2021 Sun, 24 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I've noticed a strange habit that some people seem to have. Recently, several friends have talked to me on the phone while using the bathroom. I can hear everything that is going on, including the toilet flushing. It makes me very uncomfortable. Is it proper etiquette to be using the bathroom while talking on the phone?&#8212; Heard Too Much</p> <p>Dear Heard: Is that a rhetorical question? <span class="column--highlighted-text">No, it is not polite to bring someone into the bathroom with you telephonically. </span>The next time someone does this, don't be afraid to say: "I'll try you back later. You sound busy." <p>Updated: Sun Jan 24, 2021</p> 233c9054800c101e3c16601564a9e1c3 Feeling Frustrated By Family for 01/23/2021 Sat, 23 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: All my life, since I was a kid, I always got abuse, judgment and blame from my own family. Now, as an adult, I still get all of that. When I got divorced, my family thought it was their right to judge and blame me. And they cut me off like I didn't exist. It's like I did some terrible crime so they had to punish me. There have been so many family functions and gatherings over the last few years, but no one invited me, as though I didn't matter. It was hard, but I tried to deal with it, and slowly moved on with my new normal. </p> <p>Then, earlier this year, out of nowhere, my sister contacted me after so many years as if nothing happened. And she still seems to think that they did nothing wrong. And I have a hard time accepting what my sisters and brother did to me. So, I expressed to them that I was still upset about the way they treated me in the past &#8212; and then the attacks started. They said that the reason I was divorced was because I was so difficult.</p> <p>Just to be clear, they were the ones who cut me off. I didn't break my relations with them. But it looks like that is the only way they will accept me if I agree that it was all my fault, that I deserved to be cut off. How do I accept it? I am a human being and didn't deserve such cruelty and punitive behaviors.<p>Updated: Sat Jan 23, 2021</p> b48c04580438ff62834f648fb30c6ab3 Daughter Driving Drives Mom Crazy for 01/22/2021 Fri, 22 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My daughter, "Emily," has been dating "Ben" for almost two years. Ben is a great guy, aside from one issue that's been bugging me: He refuses to drive anywhere and instead has my daughter drive him. He says it's because a few years ago he was in a car accident and has been scared to drive since. (He was not hurt in the accident.) He has Emily drive him to and from work every day. Emily never complains about it, but it drives me insane because Emily and her kids were also in a car accident a few years back and suffer PTSD from that accident. Ben is aware of this, but doesn't seem to get it. He thinks it's no big deal for Emily to get over her fear while avoiding getting over his fear. I want to say something to him so badly, but I haven't. And every time I say something to my daughter, she gets upset with me. How can I approach the situation without making it worse? &#8212; Miffed Mom</p> <p>Dear Miffed: Your intentions are good, and your irritation is understandable. But Emily is the one behind the wheel, figuratively and literally. When she's tired of driving him, she can stop. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Meanwhile, you can earn interest by keeping your two cents in the bank: </span>If you avoid offering advice when your daughter hasn't asked, she'll be more likely to ask you for advice. <p>Updated: Fri Jan 22, 2021</p> a9a4c686db53f014aa0919064024c31c Video Conferencing Tips for 01/21/2021 Thu, 21 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Throughout the pandemic, <span class="column--highlighted-text">I've noted some things that make for a successful Zoom or FaceTime call. </span>Perhaps these suggestions will be of use to your readers. </p> <p>1. Look at yourself on your screen. What you see is what others will see.