Dear Readers: Welcome to 2020! My, how time flies. Our New Year's wish for you, our readers, is for this year to be one of health and happiness. Do your best to make this year better than the last. Be kinder. Be more patient. Be more tolerant. Help someone in need. Vow to look after your health, work out more, eat less junk, meditate, get a ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have relatives coming to visit later this month. A week ago, I received a list of necessities for their visit. Some seem reasonable for young children: cribs, high chairs and childproof cabinets. But some seem rude and presumptuous: a grocery list of 20 organic items (including peeled shrimp and smoked salmon) and individual ...Read more
Dear Annie: Many people say they feel obligated to buy birthday and holiday gifts for children they rarely see or who are already overindulged. I had that situation with my brother's family. My sister-in-law goes overboard in the gift-giving department. So my thought was: Why buy another toy that will get lost in the pile? And since I don't see ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and we have three children under 15. He has always been a bit of a night owl, but now, in his mid-50s, he's turning into my 80-year-old father.
My husband works from 8 a.m. until 5, comes home and eats dinner and then sits on the couch. He falls asleep watching TV and then isn't tired...Read more
Dear Annie: My son and his wife have an elderly cat who scratches herself raw. One night, I noticed that the poor thing had bleeding scabs. I asked how long it had been going on, and they said, "Years." I had no idea this cat was suffering.
My son said they weren't taking the cat to a vet, so I offered to do so and pay for the visit. The vet ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a caregiver. There are millions of us dispensing love 24 hours a day for weeks, months, even years to incapacitated family members. We have no sick days or vacation days. Sleep is a thing of the past. If we are not caring for loved ones, we are worrying about which bills to pay.
Many of us will have a shortened life span ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 50-something sister, "Denise," has turned into a hostile, critical person. I visit my family four times a year and have witnessed her angry outbursts firsthand. My other siblings have become very proficient at pacifying Denise by always agreeing with her and being solicitous toward her.
Denise is not a bad person, so it is ...Read more
Dear Readers: Merry Christmas. We hope you are fortunate enough to be with family and friends today. Those who can volunteer their time in nursing homes, hospitals or soup kitchens, please do so. For the past few years, we have printed the annual PNC Christmas Price Index, which we find interesting and amusing. Enjoy:
"The Twelve Days of ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a concerned uncle at an impasse. I have a young adult nephew who seems perfectly content not to go anywhere in life. "Peter" wasn't the smartest kid in school, but he managed to graduate. He now moves from job to job, never keeping one for more than six months. He seems perfectly fine with living at home and visiting my elderly ...Read more
Dear Annie: Two years ago, my sister called crying that they were going to lose their house. She didn't realize her husband hadn't been making the mortgage payments. She said she wouldn't have taken all those vacations or eaten out in fancy restaurants if she had known they couldn't afford it.
Of course I jumped in to help. My husband spent a ...Read more
Dear Annie: A few years ago, there was an argument in my husband's family. Since then, my mother-in-law has stopped having holiday dinners. She invites only one daughter and her family.
This hurts my husband, but he will not say anything to his mother. We feel she should invite everyone as usual, and those who wish to participate will come, and...Read more
Dear Annie: Last month, I attended a bridal shower for my "new" granddaughter. The shower was lovely, and we all enjoyed ourselves. We took pictures of everyone with our friends and family and the new bride.
My grandson's wedding was last weekend. When my husband and I arrived, the bride and groom were off with the photographer taking family ...Read more
Dear Annie: My brother-in-law married "Rose," a divorcee, a year ago, although they had been living together for several. This was a second marriage for both of them, and they each have adult children. Rose died three months ago from a quickly spreading cancer. She was only 67.
Here's the problem: Rose's three adult sons insisted that the name ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have tenants who are behind in their rent. I've let it slide because I've been preoccupied with some personal problems. But my problems have been resolved, and now I'd like the back rent. Under the terms of the lease, I could evict right away, and I am tempted. But I worry that if this family is evicted, they will be living in the ...Read more
Dear Annie: My mother is 95 years old and in OK shape. She has been diagnosed with dementia, and her physician recommended a full-time caregiver because Mom is confused most of the time. She still lives in her home, refusing to leave, and my two siblings and I take care of her the best we can.
When we were growing up, Mom was mentally abusive ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have two teenage children from a previous marriage. For the past 12 years, they have lived with their mother 90 miles away, and I have visitation every other weekend and alternate holidays, etc. I have always exercised visitation faithfully and have a good relationship with both of them.
This year, my daughter has rarely come for ...Read more
Dear Annie: My 18-year-old cousin, "Rick," has been seeing a friend of mine for some time. Now I am in an awkward position. My friend "Joanie" told Rick she liked him, but he told her he didn't feel the same way about her. They were together for a short time, but even then, Rick was talking to other girls. He now has an actual girlfriend. But it...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a 14-year-old boy. I'm on the swim team, and I take tap dancing lessons. But when I told my mom that I'd like to continue with both, she told me tap was a waste of time and that I would never go anywhere with it.
Only when one of my dance friends offered to take me to class after school did she agree that I could go. She still ...Read more
Dear Annie: I am in a 14-month-old relationship that is rapidly falling apart. I consider this relationship serious.
"Clara" is in her early 60s and several years younger than I am. After the first three months, we began discussing marriage. We talk on the phone every day and see each other twice a week. I take her out for dinner and a movie, ...Read more
Dear Annie: My father is in his late 70s and lives next door to my husband and me. Dad is a capable adult and maintains his household. I love him and am happy that he can take care of himself.
Lately, however, I have noticed that Dad is becoming short tempered and frustrated when he does not get the response he wants or doesn't understand what ...Read more