AnnLanders.com - Dear Ann Landers: My husband and I have been married for 30 years.
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Section: manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I have been married for 30 years. He is Italian, and I am Canadian. I speak only English. Whenever we are with my mother-in-law, she and my husband speak nothing but Italian. My husband doesn't see anything wrong with this, even though I am left totally out of the conversation. He says the language is part of his heritage and it makes his mother happy. I would be more understanding if my mother-in-law could not speak English, but she speaks it very well. When our children were growing up, I never made an issue of it because I wanted the children to feel close to their grandparents, but now, it is bothering me to no end. I feel completely excluded and avoid being with just the two of them. I say they are terribly rude. What do you say? -- Excluded and Offended

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Section: sexuality, work
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a male escort while I am working on my master's degree at a university in Washington, D.C. I take out women (usually my mother's age) and am paid well. There is no sex involved. These women simply need a decent-looking, well-dressed guy to take them to various social events at which they would feel ill at ease if not accompanied. Very few friends know about my "moonlighting," which is the way I want it. I have met some interesting, intelligent women in my work, most of them widowed or divorced. Three of these women would like to marry me. Marriage is out of the question. I am gay. Should I tell them? It would be easier than trying to make up reasons for my lack of interest. Yes or no, Ann? -- Mr. X in D.C.

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Section: general-health, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My wife has cancer. We have been battling it for six years, and short of a major miracle, she will die from it. I am not asking for sympathy. We are living our lives as fully as we can, and we are not shy about discussing all aspects of this battle when it comes to our children, friends and family. Here is my problem: I find it painful when friends say to her, "Get well soon." It hurts to hear these words. They sound so phony, as if she had a broken leg. My wife will NOT get well, soon or ever, for that matter, and everybody knows it, including her. I haven't said anything about this because I know these people mean well, but it makes me want to scream every time I hear it. These friends are important to us, and I don't want to offend them by telling them to stop saying that, so I'm hoping if you print my letter, it will help. - Granada Hills, Calif.

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Section: mental-health, relationships, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
For 10 years, I was a stand-up comic and moderately successful. After a show, I liked to chat, but some people didn't understand the show was over, or they had a joke to tell me. If I never again hear, "Three guys are in a bar," I will die happy. I often ran for the exit the second my act was over. I hated doing that, because many people just wanted to say they enjoyed the show. I know people are just trying to be friendly, but comics don't have the luxury of saying, "I've finished my gig," or they would appear rude and arrogant. Life on the road is very lonely, but after accepting after-show dinner invitations a few times, I realized people didn't want to have dinner with me; they just wanted more entertainment. So, folks, we love to talk with you after the show because you are often the catalysts for spectacular stories, but please leave the jokes at home. -- Stop Me If You've Heard This One in Rochester, N.Y.

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Section: addictions
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Here's another story about stupid criminals. This happened to my husband, "Jim," a truck driver. Jim was on the road one day when two police cars pulled him over. The car right behind him also pulled over. The officers said that the car behind him had called in a report that Jim was weaving all over the road. They gave him a breathalyzer test and found he was perfectly sober. Jim suggested they give the driver behind him the same test. They did and discovered he was intoxicated -- twice the legal limit. In fact, he was so drunk, he didn't realize it was he who was weaving all over the road. He actually reported himself! Wouldn't it be nice if more drunk drivers reported themselves? -- His Wife

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Section: manners, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Our son and his wife have separated after two months of marriage and will be divorcing shortly. They want to know what to do about the wedding gifts. Should gifts be returned when the marriage does not last six months? Many friends have said their gifts should be kept and that my son and his wife should divide them. Gifts of money were spent already on the honeymoon and on furnishing the house. - Splitsville in Wyoming

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Section: general-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Recently, a reader sent in a "sure cure" for a headache. He said it worked every time. It went something like this: Take a banana, and peel it. Tape half of the banana peel to your forehead with adhesive and the rest to the back of your head. He said the headache should be gone in 20 minutes. I don't get headaches often, but the day I read that column, I had a killer migraine. Although people say you shouldn't put bananas in the refrigerator, I always do, and that is where I found my "lifesaver." I used commercial duct tape to keep half the banana peel on my forehead and the other half on the back of my neck. Ann, in less than 30 minutes, my headache was gone. I phoned my husband, a chemistry teacher, and told him about my miraculous cure. He said, "That was no miracle. You apparently had a potassium deficiency in your system, and the banana filled it." Mystery solved. -- Greensboro, N.C.

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Section: relationships, general-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband is a wonderful man, 56 years old and highly intelligent. He had an ingrown toenail that was red and swollen and looked infected. I suggested he soak it in hot water and try to cut as much of the nail as he could. Well, Ann, I caught him soaking his toe in my good crock pot. I went ballistic. He insisted that a little hot water and soap would clean the pot up just fine and I had no reason to fly off the handle. I threw the contaminated pot in the garbage. The next morning, I discovered he had put the pot back in the cupboard. I took it with me to the office and threw it out there. Was I wrong, Ann, or am I married to a man with the brain of a flea? -- Grossed Out in Stockton, Calif.

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Section:
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am 19 and a single mother of a 1-year-old girl, "Amanda." I attend college part time and am working to provide my daughter with the best life possible. Amanda's father is the problem. He does not pay child support and rarely sees his daughter, although I have bent over backward to arrange times that are convenient for him. He never bothers to call and let me know when he is not able to make it. He simply doesn't show up. When he does keep an appointment, he is always late, which causes me a great deal of stress, and I resent it. Tell me, Ann, how important is Amanda's father going to be in her future? Frankly, I don't think he deserves to be part of her life. I am troubled by the thought that Amanda may grow up to be a "Daddy's girl" and will want him to walk her down the aisle when she gets married. He has done nothing to merit such a place of honor, and it eats at me that he might get the privilege anyway. On the other hand, I don't want to see her on talk shows when she is 18, looking for her long-lost father. Any advice for me? -- Emotional Mom in Oklahoma

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Section: Relationships, addictions, depression
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My mother left us when I was 6 and my brother was 10. That was 25 years ago. Even though Mom showed up for holidays and birthdays, we were raised solely by my father. When Dad passed away three years ago, Mom had a nervous breakdown and started to drink excessively. We know she is manic-depressive, and now we believe she is also an alcoholic. She has battled depression her entire life. The problem is that Mom lives alone, but she quit her job six months ago, and we have no idea how she is supporting herself. When we ask about her financial situation, she refuses to talk about it. If we offer money, she won't take it. My brother and I suspect there isn't much money left from Mom's savings, and we worry what will happen once that money is gone. My husband and I invited Mom to live with us, but we told her she would have to stop smoking and drinking and take her medication regularly. She refused. I do not have a close, loving relationship with my mother, but I still feel responsible for her and want to help. She started going to AA meetings again, and we are hopeful this will work, but it's hard to trust her. She has tried AA before and could never stick with the program. Should I allow her to move into my home, even though she still smokes and may not be able to stay off the booze? I am confused and lost. Please tell me what to do. -- Bowie, Md.

Tags: parents

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers