Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Too Old

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I am a 26-year-old guy who is pretty quiet. I really don't go out anywhere except to the mall on weekends.

A few months ago, a girl started working at one of the places I frequent. I could tell she was interested in me the first time I saw her, and she has become increasingly friendly. She recently asked me what my name is.

I like this girl a lot, but she is only 19. She seems very mature and intelligent. I know she wants to go out with me, but I'm worried that she thinks I'm younger than I really am. (People always think I'm barely out of my teens.)

Am I too old for this nice girl? How can I find out if she thinks the age difference is too big? Should I just forget about her and stop going where she works? -- Too Old

Dear Too Old: A seven-year age difference is a bit much when she is only 19, but it will not seem so great in a few years. However, you do need to let her know your age, so she doesn't think you are somehow misleading her.

There are many ways to get this information across. You can simply tell her. You can say that you've been at your current job since you graduated high school "eight years ago." You can ask if she's in college, saying that your college experience (if you had one) was a lot of fun. With a little imagination, you can find a casual way to mention the age difference. You'll be able to tell from her reaction if she's still interested.

Dear Annie: My father passed away eight years ago. A month later, my sister, "Connie," wrestled executor status from our oldest sister. She then sold our parents' house and announced she was building an estate in Arizona so Mom could live there with Connie's family. She justified this drastic measure as the only logical way to care for our mother. My mother ended up hating Arizona and was always depressed when we visited.

I never questioned Connie's intentions until Mom passed away last month, and we discovered that my parents' savings and investments were completely exhausted. On top of that, Connie was charging my mother rent by taking her Social Security checks and my father's pension to pay her mortgage.

I do not believe what she did is ethical or legal. We are all equal heirs, and I am wondering if there is any action we can take against her. I hate for it to come to this, but she has cut off communication (perhaps out of guilt). -- Bewildered Brother


Dear Brother: If Mom received the proceeds from the sale of the family home, Connie may be completely innocent. It wouldn't have taken too much effort for Mom to go through the remaining investments and savings during the intervening eight years. Keep in mind that Connie was the one who took care of Mom until she died, and that is worth a great deal. But if you believe your sister took financial advantage of your mother, to your detriment, you should contact a lawyer.

Dear Annie: You recently printed a letter from "Grossed Out in Virginia," who had a male co-worker who constantly sniffles, snorts, makes grotesque noises and picks at his nose.

These are classic tics associated with Tourette Syndrome and are often mistaken for allergies. This is a neurological disorder that cannot be controlled. In fact, anxiety associated with complaints can make matters worse.

The man might benefit from the care of a neurologist, as medications and a better understanding of TS can help in many ways. "Grossed Out" and her co-workers should visit the website for the Tourette Syndrome Association at -- TSA Supporter in Virginia

Dear Virginia: Thank you so much for educating us and our readers today. We hope it will help.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. 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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