Valentines to Our Troops

By Annie Lane

January 5, 2020 4 min read

Dear Annie. My former boyfriend has a wife in the Philippines. He used to sometimes say, "Oh, stay with me, and we can keep sleeping together even when she moves to this country." Why would someone say something like that? I have a difficult time figuring out what he really meant. — Perplexed Ex

Dear Perplexed: I have a harder time understanding why you stuck around long enough for him to say that more than once. Clearly, he has no respect for you or for his wife. But the most important word in your letter is "former." Thank goodness that he's no longer your boyfriend. Pity to that woman if she's still his wife.

Dear Annie: You indicated that it was too late to send cards to our sailors and troops for Christmas. How's about a little advance planning! Valentine's Day is only about four weeks away. How can readers send cards to troops in celebration of that holiday? — Steve, USAF (retired)

Dear Steve: This is a great idea. You can send valentines to deployed troops via Hugs for Soldiers. Please adhere to the following guidelines:

—Do not send cards larger than 8 1/2x11 inches.

—Do not use glitter or materials that easily break off.

—Keep your messages positive.

—Do not put individual valentines in sealed envelopes. Bundle cards and send in a single large envelope or box.

Mail them to Hugs for Soldiers, P.O. Box 2887, Duluth, GA, 30096. For more tips, including instructions for shipping your cards via FedEx or UPS, visit

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Preferring Tradition." I never liked when couples asked wedding guests to give cash instead of gifts, either. But my daughter and her husband ended up doing this. Many friends and relatives opted to give them gifts instead of cash.

Well, my daughter and her now husband live in San Francisco, California, and the wedding was at home in the Midwest. They came by plane. The gifts had to go by mail, so it fell on Mom and Dad to box and mail all the gifts. We started to ship some, but the cost became so high that we instead decided to load up an SUV, take time off work and make a trip West. It was a real pain, boxing up glass. Now I think cash would have been nicer. — John K.

Dear John K.: It was awfully generous of you and your wife to spend so much time and money on getting your daughter and son-in-law their presents. I hope that huge gift didn't go unappreciated.

Dear Annie: I have great empathy for "Thanks for Not Sharing," the person who wrote about the noise levels in airports and on buses and trains thanks to people who play music and videos on speakers instead of through headphones.

I travel in England to visit family and there I have the option to reserve a seat in the "quiet car" — which I love. No conversational cellphone use is allowed — only texts — and no noisy video games are allowed, either.

I wish we could have the same service here. It would be a relief for people who suffer from noise pollution. There are quiet areas in some airports, if you look for them. Many thanks for sharing. — Janet A. in Montreal

Dear Janet: Silence is golden — maybe even platinum, at this point. Quiet cars do exist on Amtrak trains here in the U.S., but only in the Northeast. Here's hoping they make their way through the rest of the country.

"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]

Like it? Share it!

  • 0

Dear Annie®
About Annie Lane
Read More | RSS | Subscribe