Dear Annie: Two years ago, I met a homeless man and took him in. "Steve" has a mental illness and a drug problem. He told me he had no family and was all alone. It was Christmastime, and I couldn't walk away. Come to find out he had been living with his mom, who threw him out over his drug problem. My family and I stood by Steve when he went ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have a sibling who struggles with an eating disorder. I give her constant love and support and do everything I can to help her. I've heard that Thanksgiving and Christmas pose challenges for people with eating disorders, as people are expected -- and even pressured -- to eat more than usual. How can I help my sister feel calmer ...Read more
Dear Annie: Whenever Christmas rolls around, I feel sick. I want to enjoy the merriment as much as most people seem to. Unfortunately, I have negative associations with the winter holidays. I'm sure I'm not alone in dreading Christmas. How can I put these associations aside in order to have a happy holiday season? -- Cringing at Christmas
Dear Annie: I was recently out of town for a long weekend with some girlfriends. When I returned home, I opened the refrigerator and commented to my husband of 30 years that based on the leftovers, he must have prepared a nice meal for himself. He responded that he had invited my best friend, who is single, over to have dinner and watch a ...Read more
Dear Annie: As the holidays draw near, I like to be prepared and buy my gifts early. Every year, I get stuck when it comes to thinking of a gift for my younger brother "Henry." Henry is a teenager whose only interest is playing video games. For Christmas, the only things he ever asks for are video games and money. I have made very clear to him...Read more
Dear Annie: This may be a new one for you, but I'm finding it frustrating, to say the least. My husband, who is a retired European-trained chef, does most of the cooking now that we are both retired. For years, I've used zip-lock bags for storing leftovers. Over the past two years, he's insisted on buying a kind that has to be lined up ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have not seen this problem discussed in your column and would really like your advice on this situation, as it's damaged a 50-year friendship. My buddy Roger has become addicted to gambling. He bets on every sport and is consumed with following his bets on his cellphone. He is always looking down at his phone at any social ...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm a 26-year-old man who's very nice, thoughtful and kind. I've dated only a few times, and I know I'm still young, but in the era of the #MeToo movement, it scares me to date someone, because things I say or do could be used against me. How do I feel comfortable in the dating world without having the fear that a woman will accuse...Read more
Dear Annie: My problem certainly is not unique, yet I'm at my wits' end on how to handle it.
I love all animals dearly, but my favorite is a cat. I've had cats my entire life. Almost all have been rescues. I take great care to make sure they are fed, are given shots and go to the vet when they are sick, and I provide a safe and warm home for ...Read more
Dear Annie: I want to do therapy, but I don't think I can afford it right now. I've done a few sessions in the past, but I don't want to keep hopping from doctor to doctor; I want to find someone I vibe well with and stick with that person. So, my problem is this: How do I afford a good therapist?
In my experience, the cheaper therapists aren...Read more
Dear Annie: My daughter and son-in-law live in another state. He is a doctor, and she is a nurse. They are both 30 and have no student loan debt. They have two kids. I go up and visit whenever I can. I don't make near the amount of money they do, but when we all go out to eat, I have to pay for myself -- even if I just order coffee and no food...Read more
Dear Annie: What is the etiquette with handicapped stalls in restrooms? When I go into a public restroom and there are multiple stalls to choose from, I like to go with the handicapped one because it's roomier. I imagine that many other people do, too. Is that wrong? If I ever saw someone with a handicap, I would of course yield to that person...Read more
Dear Annie: I am a widowed stepmother of a man and a woman. My husband and I had a cordial relationship with their mother. I grew to love her, and I think she liked me.
My stepdaughter, "Renee," has been divorced for 2 1/2 years. She and her ex, "Matt," share custody of their three children. Matt sought the divorce, and Renee has never gotten...Read more
Dear Annie: I have a tricky problem going on right now. I am married and have been for a while -- 20-plus years. It's been a typical marriage, with its ups and downs, but I'd say I've been fairly content and things have been pretty good. Right now, I would say I am in the middle of my life, so this issue could very well be a midlife crisis. I ...Read more
Dear Annie: I recently dated a woman for five months. She is in her late 70s like me. She is twice widowed. Husband No. 2 passed away three years ago.
My lady friend and I were together for dinners, outdoor community events and theater performances, and I competed some light landscaping work around her house and some minor household repairs. ...Read more
Dear Annie: We would like your advice before there is a problem. We will be moving later this year to live with our son and his family. They have a duplex, and we will have our own unit. We expect to provide child care to our granddaughter and for the new baby coming soon. We will all be together during the Thanksgiving weekend and have plans ...Read more
Dear Annie: Nearly a year ago, my sister was in a devastating accident. She had been drinking heavily. Thank goodness, no one else was involved. She has a massive brain injury and will never be the same. Throughout the years, we used to discuss the idea of living in such a condition. She and I both expressed the feeling that we would rather ...Read more
Dear Readers: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to thank all of you -- my readers. I particularly want to single out those of you who have reached out by offering your questions and opinions. Without you, the column would not be possible. To celebrate this special day, I'd like to share one of my favorite poems, because it helps ...Read more
Dear Annie: Over the past year, I've discovered that there are some people in this world who are OK with "just getting by" with what is available -- including leaning on or using what another person under the same roof has.
How does one inspire another to get a job and thus the money and things needed for life?
I have supported the one under...Read more
Dear Annie: My sister and I grew up in a pretty troubled home. Thankfully, I got out of the house by leaving for college, but my sister has not been so lucky. School has never been easy for her, so she is still stuck in a toxic home environment. I make sure to show her lots of support and listen whenever she needs someone to talk to. I know ...Read more