Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: All Alone Out There

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I have to pay restitution for a crime I committed, along with court fees and attorney fees. How in the world am I to get a job to do that? I know I should have thought of that before committing the crime, but I didn't. It was a nonviolent crime, and I just wasn't thinking. And there is nothing I can do about that now.

The detectives arrested me at my job, so I lost my excellent-paying position. I currently am out on bail and hoping to get work so I can defer some of the costs, but when prospective employers do a background check, it shows that I have charges pending. When I am convicted, which is likely, the background check will be even worse.

I have never done anything like this before, and don't plan to again, but for the moment, I have no idea how to handle it. I am lost and -- All Alone Out There

Dear All Alone: While a criminal record is hardly a good recommendation to an employer, you might be surprised to know that many employers are willing to hire someone who has served his sentence or who is trying to make amends. For assistance and information, contact the Safer Foundation ( at 571 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60661.

Dear Annie: I am a 28-year-old woman and about to be married to my boyfriend of six years. My parents have said repeatedly that they are very excited for us and want to pay for our wedding. However, when we started talking about the details, we ran into some problems.

We wanted a small wedding, but my mother wants to invite 30 of her friends, which doesn't leave space for any of our friends. The main problem, however, is that my fiance and I are both vegans and want to have a vegetarian wedding. We are willing to provide fish for my parents and their friends, but that's it. We are absolutely appalled by meat eating and don't feel we should serve meat just to make my parents happy.

Now my parents are saying they won't pay for the wedding if meat is not on the menu and they cannot include all of their friends.

Shouldn't a wedding ceremony be a celebration for the two people who are getting married? I think my parents are being unreasonable and disrespectful to me. My fiance and I are now thinking of eloping and not inviting my parents. Any advice would be much appreciated. -- Frustrated Daughter


Dear Daughter: Yes, your parents should take your preferences into consideration, but this is what happens when someone else pays for the wedding. If you want to control the guest list and menu, you and your fiance should pay for the wedding and have whatever modest affair you can afford, even if that means tea and tofu in your apartment.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Irritated in Tennessee." I'm a jogger, and I often run in the street, even when a sidewalk is available. The reason? People's trees and bushes are overgrown, and their cars overflow the driveway.

My subdivision has no sidewalk or shoulder. If I jog on the manicured lawn, I get fists shaken at me. If I veer onto the grass by the street, I step in dog doo. I'd love to start biking to work, but I'd be endangering my life.

I understand that bikers and joggers can be a surprise and a nuisance. Runners should wear visible clothing, drivers should pay more attention, and everyone should write their local politicians about creating biking/jogging paths. That way, we all win -- less traffic, less pollution and better health. -- Cautious in Kentucky

Dear Cautious: We agree. Thanks for your input.


"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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