Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 19 Oct 2019 18:19:59 -0700 Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate 25611826f2f2cacad444721b71a2ba9b Adding an Appetizer, Subtracting a Slight for 10/19/2019 Sat, 19 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I live in the Midwest. My husband and I have a good friend who dines with us quite often, usually once or twice a week, as well as on holidays. She is a longtime friend. The problem is this: She never brings anything with her when asked to dinner. She never asks us to her place for a meal. She never offers to buy dinner when we go out, maybe once a year. She never offers to bring carryout. She is fairly close and watches our house when we are out of town, which we appreciate. How do we proceed with solving this problem without alienating her? &#8212; Hungry</p> <p>Dear Hungry: The next time you invite her over for dinner, simply say, "Oh, by the way, would you please bring an appetizer" (or dessert or side dish). Mention it as though it's the most natural thing in the world. There's no reason for you to feel awkward. It's perfectly appropriate. If you have any hesitations, just imagine if the tables were turned &#8212; that you'd been dining at a friend's house for years and then she casually asked you to bring something to dinner that week. Would you feel indignant? No. If anything, you'd perhaps feel embarrassed that she had to ask. <p>Updated: Sat Oct 19, 2019</p> 9e415bd945ca3c8756660ae904806963 Is This Real Love? for 10/18/2019 Fri, 18 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I read your column almost every morning, and I'd love to hear your advice on my situation. I am 20 years old. I'll be turning 21 this December. (Yippee!) My first real boyfriend and I have been off and on the last six years. Even at our young age, we used drugs, but both have succeeded in our battle against the addiction. </p> <p>I love my boyfriend very much but sometimes he can be off-putting. He can often get loud and yell and get mad very quickly. Though it's been many years since it happened, he often brings up the time I cheated on him not long after we first got together. I have admitted my wrongs, but he never just understands how much I just want to move past that and be happy together. <p>Updated: Fri Oct 18, 2019</p> c284bafe05ab0f80e955726929d9280c Disappearing Daughter-In-Law for 10/17/2019 Thu, 17 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Dear Annie: My son was married eight months ago and now lives on the other side of the country. During their courtship, engagement and wedding, I did everything I could to be friends with his wife. I bought her a rehearsal dinner dress, which she approved of at first. I helped her dress for the dinner. I invited her to go shopping. I called. I texted. I reached out because I knew she would not be so inclined.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 17, 2019</p> 5f07685dee460d0e9d83ba94fde9b2d8 Sending Love After Loss for 10/16/2019 Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: When I lost our son to suicide in 2012, there were no words to take away the pain. I understood that clumsy attempts to console were well-intended and appreciated the intent.</p> <p>However, there was one card that meant so much that I still keep where I can see it. <span class="column--highlighted-text">It says, "Everything that love could do was done."</span><p>Updated: Wed Oct 16, 2019</p> affdf28faf833b8905a0beb93fe09852 Not Very Neighborly for 10/15/2019 Tue, 15 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My neighbor has a huge tree growing squarely in the middle of her yard. The tree is so big that a limb crashed down and broke part of a fence I share with another neighbor. I was left with the repair and the cleanup. When I mentioned this situation and my safety concern to the neighbor with the tree, she responded, "Whatever falls onto your property is not my responsibility." My understanding is that I have a right to prune branches that might overhang my property, but is it my obligation to hire a company, scale the tree and have it pruned? Isn't it the homeowner's responsibility to maintain this massive tree and have it properly pruned so as not to endanger the well-being and property of a neighbor? &#8212; "Arboring" a Grudge</p> <p>Dear "Arboring" a Grudge: It sounds like your neighbor is not acting very neighborly. <span class="column--highlighted-text">She is lucky that the limb only harmed the fence and not a person or animal. </span>While she might be correct that it is not her technical responsibility, it should be her moral responsibility to help you with your fence, especially because it was her tree that caused the damage. Perhaps you live in an association where you can speak with the head about the dangers of that tree. Sadly, if the tree is 100% on your neighbor's lawn, it is her right to do with the tree what she wants. The only thing you have the right to do is trim the leaves that hang onto your property.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 15, 2019</p> 8f7db6850b870f461e4bda0416d96ee5 Looking to Hop Off the Hamster Wheel for 10/14/2019 Mon, 14 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I guess my question is more just about the state of my life. I went to great schools, played college sports, got married to a wonderful woman, and we have four terrific children. We live in a nice house.