Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Been There in Ohio

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I am a 15-year-old male, and I have a dilemma about a dating situation. The trouble is that my parents do not want me to date until I am 16. There is a girl I'm interested in, and we could be dating if my parents would let me. Right now, we are just keeping things as friends, but we really want to spend time together.

I am going into my sophomore year and feel that if I let this chance of having a relationship pass by, I'll have allowed two of the four years of my high school life slip away, since I don't turn 16 until next May. I don't want to waste any more time.

At the start of my freshman year, I lied to my parents about a different relationship, and I don't want to lie to them again, but I want a chance with this girl. I haven't talked to them about this yet, and I want to be careful about how I approach them and explain things.

How do I talk to my parents and get them to see this from my perspective? How can I make this relationship work? -- Wisconsin

Dear Wisconsin: You might not want to tell your parents that if you don't date, you are wasting time and letting the years slip away. It won't gain you any points.

We are not big fans of arbitrary dating rules. Some teenagers are quite mature at 15, and others need to wait. Frankly, kids who first date at the same time they get their driver's license often are looking to make up for lost time. Still, your parents have the last word, so please don't lie.

Ask if you can date in a group setting with a mix of other couples and singles. Ask if they would consider it dating if you arranged to join this girl at the mall on a Saturday afternoon. Ask if you can invite the girl over after school so they can meet her. (We recommend this one.)

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Concerned Roommate," whose college dorm mate stopped going to class and taking care of herself.

We are the parents of two sons who stopped going to classes and developed depression in college. Both were honor students in high school and thought they could sail through college. The oldest became addicted to video games, the youngest to partying. We knew their grades were a problem but did not truly understand. The boys kept telling us, "This semester will be OK."


Our oldest son attempted suicide and has not yet completed his degree, but his depression is being treated medically, and he is much better. Our youngest son is home this semester, finally getting his act together. Please, please, if your roommate will not deal with her situation, go to the dean, explain what is happening, and ask him/her to call the parents. The dean is the best person to help the parents understand that their daughter is not the only one in this situation and that there is help for her. -- Been There in Ohio

Dear Ohio: We are happy to know that your sons are being treated and things are looking up. We hope anyone in a similar situation will follow your advice and speak to the dean immediately.

Dear Annie: How dare you, along with "Hairless 65 in Lancaster, Calif.," compare people to Cousin Itt. Personally, I have nasal hair and, lately, ear hair, and if you can see it enough to comment on, you're too darn close, and it's none of your business. If you don't like it, don't look at it.

I am not out to impress anyone, nor am I out to insult anyone. But for someone to tell me there is no excuse for my nose and ear hair, that is NOT acceptable. -- Heard Enough in New Jersey

Dear N.J.: You are entitled to turn into Wooly Bully if you like, but you can't expect others to enjoy observing your hairiness in progress. Thanks for writing.


"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




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