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 21, 2021</p> a684cf98490b5c406a22aa94ec36e636 The Need for Personal Responsibility for 01/20/2021 Wed, 20 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: This letter is a message to "Fed Up," the reader whose husband dotes on their daughters. She needs to know that her husband, as well-meaning as he is, is NOT doing your daughters any favors. I know this all too well by example. My mother never learned to be independent. From her earliest childhood, my grandparents took care of my mother and father: Paying for their mortgage, bailing them out when they got into monetary trouble because of my father, and so much more. </p> <p>Grandma continued this practice after my Grandpa passed, until the day she passed away. I was informed by Grandma, who I loved dearly, on my 16th birthday, that she expected me to grow up and fill her shoes. I was expected to take care of my mother, as she knew very well that my mother wasn't capable of it. <p>Updated: Wed Jan 20, 2021</p> 40a01709d331d75de16e7891efa35011 Eroded Trust for 01/19/2021 Tue, 19 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My fiance and I want to go back to the way we were, but it is more of a struggle for me than for him. We are planning to get an apartment together, but it is hard for me to be around him without getting upset. I have been going through a lot lately, and finding out that my fiance was lying to me was one of the worst things that has happened. At first, it was something minor, and I just chose to keep my mouth shut, but the next morning he was on his phone, and I saw pictures of naked women that he tried to hide fast. I tried to get the truth out of him, but he lied. </p> <p>We went to the lake to talk about it, and it just kept escalating. He's been doing it for seven months. I found out and was actually contacting someone to get these pictures. This is cheating, isn't it? He also had multiple accounts for stuff like that which he had to pay for. He promised not to do it again, but I struggle to believe it when he continues to lie to me about different things. I want to move on and be happy with him, but when something similar comes up, I break down. What should I do? &#8212; Confused and Lost. <p>Updated: Tue Jan 19, 2021</p> eb51705a187beef91067a323cdda62ce Honoring King's Legacy for 01/18/2021 Mon, 18 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p><span style="background-color: initial;">Dear Readers: Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Please enjoy the below excerpt from one of the most important speeches in history.</span><br></p> <p>"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'<p>Updated: Mon Jan 18, 2021</p> 2f2704710be754a5d0e4b0dc2667331f The Fast Lane to Happiness for 01/17/2021 Sun, 17 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I recently had to go to a big-box store to purchase something that I couldn't get online. The checkout lines on the grocery side of the store were six people deep, but if you looked beyond, to the other side of the store, there were no lines. I've been trying to teach family and friends this lesson &#8212; to look beyond themselves &#8212; for some time. </p> <p>Every Christmas, I get invited to a gathering so I won't have to be alone. While I try to converse with guests, since I don't have kids or grandkids to talk about, I wind up alone at the party anyway. No one wants to talk about books or world events.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 17, 2021</p> 9e22c52d44cf8104d1fa95246d1829b8 Daughter With a Nasty Habit for 01/16/2021 Sat, 16 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have a beautiful daughter in her mid-20s. She is attractive, bright, friendly and hardworking. She has so much going for her. She does have a peculiar bad habit: She picks her nose in public. It's not just a quick pick when no one is looking. This is a thorough deep cleaning without a tissue.</p> <p>I have tried to talk to her about this, but her response is: "People need to accept me for who I am. If they don't like me because I pick my nose, I don't need them as friends." I can't help but think that her behavior is more than just a bad habit. I think there is a deep-rooted problem that drives her to do this. I think she uses it as a test to see whether people accept her and, perhaps, to drive some people away.</p> <p>I have discussed this with other members of our family and her friends. They all say about the same thing: "If she wants to pick her nose, let her pick her nose." I love her and want to see her succeed in life. I think her habit is holding her back socially, and it may affect her in her future career. I can't help but think that this a form of personal sabotage.<p>Updated: Sat Jan 16, 2021</p> 485fc14f1750d2735ef99ee5d0607ca5 Dating With Autism for 01/15/2021 Fri, 15 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am a 36-year-old man living with my father. I also have autism, and because of this, I have had difficulty in dating women.</p> <p>For a few years, I was on the dating website called I Love Your Accent (I had been on 10 other sites prior to that), which matches American and British singles, but nothing happened.</p> <p>Then, last fall, I downloaded the app UK Social and became friends with a British girl from Birmingham. As it turned out, she was not trustworthy. She asked for money, and I had to end the conversation. My mother got upset and intervened.