Dear Annie: My 26-year-old daughter is in a serious relationship with a partner 10 years her senior. He comes to the partnership with an established home. What would you advise my daughter to expect or require going into this marriage-like arrangement? Should she expect to be put on the house deed as soon as they are married? What would be fair for all concerned? She is just beginning her career, so she is presently renting but saving for a home. — Troubled Dad
Dear Troubled Dad: Whether or not to add her name to the deed is up to and between the two of them. I am sure your intention is to just ensure your daughter is squared away; she'll always be your little girl, after all. But tread lightly here — because if her partner heard you showing such concern for his assets, he'd most likely be troubled himself.
Dear Annie: I recently moved into a large apartment complex in the heart of downtown. I was thrilled to snag a unit. There's just one problem, and it's an uncomfortable subject. A few nights a week, the couple who live upstairs are... intimate. I wish I didn't know this, but they make it impossible for me not to. I've lived here for two months now, and they've shown no signs of subsiding. How could I politely bring this to their attention without things becoming really awkward every time I run into them by the mailboxes? — I Hear You Up There
Dear I Hear You Up There: The path of least awkwardness here would be to buy a sound machine and/or earplugs. (Really, I'm beginning to think all apartments should come with those. It would make the living easier.) If that doesn't take care of it, then it's time to let the neighbors know they have an involuntary audience. Though I'm usually a strong supporter of talking things out face-to-face, this is one circumstance in which a note is just fine. Keep it simple and upbeat; add warmth with a smiley face or exclamation points. I know that seems silly, but seemingly silly little things can make all the difference when it comes to getting along with neighbors.
Dear Annie: I don't understand why everyone is in such a push to outlaw cellphone use while driving. If a distracted driver crashes into me, I don't care if the person was answering a call, eating lunch, looking for a song or dealing with toddlers in the back seat; the person should have pulled over to deal with the distraction.
Our focus should be on educating people that driving is a full-time job. A University of Maryland study showed that at 30 mph, you have over 1,320 things occurring around you and in your car every mile you travel. So if we want to outlaw distractions, we cannot just outlaw phones. Eating in the vehicle, having pets in the vehicle, audio entertainment and talking to passengers would need to be outlawed, too. You'd be down to a one-seat car with no accessories in it.
Of course, that is ridiculous, as is thinking that outlawing phones is the answer. It is up to all drivers to limit their distractions as much as possible so that they are obeying the laws and rules of the road at all times. — Retired Traffic Cop and Driver Safety Instructor
Dear Retired Traffic Cop: You make a great point. Distracted driving is distracted driving, whatever the reason. Thanks for sharing your informed opinion on the matter.
"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 http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]