Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: To Be or Not To Be Overreacting

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: Recently, my husband and I chaperoned a seven-day office-sponsored trip for high school sophomores and juniors. My husband, who is in his 50s, is very outgoing. While on the trip, he developed quite a following among the teens, especially the girls, many of whom developed a little crush on him. I brought up the possibility that these girls would want to friend him on Facebook, and we both agreed it would not be a good idea.

Now that we are home, however, he has, in fact, friended several of the kids, mostly girls. I do not have a good feeling about this, especially when so many innocent actions could be interpreted as criminal acts. My husband has worked hard to move up the ladder at his company, and I worry that he might be jeopardizing his career.

I have asked that he block these kids, but he says it's no big deal and I'm overreacting. He says he wants to watch them grow up. I have explained my reservations, saying these kids are not his peers, and as the adult, he needs to be more responsible.

My husband and his friends share a risque sense of humor, and who knows what would happen if these kids saw those comments? While it's OK that he has friended our children's friends (who are a bit older), I don't think it's appropriate to do so with children who have no ties to us. I fear this foolishness will cause problems. I don't want teenagers stalking us. I don't want them to see photographs of us on our children's Facebook pages that may not be appropriate for these teens.

Am I being oversensitive or not? -- To Be or Not To Be Overreacting

Dear To Be: We understand your trepidation, although you are expecting a worst-case scenario that may not happen. However, when your husband agreed not to friend these kids, he should have kept his word, and now he needs to back away. Make sure he confines their access so they are not privy to anything personal or inappropriate while he gradually unfriends them. And we recommend you keep an eye on things to be sure no lines are crossed. You seem to have a better grasp of the pitfalls than your husband.

Dear Annie: I am a widow in my late 60s. Four years ago, I moved to be closer to my children and grandchildren, and it's been wonderful.

Recently, I reconnected with an old boyfriend, and we have fallen in love. We want to spend what time we have left together. The problem is, I would have to move to his home, which is three hours away. I'm already experiencing tears and hard feelings from my family. The adults I can deal with, but what do I tell my little grandchildren who say, "We had you first, Gram"? How do I make them understand that my love for them will never change and that we can still visit? -- Sad Gram


Dear Gram: It's sweet that your family will miss you so much, but the only way to make the children understand is to let them live through the experience. You are only three hours away. When they see how often you visit, call, write, email, Skype, whatever, they will be able to accept your new circumstances more easily.

Dear Annie: I have a solution for "Maria in Ohio," who asked how to word wedding invitations when the parents are divorced and remarried to others. This is how our family now handles things:

"Together with their parents, Bride Jane's name and Groom Joe's name invite you to share in their joy as they exchange wedding vows," followed by the date, time and location.

This is the format, no matter who is paying for the event or how much, and it doesn't matter how many parents or stepparents are involved. (When did life get so complicated?) -- B.S.


"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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