Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Other Shoe

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: When I started my job 10 years ago, my boss was married to the office manager. Everything was great, and we were like a big family. However, four years ago, my boss's wife was caught embezzling. She is currently serving time in a federal prison, and they have since divorced.

Here's my problem. My boss recently remarried, and his new wife doesn't like me. She even has phoned the office and told me not to call my boss at home for any reason. When she calls in and I answer, she is very rude and obnoxious to me -- but not to the other girls.

I think the new wife is pressuring my boss to fire me. She is very strong-willed, and he is not. He would never stand up to anyone, and especially not her. I have made repeated attempts to be nice to this woman, but nothing is working. I think the only reason I haven't been fired yet is because my boss is afraid of my significant other. Should I start looking for another job? -- Other Shoe

Dear Shoe: Probably. The boss's new wife may connect you too closely to his previous marriage. You could fight for this job, but it wouldn't change the fact that she dislikes you and will keep the pressure on. That, in turn, will change how you feel about your office environment. You have nothing to lose, however, by politely clearing the air. Voice your concerns directly to your boss, and ask what is going on and if there is anything you can do about it.

Dear Annie: I am 59 years old, and my husband died two years ago. I'm over my mourning and am enjoying life again. Several months ago, I connected with a male high school classmate. It started with emails and then weekly phone calls. We have met several times and get along extremely well. We even have a week-long trip planned.

I really like this man and want him in my life as more than a friend. Last night, however, during one of our long conversations, he told me that he really liked how close we've become -- like a brother and sister.

Well, you can imagine how much I enjoyed that, but I said nothing because I don't want to ruin the closeness we have now and make things uncomfortable. Should I hang onto the hope that this man may realize the friendship we share is really more? -- Florida Widow

Dear Florida: Knowing he thinks of you as a sister must have put quite a damper on your intentions, but don't give up. It simply may be his way of saying you are easy to be around, and he can completely relax in your company.


If you want more, you will have to dust off your flirting skills. Laugh more, touch his arm when you talk, gaze into his eyes, sit closer. If you can't warm him up, decide if you are willing to settle for a nice friendship, because that may be all there is.

Dear Annie: I read your column in the Charleston (West Virginia) Gazette about the woman who freaked out because her husband had a few pornographic tapes. She said she felt inadequate about measuring up to the women in the videos.

As a librarian, I have to read books that I might not otherwise, including romance novels. Many of them qualify as soft-core porn, although they use words rather than pictures. Does this woman read bodice-rippers? If so, does it occur to her that her husband may feel inadequate next to the long-haired, bare-chested, tight-trousered heroes riding enormous stallions across the moors?

She needs to realize that most people know the difference between reality and fantasy, and that there is a place for both. -- Not a Stuffy Librarian

Dear Not Stuffy: As long as neither activity becomes an addiction or removes intimacy from the relationship, we agree that people are entitled to their fantasies.


"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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