Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Toothless in Pennsylvania

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My husband and I have noticed that his sister's husband has been rather cool to us for quite some time. We can barely get a civil hello from him at family events, yet he is warm and friendly to others. To the best of our knowledge, we have not done or said anything that would warrant the cold shoulder.

My husband and I have many friends and are well respected in our community. We have tried not to let his attitude bother us, but it hurts. We live in the same community and attend the same church, so avoiding him is not an option. He recently was a no-show at a family gathering at our home. My husband mentioned this to another relative and was told that it was because of me.

I was dumbfounded. I have no clue why he dislikes me. We have never argued or had an unpleasant incident. I would apologize in a minute if I only knew what for. What can I do? -- Clueless

Dear Clueless: It's possible that your brother-in-law misinterpreted something that happened involving you, and the only way to clear it up is to find out what occurred. Your husband can speak to his brother-in-law (or his sister) privately, say you are mortified that you may have done something to offend him and ask how the situation can be remedied so all of you can have a warmer relationship. We hope it helps.

Dear Annie: I am a recently divorced 40-year-old woman and have started seeing someone I really enjoy being with.

My problem is, four years ago, I had to have four of my front teeth pulled due to a gum disease. I am wondering when and how to tell this man my teeth are fake. I want him to know, but I am embarrassed and scared of his reaction. Please help. -- Toothless in Pennsylvania

Dear Toothless: Unless you are afraid your teeth will come loose with vigorous kissing, this is one of those things that don't require revelation until the relationship has progressed to physical intimacy. Hopefully, he will care enough about you that it won't bother him when you say, "There's something you should know about my teeth." (By the way, if you can afford them, dental implants can take care of this issue permanently.)


Dear Annie: I am "Spell Check Is Your Friend." I wrote about a college friend who is a special-ed teacher with poor English skills. I was stunned at the responses. It seems most people feel that as long as a teacher is a nice person, it doesn't matter whether she is qualified to do the job.

I am not spiteful or jealous. I am simply concerned about the children who are learning improperly. And although they are special-ed kids, they are not babies. They are 5th and 6th graders. Trust me, I'm not talking about a typo here and there. I'm talking about endless run-on sentences, no knowledge of homonyms or punctuation, and repeat misspellings of basic common words. Yes, she is a very nice person, but would you want your kids in her classroom? I wouldn't.

Today my friend posted on Facebook that she is worried about the upcoming evaluations. I didn't call the Board of Ed about her, but I still wonder whether I should. My intent is not to get her fired. Rather, it is to get her into an English refresher course. It would only benefit her students' education, and I think that's the most important thing. -- Spell Check in New York

Dear New York: Unfortunately, despite your best intentions, chances are your complaints could get her fired. We still think this is something best handled by the school and the parents, and we are certain they either know about her inadequate English skills or find them to be less important than her other attributes.


"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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