AnnLanders.com - Dear Ann Landers: I want to respond to your column on cross-dressing.
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Throwback Thursdays:
Section: manners, health-and-wellness, behavior, addictions
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
This is about the overweight woman who was flying to California. She may not need to pay for an extra seat if she flies during non-busy hours. If she had a vacant seat next to her and an arm rest that lifts up, it would be an ideal set-up. An aisle seat is usually best, and many have arm rests that also lift up. Some larger people prefer the bulkhead seat for the extra room, but the food trays can be uncomfortable. Also, the woman should try to board first so she doesn't get in anybody else's way. And please tell her she can ask the flight attendant for a seat-belt extender. Many travelers aren't even aware that there are such things. Just wanted to pass along a few additional suggestions, Ann. -- Been There in New Hampshire

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Section: children, addictions, behavior, mental-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My 13-year-old son has a problem at school. He says most of the boys in his eighth-grade class smoke pot and drink alcohol. My son does not want to be around those boys, which is good, but consequently, he has few friends. I am close to the mothers of two of the boys my son is avoiding. He is positive they smoke pot, and I believe him. The parents of these boys caught them drinking just the other night, so their behavior is no surprise. Here's my question: Should I warn their mothers about the pot smoking and risk having my son accused of snitching and losing two friends of my own, or should I stay out of it? -- St. Louis Predicament

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Section: children, manners, behavior, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I agree with the letter from "Montana," who said it is not OK for inquisitive children to ask personal questions of strangers with disabilities. This creates a very uncomfortable situation for the person being questioned, and also for the bystanders. People in wheelchairs or with other disabilities struggle valiantly to mainstream themselves into today's society, but they are reminded dozens of times every day that they are "different." Would you allow a child to ask a stranger why he was 100 pounds overweight? Children's natural curiosity should be indulged at home, where all their questions can be answered. Otherwise, they need to learn the Ann Landers' maxim: MYOB. -- P.B., Des Moines, Iowa

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Section: children, relationships, behavior, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
After several years of failed fertility procedures, my husband and I decided to adopt a child. We were thrilled when, soon after, a baby became available through a private adoption agency. At the birth mother's request, the baby was handed over to us while the legal documents were being drawn up. Four weeks after becoming settled into motherhood, my friends gave me a wonderful baby shower. As my mother so diligently taught me, I quickly wrote each and every one a thank-you note for the beautiful gifts. Three days after my notes were mailed, I received a call informing me that the birth mother had changed her mind and decided not to sign the adoption papers. She wanted her baby back. Of course, we had to give up that precious child. My husband and I are devastated beyond words. I am at a loss as to what to do about the lovely gifts I received at the shower. Should I send them back? What is the proper procedure? I need your advice. -- Empty Arms in Arkansas

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Section: work, mental-health, relationships, marriage
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I have been married for 20 years. Our children are grown and out of the house. For the last 32 years, I have worked full time without a break. Part of my salary has gone to support my husband's ex-wife and his children. I have never complained. Here's my dilemma. My job is extremely demanding and stressful. We also own two businesses, which my husband runs. I need a life. I want to garden, cook, take some classes, you name it. My husband and I agreed that when I reach age 50 (I am now 48), I would work part time so I could keep contributing to our retirement fund. Ann, we have plenty of money put away for retirement. We have no debts, own our home and have a vacation home as well. I told my husband I want to quit NOW. I am stressed out and exhausted. I spend 10-hour days cooped up in an airless office with tinted windows. He wants me to hang in there because it's "only two more years." I can't bear the thought of it. He says I am being selfish. The bottom line is I am burned out and depressed. Every day, I feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into despair. If I quit my job, it might be the end of my marriage, but if I don't quit, it will be the end of me. Do you see a way out? -- Dying Inside in the Midwest

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Section: abuse, children, relationships, marriage
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am 40 years old and recently divorced. I was married for 20 years to a man who was abusive physically, emotionally and mentally. It took a lot of strength for me to leave him, but I finally did it. My 19-year-old daughter just moved into her own apartment, and my teenage son lives with his father. My kids were very understanding at the time of the split and quite supportive. It's been six months now, and I have met someone new. This man is kind and loving and respects me. I haven't been this happy in a long time. He has asked me to move in with him, and I have agreed. It means, however, that we will be moving to a nearby state. When I told my daughter about our plans, she became upset and laid a major guilt trip on me. Ann, I love this man and want to be with him, but I desperately need my children's approval for my own peace of mind. Their father is seeing someone, which seems fine with them, but evidently, it is NOT fine for me. What should I do? -- Troubled in Florida

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"Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good."
-Ann Landers