Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Life Is Good

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I've been dating "Gary" for 11 years. He is in his early 50s and has never married. Neither of us has children. Gary and I travel together, go camping and attend major sporting events. We make each other laugh and have fun in the bedroom. We truly are best friends.

My problem is the lack of commitment. Although I'm welcome at Gary's home as an overnight guest, he refuses to take it to the next level. If I bring up moving in or getting married, I get silence in return. He doesn't give any explanation. He just refuses to discuss it.

Gary recently started a new career and is gone for three days every week. There is an excellent chance that he will relocate. We still hook up on weekends, and things are great, but I long for a commitment and cannot seem to get it.

When filling out his new life insurance policy, Gary listed his elderly mother as his beneficiary. She is quite well off and doesn't need the money. I would be willing to share everything I own with him, but I guess it isn't reciprocal.

Maybe I already know the answer and just need to see it in black and white. Is it time to move on? -- Life Is Good

Dear Life Is Good: Gary enjoys what he has right now. And to a large extent, so do you. Are you willing to give up the friendship and intimacy with Gary in order to pursue a committed relationship? Could you be content with what you have and not expect more? If Gary is ready to move away and hasn't suggested that you come along, it means you will not get a commitment from him. Period. Only you can decide whether that means the relationship is a waste of time.

Dear Annie: When my husband and I travel, we often spend a couple of days with friends or family. One night during our stay, we usually go out to dinner. There always seems to be a small verbal battle over who is going to pay the bill.

My husband always insists on paying. He says we want to thank them for their hospitality. On the other hand, when friends or family come to our house and we go out to dinner, my husband still insists on paying, saying they are our guests.


When I was growing up, my father was the same way. Is there a rule about who should pick up the tab: the host or the guest? -- Tired of Always Footing the Bill

Dear Tired: When staying at someone's home for a weekend or longer, it is good manners to treat your hosts to a meal to thank them for their hospitality. Your husband should allow your guests to do the same for him. However, if your guests are with you only for a night, it is equally proper for your husband to treat them. But really, since he's so stubborn about it, we suggest you let him do what he wants.

Dear Annie: You were wrong to tell "N.Y., N.Y." to visit her ailing grandmothers because it is "the right thing to do."

Having been through it with a grandmother and my own mother, I would have preferred to remember them as the loving people they once were instead of the nasty, angry human wreckage they became. When my grandchildren were younger, I spent lots of time making beautiful memories, and that's what I want them to remember. I've already given written instructions that should I follow the same course, none of my family is to visit. Let me preserve some dignity by not having my loved ones witness my decline. -- Realistic

Dear Realistic: We don't believe unpleasant memories must crowd out the earlier loving ones. But if these are your wishes, they should be honored.


"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




Working it Out David Horsey Andy Marlette Andy Capp Caption It Gary Markstein