Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Long-Time Reader, First-Time Responder

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Upstate New York Where It's 20 Degrees Outside." He said his wife has hot flashes and wants to set the thermostat down, but he likes it at 74 so he can run around in his underwear. She's ready to move out. He thinks she's being selfish.

We also are from upstate New York, and I think he is the selfish one. He can dress in layers, put on a sweater or buy himself a parka. On the other hand, there is just so much that she can take off. Yes, he may pay the bills, but I wonder who cooks, cleans, does the laundry, shops and cares for the children. -- Long-Time Reader, First-Time Responder

Dear Long-Time Reader: That letter made a lot of readers "hot" under the collar. Read on for more:

From Wisconsin: Tell him to turn the heat down and put the money he saves toward those mortgage payments he is so smug about. Better yet, donate it to a charity that helps cover energy bills for those who aren't able to pay them.

Boston: I have never in my long life said this to anyone, but what a jerk!

My husband and I have had this same problem. Our thermostat is set at 69. He wears sweats and warm slippers, and I wear T-shirts. This is not about who pays the mortgage, but about your attitude toward your partner.

Indiana: No one needs to suffer from hot flashes. As soon as my doctor prescribed an antidepressant, it was like someone flipped a switch.

Chicago: As a woman in her eighth year of hot flashes and night sweats, I have learned some coping skills. Many women cannot take hormone replacement. I have found some relief in yoga, breathing techniques and mindful meditation. I suggest the wife find a room she can call her own and keep it at a temperature that is comfortable for her. This time is a natural progression in women's lives and should be embraced. I hope her journey is a short one.


California: Thirty years ago, due to surgery, I had hot flashes. An acquaintance told me her ob-gyn recommended vitamin E. It worked! It took six weeks to kick in, but, oh, the relief!

Georgia: I urge you to exercise extreme caution in recommending natural remedies for hot flashes. These treatments are unregulated and can contain a variety of harmful substances, and they don't have to have any of these on their labels. People should be very careful. For further information, contact the Centers for Disease Control toxicology division in Atlanta.

Upstate New York: What an inconsiderate husband. It's his choice to wear nothing around the house, so he should be willing to suffer the consequences. We keep our house at 65 degrees. Sweaters and slippers are comfortable and healthier than 74 degrees. We sleep well and even better when I get the gas bill. Last time I checked, it was "our" house, not "my" house.

California: I have had brief hot flashes since 2008. They only seem to last forever. I have a hand fan by my bed and recliner, and I carry a folding one in my purse. In the winter, I step outside for a few minutes. I take care of myself without inconveniencing anyone else, but I will be glad when they are over.

Florida: I've been in that gentleman's shoes for a number of years and had the same complaint. Six months ago, however, I suffered male hot flashes as a result of a hormone imbalance. Having been on the other side, I can tell him that it is a very unpleasant experience and one over which you have no control.


"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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