Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Annie's Mailbox for 6/6/2019

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My adult stepdaughter doesn't want to work. Her main goal in life is to drink, smoke pot and pass out naked on the beach. She inherited two family homes and essentially threw them away by not paying the mortgages and having parties with the money she collected as rent.

This woman falls off the face of the Earth until she needs something. Her father and I are just getting our finances back on track after a series of layoffs. She had no idea we had moved out of state for new jobs. My husband is retired now, and we absolutely cannot afford to house a 43-year-old woman.

This girl needs some serious help. When my grandmother became too drunk to manage her own affairs, we put her in a rest home. Could we do this with my stepdaughter? -- No Drama, Please

Dear Drama: Not without her consent or a court order saying she is incompetent. We doubt you'd get either. We assume this woman doesn't have a job, but she is still your husband's daughter. Is he willing to cut her off financially?

Would she listen to him if he offered advice or suggested job counseling? We don't recommend you let this woman land on your doorstep. She has to understand that there are consequences to her irresponsible behavior. Still, you cannot do much without Dad's backing. And if Dad enables her profligate behavior in any way, it only prolongs the end result.

Dear Annie: Everyone at our YMCA is friendly. We smile and say hello, even if we are not well-acquainted.

The exception is a young man who started coming a few months ago. He always has a scowl on his face. Whenever anyone says "hello," he turns away without responding. Maybe he just wants to be left alone. But he has had an arm amputated, so we wonder whether there is something more we should do to reach out to him. He might be a war veteran -- but we don't know, because he won't talk to us.

What should we do? We're happy to give him his space and stop trying to be friendly if that's what is best for him. -- Just Trying To Be Friendly


Dear Just: You sound very kind, but some people need more space -- and more time to adjust. Please don't suddenly ignore this man, however. It doesn't require much additional effort to continue to say hello, without expecting a response. We think, in time, this man will realize that you aren't being overly inquisitive, and he will acknowledge your greeting, even if it is with only a nod or a grunt. Be patient.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from Confused Employee, the 18-year-old woman whose husband-and-wife bosses want them to take photographs of themselves every day to compete for a $100 gift certificate for "best dressed."

You dropped the ball on this one. I don't think this has anything to do with a dress code. It's just creepy. If the bosses want the staff to dress better, they should have a meeting and say so. It sounds more like the bosses want lots of pictures of pretty girls to look at. What is he going to do with those photographs? Will they appear online? Are they going to be Photoshopped with a girl's head on someone else's naked body?

If I were a parent and my daughter told me that the boss was requiring daily photos, I'd be down at that coffee shop so fast it'd make his head spin. Once those pictures are taken, anything can happen to them. -- Creeped-Out Mom

Dear Mom: Dozens of readers were also "creeped out" that this husband and wife wanted photos of these young women. This is a questionable and worrisome request, even if the motives are simply to see who is best dressed. There are better ways to achieve that.

This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at



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