Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: My husband and I divorced last summer. We have a 9-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter. I bought a house a few miles from my ex-husband, and the children and I have been living there for the last five months.
My daughter slept with me for the first month we were in our new house, until I could afford to buy her a bed. I admit it was nice, and I didn't mind. I like having my children close. The problem is, it has been five months, and she still wants to sleep in my bed. I wouldn't mind, but I am afraid it could be damaging to her in some way. I could use some advice, Ann. — Suzi in Houston
Dear Suzi: It is not a good idea for young children to become accustomed to sleeping with an adult parent. Put the child back in her own room, and help her go to sleep there. Divorced parents should not use a child as a spouse substitute.
Dear Ann Landers: I am a 27-year-old woman currently living in a large house with three roommates — two male, one female. One of the guys, "Eddie," owns the house.
I think Eddie is obsessive-compulsive. He pastes our names on the silverware so we will know which fork to use. He has assigned us parking spots, even though we have no parking lot and use a public street. He posts a calendar for us to mark off which days we are using the laundry facilities. I once put a mark on the wrong day, and instead of erasing it, he got a new calendar.
I could live with his quirks except for one thing. He often tells me personal, intimate things about his life, including how much he longs for someone special to be with. I get the distinct impression he wants that someone to be me.
Eddie doesn't frighten me, but I'm uncomfortable around him.
I don't want to move out, Ann. The rent is cheap, I have my own room, and the other roommates are great. I cannot afford anything better. The only solution I've found is to work late and spend as much time in my room as possible. Do you have any other suggestions? — Whacked Out in the West
Dear Whacked: It sounds as if Eddie has some strudel in his noodle. He's a control freak and not about to change. Start looking around for other living quarters pronto, and see if you can find a pal or two to join you.
Dear Ann Landers: I would like to address this to all the young women who, for whatever reason, think having a baby is "cool."
I am the 17-year-old mother of a 4-month-old daughter. I will be the first to tell you it is not easy. And if you think having a baby will improve the relationship between you and your boyfriend, you are wrong. It will only make matters worse. My boyfriend and I called it quits a couple of weeks ago, when the fighting became unbearable. After three years of being very close, it's over.
If I have changed just one teenager's mind about getting pregnant, the time it took to write this letter will have been well worth it. — Been There in Indiana
Dear Indiana: Thanks for the testimony. I hope my teenage readers will pay close attention to what you have written. You are a far better authority on this subject that I am. And P.S. Don't give up without trying counseling with your boyfriend. You have a child now who needs two parents.
Feeling pressured to have sex? How informed are you? Write for Ann Landers' booklet "Sex and the Teenager." To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.