Dear Annie: You recently printed a "Contract for Drivers," by John Violette. It requires teenage drivers to maintain decent grades, follow all traffic laws and never drive impaired or get in the car with a driver who is. It reminded me of the essay "Dead at 17," which relates what happens when kids don't follow those rules. Every year there are new teenage drivers who haven't seen it. Maybe if parents attach it to the ...
Dear Annie: My good friend "Lara" is three months pregnant with her third child. She recently confided in me that she purposely didn't use birth control. She told her husband, "Joe," that the pregnancy was "an accident."
Dear Annie: I'm a 47-year-old father of four kids. My oldest, "Janet," is 24 and lives on her own. I adopted Janet when she was 2. Her mother made it clear that Janet is to never know that she is not my biological child. Janet's mother and I are now divorced, and I have moved on to a happier life.
Dear Annie: My beloved sister, "Dawn," died last year following a long battle with cancer. Her husband of 43 years was a caring and capable caregiver. At the memorial service held in their church, "John" spoke tearfully of their love.
Dear Annie: My brother was scheduled for open-heart surgery involving three different procedures. I hadn't seen him for several months and wanted to visit before the operation, as I feared he might not make it through.
Dear Annie: When I was 5, my mother married an abusive man. He talked down to us and often resorted to slapping and name calling. On at least three occasions, he was physically abusive -- punching, throwing and beating us. On the other hand, he adopted us and often did nice things, too.
Dear Annie: I'm a single father of a 16-year-old son whom I have raised since he was 2. "Zack" is mature and carries himself with confidence.
Dear Annie: Last summer, my husband became seriously ill while out of town. When I called his family, they started bossing me around and even called the hospital and berated the staff. I had my husband moved to a larger hospital in the city where his sister lives. She was with me when I talked to the doctor about the "do not resuscitate" order. But instead of repeating what was actually said, she told his ...
Dear Readers: Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of you.
Dear Annie: My father married my stepmother 20 years ago. Three years ago, he suffered a stroke. Though moderately disabled, he is still mentally sharp, didn't lose his speech and is able to do most things for himself.
Dear Annie: I have been best friends with "Claire" since junior high. She is nothing short of a knockout, with a sweet personality to match. We have always been very close, and I treasure our friendship.
Dear Annie: I have been caring for my disabled husband while working full time and raising two children. I haven't had time alone in 15 years.
Dear Annie: I have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for four years. Six months ago, we were blessed with a little boy who has become our world.
Dear Annie: My son and his beautiful wife, "Marie," just had their second child. The entire pregnancy was turbulent, and Marie needed a C-section. My granddaughter was born healthy and wonderful, but I have been in complete shock since.
Dear Annie: I've been married to "Nate" for 16 years. He is wonderful, but blind to the way his family behaves. These people have never been particularly warm toward me or my children from my first marriage. Nate and I have a child together, and they treat her with the same indifference. They give the other grandchildren expensive toys for Christmas, and ours get junk. The favoritism now extends to the great-grandchildren. I've tried to ...
Dear Annie: My daughter has a master's degree in education and spent three years as a nanny when she was an undergraduate.
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.
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