Annie's Mailbox: Constant Gesturing Very Annoying
Dear Annie: My twin sister and I are 57. Every time she visits me, she takes things. Often, I don't realize the things are missing until I need to use them, or when I want to wrap them as gifts, which is what happened last Christmas.
When this has happened in the past, I've confronted my sister, but she denies taking anything. However, during my last visit to her new home, I caught her. I was hanging up my clothes in the closet, and to my shock, the top shelf had several of my missing things. I called my sister in to explain, and of course, she couldn't lie about not stealing the items I could plainly see.
I'm financially better off than my twin, but she does quite well, too. I have always been there for her when she needed anything. She lived with me for several years when she had nowhere else to go, and I helped her get out of debt.
My brother also steals from me when he stays here. And when my sister came last week, after she gave me her word that she could be trusted, I discovered several items missing. Is there a reason people do this? -- Kansas Twin
Dear Twin: Your twin (and your brother) may suffer from kleptomania, an impulse control disorder that makes it difficult to resist urges to steal items that, for the most part, you don't need and won't use. Your risk of developing this mental health disorder is increased if you have a parent or sibling with kleptomania, obsessive-compulsive disorder or a substance abuse problem. Your siblings seem to qualify. You can talk to your sister, saying that you are worried about her, and suggest she ask her doctor for a referral to a mental health professional. We hope she gets help before she steals from someone who will have her arrested.
Dear Annie: I hope my question is not too far out of line. I have noticed many people are not able to talk without using their hands. And they can't seem to keep their hand movements to a reasonable limit. I recently stopped watching one of my favorite TV shows because the constant hand waving is too distracting.
When a person I am close to gets out of control, I lower my eyes and do not watch, but I find the constant gesturing very annoying. Why do they do this? -- J.
Dear J.: Most people use their hands when they speak, some more than others. Hand gestures can underscore what you are saying and, to some extent, can also indicate friendliness or engagement in the topic. Keeping your hands still might be misinterpreted as indifference or boredom. But large and constant hand gestures can be distracting and annoying and tend to be more common within cultures or families.
This obviously bothers you a great deal. If you are good friends with someone who waves his hands around excessively, you can gently point it out and ask whether he would temper the gestures a bit.
Dear Annie: I would like to thank Powerless for writing in with concerns about her atheist friend. I grew up atheist in a suburban school where, although I was a proselytization target, I was fortunate not to experience that kind of relentless bullying. I would like to offer a resource that might help, especially if the school district is uncooperative.
The Secular Student Alliance is a group of students and families who help each other with situations like this. Please let Powerless know that she and her friend are not powerless. I hope both of them remain safe and get through this situation. -- W.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.