Annie's Mailbox: Give Me a Break
Dear Annie: We're in a pickle. We've spent the past winter in a wonderful retirement area. We've gone out to dinner with some neighbors and had a nice time. Now that it's time to head home, two couples talk constantly about traveling our way this summer, staying with us while they see the sights of our city.
Annie, we like these couples, but our lives are very different. For starters, we are vegans and they are not. Just having them for meals in our house would be difficult. We have hinted that we have a lot to do when we get home and are not sure when we would be available, but it hasn't stopped them from assuming they are welcome.
Whatever happened to waiting to be invited? Is it because these retired couples have no set schedule and love to visit people? Why do they expect a big welcome mat to be thrown out for them?
I hope all snowbirds will read this. If you want to visit, book a hotel and we'll be delighted to meet up with you at a restaurant. How do we get out of this? -- Give Me a Break
Dear Give: When people say they're planning to visit you, reply sweetly, "We'd love to see you up our way. There are some charming hotels not far from our house and we'll be happy to give you the names. We could meet for dinner." You are under no obligation to let them stay with you, no matter how insistent they are in their efforts to freeload. Always be polite, but don't let them take advantage of you.
Dear Annie: This is about "Embarrassed About the Next Generation," who said kids can't make change or balance a checkbook.
When kids don't learn in school, or their parents refuse to teach them, then you get the cashier at our fast-food restaurant. The bill came to $5.25. We handed the girl $6.25, so she could give us back a dollar. She stated that she couldn't do that and gave me back the quarter, along with 75 cents. She didn't know how to do it any other way.
Someone should teach these kids matters relating to finances. Remember, these are the next generation of bankers. -- We're in Trouble
Dear Trouble: Not really. Someone who cannot make change is not likely to go into banking. Surely you remember kids in your grade school and high school who had difficulty with math. They probably couldn't make change, either, but you didn't know about it.
We have received dozens of letters from readers who are annoyed, upset, irritated and angry that their local 19-year-old cashier doesn't know how to make change. But it is unfair to blame an entire generation because one or two fast-food workers couldn't decipher how to give you back a dollar. Plenty of young people can make change correctly. However, we completely agree that it is helpful to learn these life skills, and it will be up to the parents and grandparents to take on this responsibility. Better to spend a few hours mentoring than griping about it.
"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. 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.