Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 26 Jan 2020 01:11:34 -0800 Dear AnnieĀ® from Creators Syndicate 05d5f7592fdf16ccffb058148f801232 Children Bullying Their Parents Isn't Acceptable for 01/26/2020 Sun, 26 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Recently, during a visit from my 50-year-old son, I was bullied, threatened, taunted and treated cruelly by him. I don't know why. I responded indignantly while my husband said nothing. His behavior was unlike anything I had ever experienced, although I have seen him bully others many times.</p> <p>I have heard no words of regret from him after many months. His behavior and my husband's lack of response still cause me deep pain.<p>Updated: Sun Jan 26, 2020</p> 660633232f43b46bcaba722d8ced1c0c Struggling to Make Lasting Connections Online for 01/25/2020 Sat, 25 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm 29 and single. I'm proud to have worked my butt off since college and am now seeing the fruits of my labor. I've got the dream job that I'm passionate about, am making good money and have the most amazing group of loved ones and mentors. The cherry on top of it all would be a man I can enjoy all of this with. Since I have a hectic schedule and travel for work, I figured getting back into online dating (in addition to good "old-fashioned" meeting people) would offer some solid ROI. It's been more baggage than not, though, and I don't know how to make it work or whether I should just skip it altogether.</p> <p>"Adam" and I had delicious witty banter over text for a week and a half. By his pictures, he was the perfect combination of sexy and cute. When we finally met, I knew pretty quickly there wasn't a long-term connection. "Jeff" and I talked incessantly for about a week, and then he ghosted. <p>Updated: Sat Jan 25, 2020</p> 640b5544a3583422480b27f72055501f Wedding Gifts Under Warranty? for 01/24/2020 Fri, 24 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My very good friend "Pamela" has a son who recently got married. The wedding took place in the middle of September. The bride decided at the beginning of December that she didn't want to be married. My question is this: Who gets the gifts? The bride and groom were living with her parents until they bought a home, so they didn't use any of their wedding gifts. The groom just bought a house. I say that he should get the gifts; he is not the one who decided to leave the marriage. &#8212; Wedding Present Problems</p> <p>Dear Wedding Present: The law varies by state. Generally, if the gifts were given to the couple, then the gifts are communal property and will be divided up however the rest of their property is divided up. It's worth the husband consulting an attorney on this matter. Morally speaking, that's a different question, but I tend to agree with you: <span class="column--highlighted-text">This woman put him out in the cold. The least she could do is let him have the toaster.</span> <p>Updated: Fri Jan 24, 2020</p> e5c6cc83111669c7c5e21162be4b0618 Digestive Issues Hurting Both Mom and Daughter for 01/23/2020 Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am writing about our 23-year-old daughter, who is having trouble with her digestive system.</p> <p>After a year of vomiting after most meals and losing weight, she finally had a gastric emptying test. She was then diagnosed with dumping syndrome, or rapid gastric emptying. This is usually a condition caused by bypass surgery, which is not the case in this situation, nor is anorexia.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 23, 2020</p> e4c4f02867314ac43be515fbe61a32f1 Back Down, Mama Bear for 01/22/2020 Wed, 22 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Every December, my ex-mother-in-law organizes a holiday party for all of the women from her side of the family. It's a fancy dinner, and they have a $15 Secret Santa gift exchange.</p> <p>As a rule, all attendees must be 16, and my daughter was thrilled that she was able to attend for the first time. She asked that I bring her to an upscale gift store so she could buy (with her own money, I might add) a really nice gift.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 22, 2020</p> 768597f6f50c58f3069a0711482da24f What's That Old Phrase? for 01/21/2020 Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: People who complain about giving gifts and not getting one in return should remember an old saying: If you are giving something and expecting something in return, then it is not giving; it is business. &#8212; Good Ol' Saying</p> <p>Dear Good Ol' Saying: May our readers find the pleasure in giving to others without expecting something in return. That good feeling in and of itself is a gift. <p>Updated: Tue Jan 21, 2020</p> 969fe9e634f76551c4226b1f456c4a0f Achieving King's 'Dream' for 01/20/2020 Mon, 20 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Again, it is time to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. He would have been 91 on Jan. 15. Since his death in 1968, so much has changed ... and yet, so much has remained the same.