Annie's Mailbox: Is This Abuse?
Dear Annie: My 14-year-old daughter attends an all-girls school. Her stepfather initially encouraged it, but in the past two years, my daughter has made friends with a few classmates who say they are lesbian or bisexual.
My husband is extremely conservative (borderline homophobic), and as a result, he is shaming my daughter regularly for her friendships. I have a good bond with my daughter and feel torn. I know my husband cares about her, but his comments are hurtful. He says he will keep it up to make sure she doesn't "become" a lesbian.
I've pleaded with him, tried to understand him and told him to stop, but it continues. What do I do? -- Is This Abuse?
Dear Abuse: Shaming your daughter is a form of abuse. Your husband sounds ignorant, homophobic and idiotic. Friendships with bisexual or homosexual girls will not make your daughter "become" a lesbian. But we guarantee that your husband's bullying will push her toward rejecting everything he says, and his influence over her will diminish to nothing.
You need to stand up for your daughter more strongly. Insist that you and your husband get counseling immediately to work on this. If he refuses and will not curtail this behavior, we recommend you take your daughter and leave the house. Your husband needs to understand the consequences of his actions, and more importantly, your child should not be subjected to such emotional abuse. You are the only one who can protect her.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "G," whose mother died and the headstone uses only the surname of her second husband. "G" was concerned that her children's descendants won't be able to find their grandmother's grave because they won't necessarily recall the second husband's surname.
Please suggest to "G" that she check the websites www.findagrave.com and www.billiongraves.com to see whether Grandma has a memorial. If not, "G" could photograph her mother's stone and create a memorial that mentions the surnames of both husbands, their dates of marriage, children from either marriage, etc. That will help descendants find Grandma when they wish to do so. -- A Genealogist
Dear Genealogist: Thank you for the helpful suggestion. Several readers mentioned findagrave.com, but you were the only one to list both sites. Of course, descendants need to know these online memorials exist in order to make use of them, and one never knows what the future holds when it comes to technology. But we are happy to mention both websites and appreciate being able to pass along the information to all of our readers.
Dear Annie: I read your column about prepaid funerals and wholeheartedly recommend them. I have prepaid five funerals. My wife and I started doing this back in 1997 with our own funerals. We paid $5,100 each for our plans. My wife of 70 years passed away last year. Had we not paid in advance, her funeral would have cost $8,300. I also prepaid for my daughter's funeral, and she was able to choose what she wanted. There is too much grief to do it at the time of death. -- R
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of 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.