Dear Annie: I am an 18-year-old guy, and my parents are splitting up. I don't know the full story, but things are getting somewhat awkward around the house. We try to live normally, but the silence hurts. I'm trying to deal with it and put up a good front until graduation, but it's hard.
Dear Annie: We have two children and a 13-year-old grandson. Two years ago, our 48-year-old unmarried son very reluctantly told us that he has been diagnosed with gender identity disorder and considers himself to be female. This came as a complete surprise, but we decided to support her wholeheartedly, and we find her to be much happier than before.
Dear Annie: I am a bartender and waitress at a small local restaurant. We recently worked a big party that included drinks and a three-course meal. When it came time to pay, the customer left us a fairly large tip.
Dear Annie: My pregnant granddaughter smokes. She has switched to electronic cigarettes, telling her husband that these are completely safe and will not affect the baby in any way. She also claims there is no danger of secondhand smoke.
Dear Annie: Four months ago, I joined a nonprofit that provides free tutoring and homework help to elementary-school kids. When I started, the kids coming into our center were from low-income minority and immigrant families. These were kids who would be home alone all afternoon if they didn't come to us.
Dear Annie: My mother lives by herself. I have not spent a great deal of time with her, but now that she is aging, I feel guilty for not being around. Mom doesn't have any friends, and my siblings barely speak to her. She is a difficult woman.
Dear Annie: I usually do the cooking in the house, but occasionally, my husband likes to surprise me by preparing a meal. I'm glad he wants to relieve me of the kitchen duties, but he has a bad habit of wrecking my cookware.
Dear Annie: My husband and I adopted our daughter at birth. When my mother-in-law found out that "Amanda" is biracial, she informed my husband that we were no longer welcome in her home. Initially, she admitted it was simple racism, but now she says it's because she can never accept a child "not of my own blood." When our daughter was 3, Mom visited and told Amanda that she was a "friend," not a relative.
Dear Annie: I have been married to "George" for more than 20 years. For most of this time, there has been tension (to put it mildly) between my husband and my mother. He rubs her the wrong way, she snipes at him, and he snipes back. I've had several conversations with them over the years, asking them to be more tolerant of each other, if only for my sake. That works for a while, but eventually, they return to their old ways.
Dear Annie: My 26-year-old son graduated two years ago from a terrific university. During college, he lived on his own and had a girlfriend, but just before graduation, they broke up. My son had a hard time coping, and when he graduated, he came back to live at home.
Dear Annie: I have been a single mother for 20 years. Four months ago, I was talked into letting one of my daughter's friends stay with us while her parents searched for a new home in another state. They agreed to pay me a monthly stipend for their daughter's expenses. This has not happened. I received one check, and that ...