</p> <p>Sometimes, I wonder, if he were alive, what would King think about how things have gone in the African American community? What would he say? What would he do?<p>Updated: Mon Jan 20, 2020</p> f93aabb6d1a351687610707575e8a8e2 Don't Want to Leave Her in the Cold for 01/19/2020 Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: About a year and a half ago, I met a woman whom I liked very much. She moved in with me after about six months. After living together some time, I've come to see that our relationship is impossible and I would like her to move out. The problem is that she has nowhere to go. She has one daughter, whom she was living with when I met her, but the daughter is in the process of moving. Other than her, she has no one. </p> <p>Her only income is Social Security, and that is $1,000 a month. She is a good woman, but impossible to live with. She doesn't love me, and I feel used. I have always felt sorry for her, but I can't go on in this loveless relationship. She is 72, and I am 73. I can't put her out on the street, but I'm not sure where to turn or what to do. I am willing to give her some money to help her move, but I am not sure where she could go. I have been good to her and helped her as much as I can. Do you have any idea of how I can get out of this dilemma? &#8212; Time to Go<p>Updated: Sun Jan 19, 2020</p> 836287d1c2bde17c9ae24854f39379b8 Replacing a Beloved Pet for 01/18/2020 Sat, 18 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Our beloved family dog, Dasher, passed away last year. Dasher was a husky. She was the sweetest and best dog I ever could imagine. Good with the kids and our old kitty. When I contacted the breeder I bought her from, he said that he is no longer breeding. My friend suggested I look at adopting a dog from the local shelter or a rescue group. I really want a husky, and our shelter didn't have any but suggested I reach out to local husky rescue groups. Well, I did, and I found a great one.</p> <p>After I filled out the application, a volunteer called me within 24 hours. She thanked me for considering adoption and gave me some very sad statistics about how many dogs get euthanized because of overpopulation. She then said my house will be a tricky place to find the right dog for. Most huskies have a strong prey drive and are not great with cats, small dogs or small children. I was taken aback because Dasher was so great with all of the above. When I told her this, she said my best bet would be to get a puppy and socialize the dog around kids and cats as much as possible. She said that her rescue group rarely gets pups in and that it could take a long time. I want to adopt, but I also don't want to put the lives of my cat and kids in danger. Do you have any advice as to what I should do? &#8212; Adopt or Shop?<p>Updated: Sat Jan 18, 2020</p> 01151e67cdf9c6279cde29f780ba5274 Behind-the-Back Talk for 01/17/2020 Fri, 17 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Dear Annie: I have a problem with my friend "Julie" that I'm not sure how to handle. She's a really good friend in many ways. She's always there when I'm going through hard stuff. She's generous with food and gifts and other thoughtful gestures. For instance, last year, when she was watching my dog while I was out of town, she took him to the vet when he seemed sick, with no hesitation. And one time when there was an issue with my apartment that required me to be out of the unit for a few days, Julie let me stay with her even though it was on very short notice. You get the picture. When we're on good terms, you couldn't ask for a better friend.</p> <p>But whenever we have a conflict, she does something I find frustrating and immature. She tells all our mutual friends about our disagreement &#8212; and from her own biased perspective. I've picked up on this over the years because these mutual friends have let slip things that she's told them about our fights. I've also put it together for myself because whenever she fights with another friend, she tells me all about it. I know that I'm not special and that when we have fights, she does the same thing.</p> <p>Personally, I think it's wrong to talk negatively about someone to a mutual friend, so I never want to do that myself. But I worry that with everyone just getting one side of the story, people have a skewed picture of me. Should I try to correct the record by letting these friends know my side or just be the bigger person and let it go? &#8212; Ears Burning<p>Updated: Fri Jan 17, 2020</p> 7fbcf443522c1612a73cebb173758a66 Trying to Get a Handle on the Past for 01/16/2020 Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am a 32-year-old married man with two children. I am trying to come to terms with my childhood. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, with an alcoholic father and a mother who had numerous affairs.</p> <p>My elder brother, "Michael," was my world. He is only three years older than I am, but he practically raised me. He is the one who got me dressed and ready for school every morning, fed me, helped me with my homework, and tucked me in at night.<p>Updated: Thu Jan 16, 2020</p> 3dee9d7d7b708523298409fd09a9c96e Thanks for the Junk for 01/15/2020 Wed, 15 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I am in my 60s, as are my brothers and sisters, and we're all retired. We have always exchanged nice, thoughtful (though not expensive) gifts for birthdays, Christmas and maybe some other special occasions. Over the past several years, my brother "Rod" and his wife, "Erma," have, in addition to a lot of other rude behaviors, started giving people gifts that are, in a word, mean-spirited. These are things that the recipients almost surely don't want and/or can't use. Several of these "gifts" seem very clearly to be things they found in their closets or at some kind of garage sale. Others seem to be presents they're regifting &#8212; not really picked out for the recipients, to put it mildly. Money is not the issue for them. You'll just have to believe me on that.</p> <p>People have politely mentioned to them such things as, "I don't know when I'm going to be able to use this." Everyone has continued to buy them what seem to be nice gifts, and I really don't mind that (for the moment).<p>Updated: Wed Jan 15, 2020</p> 6ffd5472c8272b7255b857cf7290cb2d The Joy of Comparing for 01/14/2020 Tue, 14 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I read your column daily and always like your tough love and sensible advice. I'm interested in what your advice would be in the following situation. It involves gift giving at Christmas for nieces and nephews. My daughter does not feel that her brother gave as much to her sons as she did to his daughter and two stepchildren. She feels she was far more generous than he was. I understand that this is not my problem but am curious about what your advice would be to her. Expense is not an issue. Also, my son's wife does not involve herself in shopping for gifts for his nephews. It may be that men just shop differently than women. &#8212; Dreading Next Christmas</p> <p>Dear Dreading Next Christmas: I think that <span class="column--highlighted-text">if your daughter is going to get out the abacus and compare receipts, she and your son ought to just skip buying presents for each other's children next year.</span> Instead, the children could do a secret Santa among themselves &#8212; crafting gifts or using allowance money to buy small items, depending on their ages &#8212; so that they might learn the joy of giving.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 14, 2020</p> 1a5f4d14e25a3318fd0e519c988f4fa6 My Body's My Body for 01/13/2020 Mon, 13 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My husband, "Robert," and I moved back to our hometown several years ago to help with aging parents. I went back to work as a nurse, and he joined his father's law firm. Upon moving back, we struck up a friendship with an old acquaintance of Robert's. "Tim" and Robert went to high school together and a year of college.</p> <p>We have invited Tim and his partner over several times for dinner. We have often gone to their house. And we have spent time together at parties and social gatherings of mutual friends.<p>Updated: Mon Jan 13, 2020</p> a6afb08de1c445567bc55fed88fcead4 Unwanted Houseguest for 01/12/2020 Sun, 12 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I'm a little chagrined to admit that we can't come up with a solution to this situation by ourselves, but we are really stumped. We have a friend who has stayed over with us twice. The first time, he brought two others with him, which worked out OK. The second time, he stayed for four days, ate everything in the fridge, as well as meals, and didn't leave the last day until 9 p.m. Also annoying is the fact that he is an in-your-face talker.