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 15, 2021</p> 8f0f0aeeb98a8a9c90f2046bc8defd60 Gratitude Lacking for 01/14/2021 Thu, 14 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: There are three sisters in my family. Two of us are childless. Our other sister now has seven grandchildren. Every Christmas and birthday, my other childless sister and I send a check to each grandniece and grandnephew. We never expect any gifts in return, but it would be nice to receive a text message or an email acknowledging our gifts. My other childless sister and I also receive regular solicitations to contribute to special funds &#8212; for example, one to pay for band uniforms.</p> <p>Upon any graduation from high school, my other childless sister and I are expected to attend the event and pay for our own airfare, a hotel room, a car rental and other expenses, which is fine. But then we are both expected to work in the kitchen to assist with an elaborate gathering for many people &#8212; which I know is very expensive.</p> <p>My other childless sister feels as if it would be unfair to the younger grandnieces and grandnephews to stop sending checks because we have sent so many checks to the older ones and they are ungrateful. I think that it is time to stop sending checks. Your opinion, please. &#8212; Checked Out<p>Updated: Thu Jan 14, 2021</p> e44a6c8b390e52fa39f570de6254651f The Other Women for 01/13/2021 Wed, 13 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I am an attractive and well-educated divorced woman. Recently, a man whom I dated several years ago contacted me. We are both 70. Our reunion was great. We have been getting along very well and communicating daily ever since. We live across the country from each other. He invited me to his home, where I was his guest for three weeks. When we were alone, we had a wonderful time. We have great chemistry and enjoy each other's company, sense of humor and personality. He tells me that he loves me. I love him, too.</p> <p>My problem is that during my visit, it became apparent that he has numerous female "friends" (most single, some married) who are neighbors. He talked to them many times a day. They called constantly, and he took the calls privately. He even stopped in the middle of our being intimate to take calls from these women. He confides everything to them and refuses to say "no" to them.</p> <p>On my last night with him, we had a romantic evening for just the two of us planned at home. He told his "harem" (as he calls his female friends) about our plans, and the women immediately told him they were coming over because they wanted to say goodbye to me. Instantly, his mob of postmenopausal women showed up. A married woman whose husband was out of town kissed my boyfriend on the lips several times, and he kissed her back, in front of me. This was very disrespectful, and it makes me wonder what they do when they are alone with each other, which they sometimes are. None of the women said "goodbye " to me, which was their excuse for monopolizing our evening. Actually, I'm pretty sure it was just a power play on the women's part, to keep my boyfriend and me from having a romantic last evening together.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 13, 2021</p> 20c7fd97409994bb9154b6a9524bfd4a Wedding Invitation Snub for 01/12/2021 Tue, 12 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My youngest daughter, "Marta," is beautiful and caring but intellectually challenged. I have always encouraged all my kids to do what makes them happy, and she is no different. A couple of years ago, she met a wonderful man through mutual friends, "Brian." After dating for almost a year, they married last fall. We could not ask for anyone more caring and giving. Brian makes Marta his first priority as a spouse, partner and friend in his life.</p> <p>The reason I'm writing: My second-youngest daughter, "Elle," who is 27, is getting married this fall and wants to invite Marta but not Brian.</p> <p>Elle and her fiance would have preferred to skip this whole ordeal altogether and just get married at the courthouse. But they are doing the wedding his parents want (spending money that is supposed to be saved for a down payment on a house, but I digress). Elle has been really stressed out about it from the outset.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 12, 2021</p> 476055b49decbff05913fe23a6339c1c Lack of Long-Distance Trust for 01/11/2021 Mon, 11 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: About six months ago, my boyfriend, "Jordan," relocated to another state for work. We've talked about my eventually moving there, too, so we could be together, but we've held off making firm plans. He says he needs more time to settle in to life there. He also says he wants to be positive he sees himself at this job long term before I uproot my life, too.