Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Too Old To Be Frisky

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: When a person says "no," what does it mean? Some men just don't get it. Or do they believe it really means "yes"?

I have a wonderful friend, "Homer," and I love him dearly, but I am not "in love" with him. We are both in our 80s and widowed, and I thought it was nice to have him as a friend. But Homer's kisses are getting too mushy and lingering. He often says, "I can't wait to make love to you," and I reply each time, "No chance."

We could have so much fun together, but he always has sex on his mind. I have no interest in getting into bed with him or any other man. If that's all he wants, he's welcome to find someone else. I would miss him, but I've had about all I can take.

Other than being downright nasty, how can I make Homer understand? He gets his feelings hurt easily. -- Too Old To Be Frisky

Dear Too Old: If you are kissing Homer, you give the impression that there could be more than friendship. At that point, your words are contradicted by your actions. No wonder he doesn't understand "no." Some women mistakenly believe that they can do lots of kissing and snuggling and guys are happy to stop at that. But Homer (like a lot of men) isn't wired that way.

Please try to communicate better. Stop kissing or doing anything else that Homer might interpret as romantic. Tell him you enjoy his company, but from now on, the relationship is strictly platonic. If he still doesn't get the message, you will need to see less of him.

Dear Annie: My 83-year-old mother is a chain smoker. All I ask when I visit is that she smoke on her small balcony. I still get some fumes, but I never complain.

I drove four hours to see her on Mother's Day, and she insisted on smoking indoors. When I asked why, she replied, "Because I feel like it." When I said her newly painted walls were already covered in smoke residue, she gave me a dirty look and said the world is not going to end because there is cigarette smoke in the house. I realized she didn't care about my well-being, so I left. I told her that from now on, I will stay in a hotel.


It's not the only evidence of her disinterest in me. Only once in 20 years has she bothered to make me a meal. I always end up taking her out or putting something together for both of us. I know for a fact that my mother does not love me, so should I continue making an effort when she shows a total lack of consideration for my feelings? -- Very Sad Daughter

Dear Sad: We're not sure how you know "for a fact" that your mother doesn't love you. It's more likely that she's a difficult person who, as a matter of self-protection, is uncomfortable showing love because it makes her vulnerable to being hurt. We agree that you should stay in a hotel, because Mom is too addicted to care about anyone else's comfort. But instead of cutting her off, lower your expectations. She is who she is.

Dear Annie: You often print letters from women who complain about their husbands' ex-wives. I came along after my husband and his ex-wife resolved to be on friendly terms. Over the years, Kay always has been kind to me, and at times, if it wasn't for her support during some heart-wrenching "tough love" issues with the kids, I probably wouldn't still be married.

Recently, I traveled to Arizona to stay with Kay while she mended from an operation. I cooked meals, cleaned the house and walked her dog. We laughed, cried and entertained each other. We believe our actions teach "our" children and grandchildren an important lesson in forgiveness and human compassion. -- Debbie and Kay


"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




Dogs of C-Kennel Macanudo RJ Matson Wizard of Id Rose is Rose Herb and Jamaal