Dear Annie: At a movie theater, is there a rule for which armrest belongs to you? -- Jim in Omaha
Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our mid-60s. For most of our lives, we have done pretty well, but lately we’ve had financial difficulties because our incomes have been significantly decreased while our debt has not. My health is failing, and I don’t know how much longer I can continue to work.
'Tis the season to begin all columns with "'Tis the season." Even when the column is actually a collection of holiday songs recalling 2010 in all its splendor:
Dear Annie: My mother passed away two years ago. She had been with "Biff" for about 13 years. Biff is a jerk. Most of the family discontinued all contact with my mother because no one could stand him. I tolerated him, but he made me uncomfortable. When I was a teenager, he made sexual comments to me, and I moved out of the house as soon as I could. He was also verbally abusive of ...
Dear Annie: My husband, "Bill," and I have been married for almost two years. Bill was in the U.S. Army and served in Iraq. When he got back, we were married, but, Annie, he has totally changed.
Dear Annie: Three years ago, my father had a big fight with his sister, my "Aunt Joan." Aunt Joan did some things that were truly selfish and hurtful, and all of the family agrees that her actions were inexcusable. She has since cut off all contact with the family.
Dear Annie: I'm a public school teacher with 20 years of experience, but this one has me shaken.
Dear Annie: My 20-year-old son from a previous marriage lives with my husband and me. "Jacob" is in his second year of college and maintains a B average. He has worked the same part-time job since he turned 16 and pays all of his own bills, including car insurance, cell phone and basic necessities. Student loans cover his tuition. He is a terrific kid, never disrespectful, and is loved by everyone.
Dear Annie: My neighbors are kind, caring and amazingly nosy. I recently began working from home in order to take care of my partner. I'm grateful that my company allows me to do this. But these well-intentioned neighbors just won't believe I am employed. They insist that since I am at home all day, I am simply too proud to admit I lost my job. Every time we meet, they ask, "So, you still looking for work?"
Dear Annie: I've known my 26-year-old stepdaughter, "Monica," since she was 5. She never spent much time with her father, but when the first grandchild was born, she came by more often because she wanted a babysitter. Her dad and I were together 21 years before he passed away six months ago.
Dear Annie: How do I deal with being married to someone I simply do not like? After 15 years, I realize that I don't enjoy being around my husband. I look forward to him leaving the house. It is hard for me to do anything for someone I feel nothing for. I am just going through the motions. Is this what marriage is supposed to be?
Dear Annie: My relationship with my 22-year-old daughter, "Lana," has become impossible. She is a total slob. She lived here over the summer and did exactly one load of laundry. It was not uncommon to come home and find dishes in the sink because she "didn't have time" to empty the dishwasher. Her clothes and shoes were everywhere. My husband paid rent on her college apartment so she could keep it while she worked here ...
Dear Annie: My husband and I are victims of a "home invasion." My 60-year-old sister, one of 13 siblings, recently arrived at our house, unannounced, with her roommate and her large dog. (We have a cat.)
Dear Annie: My sister, "Didi," has been living with my husband and me for several months. Didi pays a modest amount of rent based on her income -- but we set it up before she started working more consistently. She now has a part-time job and still doesn't contribute anything more. If she were saving her money, I would understand, but she's spending it on clothes and expensive makeup. She rarely helps around the house with cleaning or cooking.
Dear Annie: I am 26 years old and happily married. We recently moved into our first home, next door to "Tom and Sophie," a childless 45-year-old couple. My wife likes Sophie, and I enjoyed Tom's company until he asked me to join him on a fishing trip.
Dear Annie: My wife and I are caught up in our son's dysfunctional marriage. "Martin" and his wife have three children together, and he has an older child from a previous marriage. All of the children are wonderful. They do well in school. But their mom and dad hate each other, drink too much and fight constantly.
Dear Annie: I've been married to "Ned" for 25 years, and each year it seems to get worse. When we married, he told me I could do whatever I wanted with the house, but he never said I'd be the one paying.
Dear Annie: I have an 8-month-old puppy, and I take her to a local dog park so she can run off leash and play with the other dogs, which she loves. In the three months I have been taking her, "Phoebe" has never been attacked or fought with another dog. That was until last night, when Phoebe approached another dog that was on a leash and that dog attacked her.
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