Dear Annie: I love chocolates, especially when they are in a box from a candy store or pharmacy. The problem is that once I start eating them, I can't stop!
Most people seem to be able to eat one or two and then stop. Very often, if a box of chocolates is brought out in the coffee room where I work, I have to walk right past them because I know that if I start, I'll eat the whole box.
I like caramels, ones with marshmallow inside, soft creams and ones with toffee and nuts. In fact, I like all of them and haven't figured out how to take one or two and then back off.
Do you have any suggestions to help me with this? I doubt that I am the only person with this problem. — Afraid to Start
Dear Afraid to Start: Too much of one good thing can lead to a slew of bad things — in this case, bellyaches, cavities and extra pounds.
When you're full, it's easier to pass up junk food. So try to fill up on healthful snacks throughout the day — such as celery, cucumbers, carrots and apple slices — and drink lots of water. When you do decide to indulge in chocolates, challenge yourself. Take two pieces out of the box. Put the box away. Savor each bite of your two pieces. And then... brush your teeth! Your dentist will appreciate it, and the clean, minty taste in your mouth will make it easier to stop. Remind yourself that you will feel better the next day, and then look forward to having another two pieces tomorrow guilt-free.
Dear Annie: Not long ago, a relative died and left me a set of rental properties. In one of the houses, there was a family, "the Andersons," who had been renting that house for over 30 years. My relative's will specified that three members of the Anderson family — the parents and one of the children — were to each receive $1,000 when the estate was settled.
Because Mr. Anderson was dying of kidney cancer, two days after my relative's funeral I paid this family out of my own funds. I knew that it would take a while for the estate to settle, and I thought I should give him the chance to enjoy the money while he still could.
Because of various reasons — including drug trafficking on the premises — I have to sell the properties. But now the Andersons are accusing me of throwing them out of their home, which they regard as theirs; after all, they have been paying rent for over 30 years. Whenever I visit the properties to check on them, the Andersons call the police on me. They will no longer pay rent, and they are discussing filing a lawsuit against me for attempting to steal their family home.
I'm not sure why I'm the bad guy in all of this. The will clearly stipulates that the property is mine. As for the money, all I wanted was for a dying man to have a few moments of pleasure. What did I do that is so bad? — "Slumlord" From Succotash
Dear "Slumlord": Every story has two sides, and when it comes to legal matters, there are surely multiple narratives than could be spun for various reasons. I know that your heart was in the right place when you paid Mr. Anderson out of your own pocket. Unfortunately, what feels good to do may not be formally congruent with the laws of your state. To avoid unnecessary headaches and heartache, it might be wisest to do things via the court through probate administration and any relevant housing court assistance.
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