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Annie's Mailbox: Grossed Out

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My wife has gotten so many animals that it is out of control. Every time she gets upset or sad, she goes out and purchases another animal. Right now, we own eight cats, four bunnies, six rats, two cows and two horses. Our house smells like cat feces and our yard smells like cow and horse poop. Whenever we eat, the cats jump onto the ...Read more

Ask Amy: Matron of honor declines serving at summer wedding

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I am getting married this summer and was looking forward to having my best friend be my matron of honor. I was maid of honor in her wedding.

Right after I got engaged, she got pregnant with her first child, and her baby is due in late spring.

She initially said she would be able to make this work, but recently told me she decided to ...Read more

Slept with Wife's Nieces

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I live in a small town with my wife of 33 years. My wife has a large family, most of whom live in the same state as us. Two of her siblings had daughters the same age who grew up like sisters. Last summer her two nieces came to stay with us for a week while on a break from college. It turned out her nieces were hard-partying, dope-...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Grieving Sister

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My only sibling has stopped speaking to me. My brother had a son 26 years ago. He claims he knew nothing about the child until I told him six months ago that he should take responsibility for his oldest son. We had words, and he texted me not to contact him, ever, and to have a great life.

I did call and left a message wishing him ...Read more

Ask Amy: Trauma survivor struggles to cope

Life Advice / Ask Amy /

Dear Amy: I have recently been reliving a trauma from my childhood on a daily basis. Along with this, I have been remembering other occurrences of this same trauma.

My father is a child molester, and an abusive alcoholic.

This trauma from my childhood led to trichotillomania, which has gotten worse, despite the fact that I have pursued therapy...Read more

Employer Doesn't Care

Life Advice / Dear Annie /

Dear Annie: I've been at my current job for nearly 10 years. But over the last year, I've become very discouraged, as the pandemic has helped to shine a bright light on my employer's true character. He has asked us to work in unsafe conditions this entire pandemic, exposing us to risk every day so that he can continue to rake in money through ...Read more

Annie's Mailbox: Is This Normal?

Life Advice / Annie's Mailbox /

Dear Annie: My girlfriend has a thing that she does with her 10-year-old son that I find borderline weird.

The first time I was at her home, while we were cooking dinner together, her son started whining, "Can we do it now, please? Please?" and she says OK and tells me she'll be back in a minute. The two of them then go into the living room. ...Read more

Single File: At Long Last (Sigh)

Life Advice / Single File /

No longer financial runners-up, women have earned the delight of replacing financial clout as a top must-have before investing serious interest in a man. Yes, I realize we're still a long way from financial wholeness, still stuck under the glass ceiling in many corporations and still earning substantially less for equal work, but our ambitions ...Read more

Robert Hale/Dreamstime/TNS

Barton Goldsmith: Tips to make a homemade pandemic Valentine's celebration loving and safe

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

We needed the winter holidays. They were different for most of us this year, but we celebrated because, quite frankly, we needed to, and Valentine’s Day is no different — even if you don’t have a romantic partner.

Right now, we need all the love we can get, and even if you’ve been a bit of an anti-Valentine’s person in the past, this ...Read more

TNS

How to do date night during COVID-19 pandemic: 7 Valentine's Day ideas

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

A buzzing restaurant filled with diners, a packed concert hall. Date nights of the past aren’t available this year, claimed by the pandemic.

But date nights can still be vibrant and romantic. We asked Illinois couples how they are making it work. Some picked up at-home painting kits; others are creating a restaurant-style environment at home,...Read more

TNS

Erika Ettin: The third degree will not get you the second date

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

While I don’t usually have calls with clients on the weekends (though, I still do work … dating never sleeps), when a client frantically texted me tonight to talk about a date (I’m writing this on a Sunday evening), I knew it was a call I had to take.

She started by saying that after she got home from a first date last night, she cried ...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: Blarenaked Ladies

Whenever I feel like I click with someone, I want to be upfront and tell them I like them right away. My friends all say this is dating suicide (and that's how it's been working out for me). But if I'm looking for emotional honesty in a partner, shouldn't I lead with it?

--Confused

If we're arrested, we have a right to remain silent. ...Read more

TNS

Person to Person: How to steer clear of divorce

Life Advice / Helping Yourself /

Have you wondered why some people can make marriage last? They just keep moving forward for 20, 30, or 40 years. Some celebrate 50 years or more.

You know there must be factors affecting their success, but the magic formula seems elusive.

For example, one man we know has an overly simplistic formula. He says, “The secret to staying married ...Read more

Cat Rescue & Adoption Network/The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore./TNS

Animal shelter lines litter boxes with names of people's ex's for Valentine's Day fundraising effort

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Talk about getting dumped.

A Maine animal shelter is raising money by selling negative advertising at the bottom of litter boxes, where their cats will relieve themselves on the written names of people whose ex-lovers are looking for revenge.

The Humane Society Waterville Area in Maine came up with the idea to offer relief to those who will be...Read more

Millenial Life: The Clean Slate of COVID Loneliness

I confessed to a friend the other day that I'm not entirely sure how to be a good friend. I'm making most of the ideas of friendship up as I go along. A common refrain that I've heard from people my age is the difficulty of making friends, especially when we hit our 30s.

I have no modeled behavior for making friends. My parents decided on the ...Read more

Single File: Joy and Sorrow

Life Advice / Single File /

DEAR SUSAN: I've been thinking too much lately, so I have very few laughs in my life. It's work, work and more of the same, with a few nanoseconds of senseless joy sprinkled on top -- to keep me from going mad with my sorrow. I bet Doctor Deitz has a remedy for the blahs. Do you?

DEAR BLOGGER: In my medicine bag, thinking is the best path to a ...Read more

TNS

Erika Ettin: How to get offline (or at least on video) from online

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Isn’t the whole point of going online to get offline? (Feel free to read that one again!) So many people ask me, “How do you just get offline?!” Or, “When is the appropriate time to ask someone you’ve met online out on a date… or a video chat?” While there’s no one right answer, I’ll start by saying this: the sooner the better...Read more

TNS

Barton Goldsmith: Dealing with COVID fatigue

Life Advice / Dating Advice /

Many people are getting sick and dying in America. We’ve been hit harder by the coronavirus than any other country in the world. Some states have issued a “massive fatality warning.” We are living in a moment of time where you can’t be too careful, and sadly some people still aren’t being careful at all.

The good news is we have ...Read more

Science Advice Goddess: Ancestry Dot Con

I'm a single woman in my mid-30s with an older half brother I haven't seen in 20 years. He started calling me several years ago, and we speak sporadically (always instigated by him). He's married and refers to me as the aunt to his four children (whom I've never met). Recently, he asked whether they could all stay with me for a while. On the ...Read more

Millenial Life: Becoming a Regular

After my dad died, my mom moved back to her hometown to stay with her aging parents. When I came to visit, we walked through the small village, past a bar that could only fit about 10 people comfortably. I peered in as we walked by and a man looked up, swiveled on his stool and ran out to greet us. It turns out he was a cousin of my mom, who ...Read more