</p> <p>Yet despite all these outward appearances of success, I don't feel satisfied. It is as if I work and work, get the house and then want a bigger or new house. No matter what happens, it's never enough.<p>Updated: Mon Oct 14, 2019</p> 205bc4ddd910cffffef20670372c373c Being the Best Example for 10/13/2019 Sun, 13 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm a 62-year-old woman. Twelve months ago, at my check up, my doctor recommended that I eliminate animal products from my diet due to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. </p> <p>It seemed like an insurmountable task, but my will to be healthy as I age is bigger than that! <p>Updated: Sun Oct 13, 2019</p> 155d8b91cfbe451092155df22b471983 Don't Put Your Feet Up for 10/12/2019 Sat, 12 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Every day, I see kids in the front passenger seat with their feet on the dashboard.</p> <p>This is incredibly dangerous. In a low-impact crash that does not signal air bag deployment, this body position has moved the seat belt, assuming it's being used, off the waist and onto the abdomen, and near the throat. Worse, though, is the knees are in completely the wrong orientation to flex and move with the force of the crash.<p>Updated: Sat Oct 12, 2019</p> 46c216d8d73ef4a43368b5c9afee6ff1 Doesn't Want to Share the Title of 'Grandma' for 10/11/2019 Fri, 11 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I've been divorced for a long time. My ex-husband, "Joe," is living with "Sue." She is the one who broke us up. I don't care about that part anymore; she can have him. </p> <p>I'm upset because my granddaughter got married recently, and they gave Sue a corsage, too. When I saw them give it to her, I said to myself, "What the heck?" My other daughter was with me and she said, "Get over it, Ma." I was hurt but said nothing. <p>Updated: Fri Oct 11, 2019</p> a40373dba02cc0e1325acc30596bfd22 No Need to Be Friends for 10/10/2019 Thu, 10 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My boyfriend broke up with me pretty suddenly and over the phone right after spring semester ended. We haven't talked over the summer, and now that school started this fall, it's been pretty awkward. I still have feelings for him and a lot of questions. Since we haven't talked to each other for about four months, I don't know how to start talking to him again. I don't even know if talking to him is a good idea. </p> <p>After he broke up with me, he said he still wanted to be good friends, and I told him that I honestly didn't think I could be friends with him. I don't know what to do. What do you think I should do? &#8212; Uneasy at University<p>Updated: Thu Oct 10, 2019</p> a9d378d7b06f6a7777309bb2449c7fe1 35-Year-Old Surprise for 10/09/2019 Wed, 09 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: We received a shocking message on our answering machine a few days ago. A woman called and identified herself as a possible daughter from an affair 35 years ago. Later, a woman left a message saying she was the mother. I have not been in contact with this woman for 31 years!</p> <p>Later, I told my wife of 30 years, to whom I have been faithful. When I made those vows, I meant every word of them.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 09, 2019</p> 331b7805d640f5e35d3de72fb4202f5c Hostile Husband Needs to Stop Animal Harassment for 10/08/2019 Tue, 08 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am 28 years old, and recently celebrated my second wedding anniversary. I have been with my husband, Tom, for a total of five years, but due to immigration trials and tribulations, we have only been living together full time for two-and-a-half years (first in the United States and now in the United Kingdom).</p> <p>My issue is my husband's relationship with my beloved 9-year-old cat, Whiskers.<p>Updated: Tue Oct 08, 2019</p> c31043e06875cd33fbef4a87a3641244 Motormouth Needs to Listen to His Wife for 10/07/2019 Mon, 07 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Annie: My husband loves to talk. He's known for it. Friends who drive past our house and see him outside usually stop to talk to him, often for an hour at a time. He's one of those people who's "never met a stranger." Many times, I have seen him have long conversations with people he's just met at the farm store &#8212; or just about anywhere.</p> <p>This love of conversation does not appear to carry over to talking to his wife, though &#8212; unless it's a conversation he started. I am expected to respond to everything he says, but it doesn't work that way in return. He has hearing aids, which he doesn't wear all the time, and I had been attributing his lacking responses to that. But now, I'm beginning to wonder. He appears able to communicate with everyone else!</p> <p>Sometimes, when I ask him if he heard what I just said, he claims he not only heard me but answered me &#8212; even though I was looking at him and didn't see his lips move. <p>Updated: Mon Oct 07, 2019</p> c25ff830017321af8d351f2e3d386235 Dining Deportment for 10/06/2019 Sun, 06 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: When I see someone with all four knuckles on top of a fork, I thank my lucky stars for my mother and the many, many lessons she taught me in my 19 years with her. So, Annie, what is the proper way to grasp a fork? &#8212; Thankful in the Bluegrass</p> <p>Dear Thankful in the Bluegrass: I think you already have a pretty good grasp of the subject, thanks to your dear mother. There's the European, or continental, style of holding a fork, in which the left hand holds the fork, with the tines pointing downward, the index finger resting on the back of the fork. Then there is the American way, in which the fork is held like a pen. <span class="column--highlighted-text">In neither style does one grip the fork with all four fingers wrapped around it, "When's dinner"-style.