Dear Annie: My dad's cousin, "John," is an internist from another state. During my younger sister's wedding weekend, Dr. John stayed with us. Two days before the wedding, my sister was stressed and couldn't sleep. John offered her Ambien. The pill was blue and in a blister pack. He gave her two, even though the label states you shouldn't take them unless you can get six hours of sleep. My sister absolutely didn't have time for that.
I have a prescription for Ambien, and it's white. I have no idea what John gave my sister. At the hairdresser's the next day, she was totally zoned out. Isn't it wrong for physicians to dispense such medications without a prescription?
There have been several incidents in the past where John has given prescription medications to my family members without seeing them. He once sent my dad expired ointments for a rash that turned out to be shingles. When my mother had pneumonia, he told her to take flu medication. He didn't examine them, nor did he write a prescription. What do you think I should do? — Furious and Concerned
Dear Furious: First of all, Ambien can come in different colors, depending on the dosage. We assume these are sample drugs that John happens to have handy. The real issue is that your family is eager to take advantage of John's ability to provide such medication for free and without needing to see their regular physician. They have the option not to follow his advice or take what he offers, but they prefer the convenience.
Dear Annie: You've printed letters about theater and concert patrons who stand up or squash you in your seat. I have a better one. I sat in the worst seat on Broadway. I understand "obstructed view." This was NO view.
I was in the front row. All I could see was a staircase and the backs of actors who were seated in chairs on stage. I was brokenhearted. I found an usher at intermission and demanded to be seated elsewhere. She told me this is what happens when you buy discount tickets at the last minute. But she took me to the last row of the theater and said, "This way you can see the terrific part with the mirror." I gasped, "There's a mirror?!"
The second act was great, although I had to ask the people next to me to stop texting during the performance. Afterward, I found the usher and thanked her. Then I wrote the box office manager and the theater owners and asked that they please stop selling this seat. I haven't heard back. — Don't Stick a Broadway Baby in a Corner
Dear Baby: Most theaters have at least one horrible seat, but it's hard to know that when you purchase at the last minute, especially when those tickets are discounted. There's a reason those are the seats that are left. Good for you for speaking up and finding a kind usher willing (and able) to seat you elsewhere.
Dear Annie: "Still Waiting" complained that few people reciprocate dinner invitations anymore. Since moving to an active senior community two years ago, my husband and I have hosted about 18 dinners in our home, everything from casual suppers to large parties. Reciprocation in these friends' homes has been rare, but we don't care. We've enjoyed every one of the meals.
We don't have special cooking skills, and hosting a dinner takes time and effort, but it's fun and has the added advantage of cozy chats that don't happen in a noisy restaurant. — W.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2013. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.