Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Wigged Out in the U.S.A.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I am an attractive 30-something female who began experiencing thinning hair in my late 20s due to a thyroid disorder. Many women have the confidence to accept their hair loss and do nothing to hide it. I admire that. However, for me, it contributes to embarrassment, low self-esteem and a lack of confidence.

When I started wearing wigs several years ago, I could only afford synthetics, but found some affordable, realistic ones. The problem? There have been a handful of times when people -- namely co-workers and guests at social gatherings -- have come right out and asked me, in the company of others no less, whether I wear a wig. Their tactlessness never fails to stun me, and the only response I can muster is, "Why do you ask?" The most common response is, "It always looks too perfect."

More appalling is when people touch or tug on my hair without my permission to "see if it's real." Sometimes people ask where I get my hair done, which I know is an attempt to find out whether I wear a wig. I fear that one day someone will pull it off.

I don't like to lie, so I usually change the subject or act distracted. I have perused hair loss forums on the Internet for advice and have found that many women are very open about it as a means to educate others. I'm not like that. My experience has been painful and personal. Other than my doctor, I never have admitted to anyone that I wear a wig. It's no one's business.

Why on earth are these people so fixated on my hair? How do I respond to these intrusive, thoughtless and insensitive people without raising any fuss? -- Wigged Out in the U.S.A.

Dear Wigged Out: What colossal nerve. Even if your wig is more obvious than you think, it does not excuse such terrible behavior. We know you don't want to disclose your hair loss, but it might be quite liberating and certainly would put an end to the anxiety you are experiencing over discovery. Until then, however, feel free to respond to these idiots with wide eyes and a shocked expression, saying, "I'm sure you didn't intend to be so rude." Then walk away.

Dear Annie: My son is getting married, and my husband and I are paying for the rehearsal dinner. My mother is adamant that all out-of-town guests be invited.

My son and his fiancee prefer to keep the guest list to the wedding party, parents and grandparents. Otherwise it risks becoming too large. And if we include out-of-towners from our side, we also have to include those from the bride's side.


Is it normal protocol to invite out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner? Could we invite only some of them? -- Rehearsal Blues

Dear Blues: If there are large numbers of out-of-town guests, you do not need to invite them to the rehearsal dinner, although you should provide some type of refreshment when they arrive, either in their hotel rooms or by way of a hospitality suite. If there are people traveling a great distance who are special to the family, you may invite them individually, but we don't recommend including most of the groom's side and none of the bride's.

Dear Annie: As for egregious etiquette errors, how's this one? At the end of a wedding shower, a guest who had brought no gift stood up and said, "I am giving a special gift to the bride: She doesn't need to send anyone here a thank-you note."

And we never received any acknowledgement for our generous present. -- Miffed Guest

Dear Miffed: How charming. A smart bride would have ignored that "gift."


"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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