</p> <p>This probably sounds a lot worse than I mean it to, because he is a good-hearted person and he did leave some money for all the food he'd eaten. But since the second visit, he has invited himself over a few times. We have made excuses, such as "we'll be away" and "we're just too busy at this time," but that hurts his feelings. We truly would like to keep this friendship at a less intimate level but can't figure out how to get that across without breaking his heart. He just sent us another self-invitation yesterday, planning ahead to the spring. How can we tell him no? Thanks for your help. &#8212; Stumped in Vermont<p>Updated: Sun Jan 12, 2020</p> a22ce2c281c9da85f4e1fb710034b896 Caregivers Need Care, Too for 01/11/2020 Sat, 11 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: I have a 31-year-old son who has always struggled with mental illness issues. He was diagnosed with depression at age 15 and again in his early 20s when we sent him to a weeklong involuntary residential treatment. He will not stay on medication or go to counseling. </p> <p>In the meantime, after years of not being able to keep a job, he finally had a good job for two years, which he lost 16 months ago. He moved in with us 10 months ago and has made no effort to search for another job. We gave him a deadline to get a job or move out, because we are nearing retirement age and cannot continue to pay for his living expenses, his car insurance and other bills that come up. It is obvious that he is not going to get a job. We do not want him to be homeless. He has been there before, and I know the outlook on homelessness and those with mental illness is not good. However, we can't continue to enable him. He can function. What should we do? &#8212; Parents at a Crossroads<p>Updated: Sat Jan 11, 2020</p> 2bc13d39a6b88e492c6a7f13dec71928 Firmly on the Fence for 01/10/2020 Fri, 10 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for five years. We are in our early 30s and child-free. We talked about having children before we got married. At the time, we were both very much on the fence. We promised to keep checking in with each other and having honest conversations about kids. We've done that pretty regularly, and five years later we're still here, both sitting firmly on the fence.</p> <p>We see the pros and cons. We love each other very much and love the idea of raising a family together. I think we would be good parents, and we both see parenting as an important and meaningful part of life. We have good jobs, own a nice home and have very loving and supportive family and friends. Imagining my husband as a father and my parents as grandparents fills me with joy.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 10, 2020</p> da775b3af9daac45b0fcdcf9b53a9282 Anger and Grief Causing Rift for 01/09/2020 Thu, 09 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: Since I was a little girl, I've always known I wanted to be a mother. Now, as a woman in her late 20s, and after four failed embryo transfers through IVF, that dream seems less and less a reality. My husband and I shared our news of infertility with his sister and her husband after they had spoken with us about their own inability to conceive. </p> <p>A few months later they shocked us all with the news that they were pregnant after they stopped all fertility treatments and "quit trying." I felt like I had been punched in the gut but managed to quietly congratulate them, and left in a panic. I fell apart that day. Of course, everyone whispered and wondered why we left in such a hurry (and I think they told people). I was absolutely inconsolable in my grief. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 09, 2020</p> 9631e14c59ec8880a4d13867f4a07f93 New Year's Resolutions Redux for 01/08/2020 Wed, 08 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie. New Year's Day is approaching, and it's time for new resolutions. I'm ashamed to say that mine will be the same it is every year. My goal is to get into shape. Each year, I start with a few workouts but quickly fall back into my old lazy routine and let my diet slip. I've tried joining a gym, fitness classes, running and walking. Nothing will stick. I really want to keep it up this year, but I'm already afraid I'll fail. How do people stick with it? &#8212; Out of Shape</p> <p>Dear Shape: First of all, <span class="column--highlighted-text">don't wait for New Year's Day. Start today, especially because it seems that you are motivated. </span>Procrastinating makes it more difficult to begin and to stick to a routine. Second, my favorite wellness advice is that the best workout is the one you'll do. That can vary from person to person. For some, it may be group fitness classes. For others, it may be outdoor running. And still others may find a stationary fitness machine is their workout of choice. All of these are great options. <p>Updated: Wed Jan 08, 2020</p> d93488aaa8694205d6eacfa12737e559 Infidelity in the Inbox for 01/07/2020 Tue, 07 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for more than 50 years. We have had a great life together, sharing a lot of the same interests. </p> <p>We had a great friendship with another couple. Several years ago, the husband caught my husband and his wife sexting each other. I do believe it was a one-time thing, as she was drinking and the circumstances pointed to being a one-night thing. I wanted to forgive and forget, as she was a really great friend. However, her husband insisted that we have no further contact with each other. <p>Updated: Tue Jan 07, 2020</p>