Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Lonely Old Fool

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married 42 years, and she plans to retire in a few months. I am unemployed, cannot find a job and consider myself retired already.

I do the grocery shopping and have dinner on the table by the time my wife returns from work, except two days a week when we go out to eat. However, my wife won't let me touch the laundry, the dishes, the hardwood floors, the bathrooms or the vacuuming. It's hands off, her way or no way. I know I need some training. I certainly don't want to use the wrong cleaners on a $5,000 floor. But my wife refuses to teach me and argues when I ask.

Our friends often comment on how spotless our house is. I ask my wife all the time what she wants me to do, but she won't say. Am I supposed to read her mind? I have even asked her to please leave me notes, and the answer is "no." So my wife has decided to resolve our arguments by sleeping by herself. I don't feel this helps matters at all. Any suggestions? -- Jim in Peoria

Dear Jim: First, please know how refreshing it is to hear from a man who actually wants to do more housework. The problem, of course, is that your wife considers this her "territory," and she is reluctant to give up control. She believes if you can do what she does, it makes her less valuable and necessary. There is no reason to fight over this. Do what you can and ignore the rest. If she doesn't like it, let her complain. We suspect she enjoys doing that.

Dear Annie: I am a 60-year-old man, divorced for one year and living alone. I recently joined a dating website and corresponded with a number of women. Then, out of the blue, I got an email from a 24-year-old Russian girl who happens to have a visa to travel to the United States.

I responded to her, and now, after 10 days, I have received numerous long letters and many risque pictures. She is a beauty. I so much wanted to believe she is real, even though every ounce of brain matter told me this is a scam. Today, I received a letter, and as I suspected, she needs money because of an unexpected mishap. She wrote, "Only $5,000 is needed and I will be in your arms in a few days." I will not be writing her back except to say, "No way."

I realize now that in her enticing letters, she never referred directly to anything I wrote to her. This is because these letters have been copied and pasted. She (or he) probably devotes many hours to working on ways to relieve me and other lonely fools of their life savings.


Warn men to keep their savings in the bank and meet real women our own age here at home. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. -- Lonely Old Fool

Dear Lonely: You are not a fool. You are lonely, yes, and hopeful of finding love again. But you are also smart enough to recognize a scam when you see one. We wish you the best of luck in finding someone who will truly make you happy.

Dear Annie: I understand why "Over-Seventy Attitude" doesn't care for email cards. Here's an even more egregious etiquette error.

After attending the wedding of a relative, we received a pre-printed card saying, "Thanks for sharing in our day and for your gift, Love (names)." Not even a personal signature, never mind an acknowledgement of the actual (generous) gift. We would have opted for a personal email any day. -- Baffled


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2018. 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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