Dear Annie: My mother is in her late 90s. She insists on covering her kitchen counters with newspaper, including the areas right next to the electric cooktop and the microwave. My mother does not see this as a fire risk. She thinks it is keeping a clean house.
The last time I cleaned her kitchen, I was disgusted by the small insects and bits of...Read more
Dear Annie: Six months ago, I reconnected with the guy I have loved since grade school. "Thomas" left after graduation to live in another state. I know he has schizophrenia, and I'm willing to take the risk. Even though I'm 18 and still in high school, I plan to become a doctor. I've done research and know what I'm up against. Thomas says he ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am in a dispute with my kids' middle school. For the past two summers, the school has recommended to our 8th-grade students several reading selections that contain crude language and explicit sexual content. I don't understand why. The "reading specialist" who helped select the titles says, "Kids need to read things that aren't ...Read more
Dear Readers: Happy Thanksgiving to one and all! We hope you are fortunate enough to be spending the holiday with family and friends. We also hope you remembered those who are alone today and would love to be part of your family on this occasion. If it's too late to include them this year, please make a note on your calendar to invite them next ...Read more
Dear Annie: Several months ago, my 17-year-old son's girlfriend had a baby. I was upset at first, but then realized that the couple was young and needed help. My house now looks like a daycare center.
For the whole nine months, we were part of the pregnancy. I paid for the mother to have an additional ultrasound, purchased a heartbeat bear for ...Read more
Dear Annie: My wife's aunt "Zelda" is 83 and lives alone. She is in the early stages of dementia, and her short-term memory is rapidly deteriorating. She will ask the same question multiple times within a 15-minute span. She also is extremely paranoid. She is convinced people are entering her house at night and stealing small items, such as ...Read more
Dear Annie: I was married to my husband for 31 years. Two years ago, he was killed in an accident. I loved him to the moon and back and miss him terribly.
Eight months later, my daughter introduced me to a nice gentleman. He is a sweet man, and we have been seeing each other ever since. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law is upset and bitter ...Read more
Dear Annie: I work in a large organization and know my colleagues quite well. Though I enjoy working with them, a number of them recently have begun borrowing cash from me. These are usually requests for small amounts to cover the cost of lunch or coffee, but over time, they add up. Not a single one of them has ever voluntarily repaid me. When I...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a transgendered boy and am having trouble coming out to my family. I wear sports bras and boy's clothing most of the time, and when I am speaking with my friends, I use male pronouns, but I still can't gather the courage to tell my family.
My mother and I once talked about it briefly, but I got nervous and ended up saying it ...Read more
Dear Annie: Not too long ago, my life was perfect: great marriage, good kids, well established in our community and a fantastic sex life. Three years ago, at the age of 49, my husband retired after a 30-year career in law enforcement. He retired with no plans, hobbies, friends or passions. Now our life is hell.
Four months before his retirement...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm in my 30s. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome after a two-year career ended in disaster. It was my mother who suspected what was wrong. It explained the problems I've had -- no friends, no social life and the inability to hold down a job, among others. I knew there was something wrong with me. I couldn't ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 16 years. We have two children, one with Asperger syndrome.
Over the years, my sex drive has waned because of stress, age, work, children, etc. I try to make an effort to be intimate every week. I've seen a doctor to check my hormone levels, and we are already in family counseling because of ...Read more
Dear Annie: Last May, my children's father committed suicide. He and I had split up two years before because of his violent ways. Despite my marrying another man, I still cared for my ex and worried about his welfare. I would even sneak him food and pay his electric bill behind my husband's back. My husband occasionally would forbid my kids and ...Read more
Dear Annie: Recently, my husband mentioned that he wanted to get together with some friends for a project. I encouraged him to invite the guys to our home to work on it. I thought it would be a few hours, but it ended up taking well over 12. They arrived early in the morning and stayed until late that night, taking over our living room.
I ...Read more
Dear Annie: My cousin "Tyler," who had a host of problems as a teenager, became a policeman at age 23. He was a jerk before he joined up, but now he's become a bigger jerk.
Tyler is always bragging that he can fix parking tickets or give you a ticket just for annoying him. He talks back to people constantly, always trying to have the last word....Read more
Dear Annie: When my older sister was dying a year ago, our entire family supported her with calls and visits with the exception of our father and half-brother (my mother's son from a previous marriage). They also didn't attend the funeral and offered no explanation for their absence.
Five months later, another sister died. "Dee" never married, ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a teenager. In our society, the central message is that you need to look perfect and have tons of money. It's drilled into our heads every day, and I feel the pressure.
Clothing companies tell me I need to wear their labels to be popular, cosmetic companies convince me with airbrushed models that their makeup will make me look ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am one of 13 siblings. Both of our parents have been sick for the past four years. At one time, we had a family meeting, and everyone agreed to pay $20 a week for a caregiver, since we all worked. But slowly, my siblings started to bail out. The first to go was their favorite (and ungrateful) daughter.
Dad died three months ago. ...Read more
Dear Annie: I often feel sharp bites like pinpricks on different places of my body, especially at night. At first, it happened only in the bedroom, but now I get them while sitting in my family room and even in my car. I thought it might be bedbugs, but an exterminator ruled that out. He said he had no idea what was causing the bites and couldn'...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been married to my husband for only one month, and he already has had a brief fling with a woman from his office. This caught me completely off guard. I thought we were happy, and I am pretty sure my husband enjoys being married to me. He always says I am much more than he deserves.
I have repeatedly asked him why he would ...Read more