</p> <p>He visited twice within the first month after moving, but in the past five months, he's visited only once. I went out there once a couple of months ago. We do talk on the phone or video chat every other day, which helps.</p> <p>The reason I'm writing is this. A friend of mine was recently in Jordan's town for work. She is single and uses a dating app that shows people within a few-mile radius. While she was on her trip, she was scrolling through profiles, when she came across Jordan and recognized him. (She's never met him in real life, but she'd seen photos of us.) She sent me a screenshot. I was shocked. I asked her to connect with him on the app to see what he said. He messaged her back almost immediately &#8212; but not because he recognized her as a friend of mine. He thought she was just a random woman, and he started chatting her up and asking what she was up to.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 11, 2021</p> 0c572f96f0c5f4affa10a26e7d9321ff Hoarding Isn't Logical for 01/10/2021 Sun, 10 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: My sister is 75 years old. She is a hoarder. She has lived at home her whole life and started accumulating junk soon after my dad died 10 years ago. If something comes into the house, it isn't going out, as it is with most hoarders. So you can imagine what an appalling situation it has become.</p> <p>My sister took care of my mom, who was in a wheelchair until she died two years ago at age 93. I spent thousands of dollars between the time when my mom became ill and when she died, driving a 50-mile round trip every day for six years to help my sister take care of her. And I continued to do so every other weekend after our mom died, bringing my grandsons to visit so my sister wouldn't feel lonely.</p> <p>Recently, I took a tumble at the dog park and fractured my kneecap. I asked my sister whether I could borrow one of Mom's wheelchairs for a while. She told me to go look for one at Goodwill.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 10, 2021</p> 6811c32d9f900499f7dfb1cd33081252 Late Husband's Family Bothering Me for 01/09/2021 Sat, 09 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm a 39-year-old mom of four. My husband recently passed away, in April of this year. </p> <p>His family was never very kind to me when he was alive, and they haven't changed now that he's gone. I've been dealing with their judgment and hostility. They find any little thing they can to criticize me and gossip about me. And I'm just wondering how to stop them from talking about my life when they have no idea what they're talking about. Please help! &#8212; Mrs. Fed Up<p>Updated: Sat Jan 09, 2021</p> b034005d01395a48c0b4828a3a2d1f75 Lack of Intimacy for 01/08/2021 Fri, 08 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I have been together for five years. This last year, there has been no physical intimacy between us at all. We vibe very well in our relationship being partners in a small business. He says he is still attracted to me and keeps on blaming our busy work lives for lack of sex. But we are usually home before 10 p.m. and we rarely work on weekends. When we used to have sex, he struggled with erectile dysfunction. </p> <p>I even asked him if he would go to the doctor to see if he had a problem. He agreed to make an appointment, but when the day came he made excuses and did not go. Now it's gotten to the point where I've stopped trying, and he's not trying either. Can you please help with some advice here? &#8212; It's Been a Year<p>Updated: Fri Jan 08, 2021</p> ac7935b774cd4a94f20681b57d00e56a Dinner Guest with No Conscience for 01/07/2021 Thu, 07 Jan 2021 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My wife and I have a close friend whom, in non-pandemic times, we invited over for dinner or cocktails at least once or twice a week. We've spent many holidays together over the last 10 or so years. We love her like a sister.</p> <p>The only problem is she never brings anything to our house, and I mean never. She also has never invited us over to her house for drinks, dinner or anything, except to take care of her animals when she is gone on shopping trips. Once in a while, like on holidays, we've tried asking her to bring a dessert or something like that, and she's acted like it's a real pain. The one time that she agreed to bring a dessert, she asked us to pick up the ingredients and said she'd make it at our place. How do we bring up our frustrations with this? We don't want to hurt her feelings. But come on, enough is enough. &#8212; Hosed Host<p>Updated: Thu Jan 07, 2021</p>