Dear Annie: I'm planning my birthday party. I'm renting out a room in a beautiful bar/event space downtown. I've got about 15 friends coming. Recently, in passing, I mentioned to one of my friends that I'd ordered a cake from a bakery for the occasion. She said, "You're getting your own cake? You shouldn't do that! That's sad!" I told her I ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for seven years. Having both been married and divorced before, we committed and agreed before we married that the words "separation" and "divorce" would never be discussed in our future.
We have a large circle of friends and attend music festivals that include old-time dancing, which I love. We ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have a dear friend who lives nearby, but for some reason, he will not contact me. We grew up together, and a year ago, I helped him, his wife and his dogs out after Hurricane Irma knocked out electricity at their home.
He has never really thanked me, and he never calls me. And I refuse to call him.
What could be the problem? He...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm an old guy with some advice for other older people in the workforce. I've been a contract attorney working in health care for over 30 years. When I got let go from my company three years ago after 15 years, I'm telling you, finding another job was the hardest job I've ever had. It made the real jerks I had dealt with and stress...Read more
Dear Annie: I'd like to make a plea to your readers.
My wife and I live far from the places where we grew up, but most of our friends are still close to our respective parents. When we visit, especially now that we have children, it is always stressful because of our friends' expectations.
Because of work schedules, school schedules and our ...Read more
Dear Annie: I have been married for one year to a classmate whom I reconnected with at our 50th high school class reunion. While he was courting me, he seemed perfect. He spent money on me, bought loving cards, bought flowers, took me to restaurants and fancy hotels. You get the picture. He continued to court me until I agreed to marry him. It...Read more
Dear Readers: I am always fascinated to hear diametrically opposed yet equally valid viewpoints. Such was the case with the following two letters, which both appeared in my inbox on the same day in response to "Undecided in Ohio," who isn't sure whether she wants kids. Read on.
Dear Annie: I have often read this column but never responded to ...Read more
Dear Annie: My husband and I have four young children. Generally, our children are well-behaved; however, sometimes they don't listen to me or my husband. It is incredibly frustrating for us, and we both lose our patience quickly with them. When this happens, we find that they start playing off one another and revolting against us.
This tends...Read more
Dear Annie: During the past year, I have had some health issues that have required that I stay in a hospital and then a nursing facility for several months. I am in my 40s, and it's been extremely hard on my family, but I am now recovering at home.
A month ago, my husband told me that during my stay, two different women had propositioned him,...Read more
Dear Annie: I have a problem with my brother, "Josh." Josh seems to want to cut me and our mom out of his life. I'm indifferent to how much contact I have with my brother, but Mom is not. Josh is having surgery in a few days, and though he didn't directly state it, it's clear that he would prefer we not be at the hospital during the surgery. ...Read more
Dear Annie: OK, I realize there are innumerable insurmountable, earth-shaking universal problems in our world. This is definitely a "First World problem," but it is one that could be easily fixed.
Could manufacturers please mark their food products with expiration dates that are easy to locate and read? I probably spend a third of my grocery ...Read more
Dear Annie: You recently wrote that an adult daughter was wrong to discard her mother's pantry food without asking her first -- even food that had expired. What do you think about the current trend of girlfriends and wives discarding their boyfriends' and husbands' outdated clothes?
I read an article in a major newspaper by a fashionista ...Read more
Dear Annie: A couple of years ago, when I was starting a business, a friend put me in touch with her friend "Margaret," who had just started her own boutique marketing and public relations firm. I ended up hiring Margaret to help promote my new business. She was going to pitch articles about it to a few local publications (she was a part-time ...Read more
Dear Annie: I was recently shopping in a department store, when I heard the very loud screams of a child. Because the screaming was so abnormal, I wanted to seek the child out to see what was causing it. When I found the screamer, she was being pushed in a stroller by her mother, with a man (possibly her father) and two other women walking ...Read more
Dear Annie: I read your column daily, but this is my first time writing to you. My issue is with our adjacent neighbors. They have two small dogs. The man picks up the dog waste and puts it in a pile at the edge of our property. When they moved in a year and a half ago, I observed that he was dumping his grass clippings in my yard and asked ...Read more
Dear Annie: Next month, I will be moving into my boyfriend's apartment, which he shares with two other guys. They've been living together for about two years, and everyone gets along without issue. They all have their own space and work different hours, so depending on the time, it's kind of like living alone for each one. Though I am friends ...Read more
Dear Annie: I need advice regarding a recent nanny experience. I hired someone out of sheer desperation. I moved to a new town and have no friends or family around and am a single mother, and I had been with my 4-year-old son since March, one-on-one with no real breaks. I hired her from a reputable baby-sitting website that I paid to subscribe...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm writing about my 53-year-old stepson, "Sam." I helped to raise Sam starting when he was 11. His first mom was murdered with a handgun a year before. He was already difficult as a younger child and already into drugs, including alcohol. Things got worse. My husband and I made mistakes, mostly on the side of enabling. We've ...Read more
Dear Annie: I'm worried that my boyfriend is abusing his prescription drugs. He goes for days without taking them and then takes several times the recommended doses all at once. He says he likes the intense rush he feels when he takes them this way. (They're stimulants.) I've expressed concern repeatedly. Every few months, things get really ...Read more