Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Fed up with distant family

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I am 33 years old and fed up with how distant my family is. I am disappointed with my grandparents for the way they behave. I grew up around them, but they moved to Arizona when I was 19.

I thought we were close, but it seems we are growing further apart. Sometimes they are in our town for several weeks, but we only hear from them once or twice. One would think they would set a better example for maintaining family ties. They recently came back for three weeks, and we didn't know they were in town until halfway through their trip. They took us out to eat and casually mentioned that they are taking my two aunts and two of the grandkids to a resort for three days. We weren't invited. In fact, whenever they are here, they focus all of their time and attention on one daughter and her kids and forget the rest of us.

My grandparents are getting older and won't be around forever. I really want my daughter to meet all of her family while she has a chance. How do I change this? Is it even worth trying? It's not really the same if they call more often only because I demand it. -- Donny

Dear Donny: You should talk to your grandparents and tell them how much you miss them and how their favoritism is having a negative impact on your feelings and their relationship with your daughter. It's not a "demand." They cannot change their behavior if they are unaware of it. It may take some extra effort for them to remember this, and it's OK to prompt them when necessary. Also, don't hesitate to take the initiative whenever you want to speak to them.

Dear Annie: I know this is a bit out of your league, but I don't know who else to ask. My son is a university student. His major requires that he take several math classes. In every class, the professor is his worst teacher of the semester. They don't explain anything, and they don't give feedback on tests or quizzes. As a result, he does poorly.

I thought it was just my son or that university, but he now is taking a make-up math class at our local community college. He says the same thing is happening with the professor there. What is it about college math professors that makes them unfeeling, unhelpful and uncaring? Why can't universities get them to treat their students better and be more helpful? -- Cape Coral, Fla.

Dear Florida: While we are certain some math professors do not explain things as clearly as they could, when this happens with every professor, in every environment, we have to assume your son is more than a little math-challenged. As a college student, it is his responsibility to find a way to understand the material. Instead of blaming the professors, suggest to your son that he get some remedial math assistance. He should be able to find a tutor on campus.


Dear Annie: "Disappointed" needs to grow up instead of complaining that she is now left to buy her own honeymoon lingerie because her bridesmaids haven't offered to host a shower for her. Oh, boo-hoo! It is not mandatory that anyone host a shower for her.

Perhaps she chose really expensive bridesmaids dresses, shoes, etc., and her attendants are already financially overextended -- and they are hosting a bachelorette party. But rather than focus on the positive, she prefers to be upset about the lack of a shower. Grow up, Bridezilla, and thank your bridesmaids for what they are doing for you. Buy your own honeymoon lingerie. A wedding is not about the gifts and the parties. -- California

Dear California: Yes, but you are being a bit hard on the bride. She wasn't demanding a shower. She was simply disappointed not to have one.


"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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