</span> <p>Updated: Sun Oct 06, 2019</p> 2897129132052cd475003efd9189704a Which Do You Prefer? for 10/05/2019 Sat, 05 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: For a long time now, my wife has had a habit of making our server choose what side dishes she is going to have. If there is a choice of wedding soup or creamy chicken and potato or broccoli or peas, my wife will often say to the server, "Surprise me." I think this puts pressure on the server. What if my wife does not like the choice that someone else made for her? &#8212; Puzzled in PA</p> <p>Dear Puzzled in PA: At upscale restaurants, it's not uncommon to let the chef select your meal. At chain restaurants and more casual places, I can see how this question might put unfair pressure on employees. However, <span class="column--highlighted-text">I'd be curious to hear from servers on this topic.</span> <p>Updated: Sat Oct 05, 2019</p> dcd58f51ada01ed35888efe1c00e62b5 Not Pictured: Mom for 10/04/2019 Fri, 04 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm the mother of six children, three girls and three boys. I've discovered something that is hurtful to me. At my daughters' homes, they have lots of photos of me and their dad and me alone or with them. But at my sons' homes, there are no photos of me or even me with one of them. One son has a group photo with me in it. They have their own photos as parents out prominently though. They seem to like me. I know it isn't true in all families, but I'm wondering if boys are just not aware of things like this or what? Our daughters-in-law are uncaring. &#8212; Dumbfounded</p> <p>Dear Dumbfounded: There are many ways of expressing love. Just because someone isn't showing you that they love you in all the ways you'd prefer doesn't mean they don't. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Your sons are inviting you into their homes, and that matters far more than the decor.</span> Let this one go, and be grateful for your time together. <p>Updated: Fri Oct 04, 2019</p> 194a1cab54a377cae9cded916a45909b Cutting Family Ties for 10/03/2019 Thu, 03 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have an abusive mother, and for many years I put myself in her path. Any time I opened up to someone about her behavior, I heard, "But she's your mum," or "She means well," or "You only have one mother," much like the letter writer "Chosen Family."</p> <p>All that did was to cement my mother's accusation of my nastiness. <p>Updated: Thu Oct 03, 2019</p> fae034ef4669b51f6f596f0f405c2814 Bailing Out Is a Short-Term Solution for 10/02/2019 Wed, 02 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I would like to tell "Distressed About Departing Dependent" to think about how she can best parent her adult child before caving and giving her money. At age 19, I married a man who spent any money we had and more. My parents didn't want to support his spending habits so they cut off any funds to me while they continued to bailout my brothers financially.</p> <p>I was angry at my parents for a while but got over it. Meanwhile, my brothers didn't grow up until the funds dried up many years later, when they were in middle age. I'm very grateful my parents were tough with me. I told my children I wasn't going to ruin them by bailing them out. It was hard to stick to my guns sometimes. As an adult, my son has expressed his appreciation for bringing him up this way.<p>Updated: Wed Oct 02, 2019</p> 59fff41b1ed53cba9bce24e757d3161f Mind Your What? for 10/01/2019 Tue, 01 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I know that I was raised in the Stone Age. But some of the things I remember sure would be nice additions to today's society. They're called <i>manners</i>. I recall my mother saying, "Mind your manners." Whenever she said that, I knew right then that what I was doing was unacceptable. </p> <p>Manners were not anything written down. They were learned at home. There was no test to be sure you understood what to do and not do. There are too many to list, but I have a few examples: <p>Updated: Tue Oct 01, 2019</p> d94442129287c6e8d42c5b6c2dff08d3 Unmatched Gifts Causing Resentment for 09/30/2019 Mon, 30 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My son is in his mid-40s, and his wife is in her early 40s. Every year, my wife and I send them a generous check on their birthdays, anniversary and Christmas. They both are successfully employed, so this is not a financial issue. On our birthdays, anniversary and Christmas, we are lucky if we get a greeting card acknowledging the occasion. No flowers for my wife &#8212; especially on our anniversary or birthday &#8212; nothing, nada, zilch. I used to remind him that his mother's birthday or anniversary was coming up. Eventually, I realized that he was a grown man and not a little boy anymore. (Sometimes, it takes me a while to realize things!)</p> <p>Recently, my wife and I had an argument concerning this situation. My feeling: We should send a card but forget the check. My wife still wants to send our hard-earned money to these two middle-aged people who, in my opinion, don't appreciate what we have been doing all these years. &#8212; Frustrated Father<p>Updated: Mon Sep 30, 2019</p>