Dear Annie: I'm puzzled about something. I'm a straight female senior citizen with totally white hair. Although I think I am still quite attractive, I do look like a senior citizen. I would like to know whether there is any truth to a rumor I recently heard that today's lesbians are attracted to older women with white hair.
In the past two years, I have been approached by women flirting with me, most of them much younger. I'm stared at and followed, and rather bold things have been said to me. I am uncomfortable and fear for my safety and wish it would stop. I'm tempted to dye my hair or wear hats if what's drawing this unwanted attention is the white hair. If you or your readers have any insight, please let me know. — Puzzled in Gary, Ind.
Dear Puzzled: We have no idea whether other women are attracted to you because of your hair, your age, your appearance or your demeanor. If our readers have any "inside" knowledge, we'll let you know. Until then, try covering your hair to see if it makes any difference. You should not feel threatened because people are flirting, male or female. But if someone seems especially aggressive, don't be afraid to call the police.
Dear Annie: I am a 57-year-old disabled male who lives alone. My next-door neighbors moved in a year ago and act as if the area is their own private island. Every morning there are children screaming and hollering, dogs barking and adults yelling in their backyard. In the evening, they are joined by several friends and family members who drink and talk so loudly they may as well be shouting. This goes on every night until midnight and sometimes as late as 2 a.m.
My major headache comes on the weekends. Each evening, they have music playing outside along with a backyard full of people. They give me those "don't you dare say anything" looks as I walk into my tiny house. I'm fearful for my safety. I have called the police repeatedly, and they always promise to send a car out, but the noise never stops until the wee hours of the morning.
How can they be allowed to disturb all the houses in the immediate vicinity? — Rude Neighbors
Dear Neighbors: Could you speak kindly to your neighbors and ask if they would keep the sound down after 10 p.m.? Does your city have a noise ordinance? Are there other neighbors who are equally disturbed by this racket? Would they speak to the neighbors with you or call the police every time this happens, forcing the authorities to issue citations and fines? Look into white noise additions such as fans that might help muffle some of the noise. Also, please check your local area resources to see whether there is a neighborhood organization that helps resolve disputes.
Dear Annie: I had to laugh when I read the letter from "N.Y.," whose 17-year-old son is terrible to travel with. I can't think of anything more embarrassing for a 17-year-old boy than being seen swimming or shopping with his family. And if I sent a flight attendant to check on my son, he would be mortified.
We include our children in vacation planning, which makes it more rewarding. We also try to find a friend of our son's to come along. If the adults want to see museums, we try to find nearby activities for the kids.
Our best vacations with kids have been a houseboat with a ski boat included and a condo in the mountains where the boys could snowboard. Ten days at a relative's house would be unbearable for most teens. And I would never leave a 17-year-old home unsupervised for 10 days. Perhaps one of his friends would take him, despite "the way he dresses." Seriously? — Mom of Four
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.