AnnLanders.com - Dear Ann Landers: My first wife passed away in 2008; we have an only child whom I am close to
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Section: children, mental-health, work
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
School sports have taken over the lives of my children, and I'm tired of it. Am I the only one? Some nights, my kids don't have the time or energy to study. They just fall into bed exhausted. There is no time for doing home chores or taking on after-school jobs, which some kids need. We hear a great deal about having well-rounded students. Sports participation interferes with that. If the kids want to play soccer and be in the band, too, forget it! The coaches won't allow it. No excuse is acceptable for missing a practice or a game -- including weddings or funerals, let alone eating supper with the family. Let's face it. This is supposed to be fun for the kids. Most of them will never play professionally or get a college athletic scholarship. I propose parents unite and refuse to let the kids practice or play during school holidays or on weekends. If parents would make a united stand and say, "Only Monday through Friday, and two weeks before school starts, and one week after school lets out for the summer," the coaches would have no choice but to schedule during that timeframe. Too many parents and coaches have forgotten that the real purpose of school is to get an education. -- Sports Parents in La Crosse, Wis.

Tags: parenting - sports

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I think you've been out in the sun too long. "Nameless, Faceless and Placeless" discovered that her fiance, Jeremy, was online, pretending to be unattached, and looking to meet women. She planned to trap him by pretending she was one of those mystery females. Now, he wants to meet her. She asked for your advice, because she said she loves the guy and doesn't want to lose him. You told her to stop playing games. Annie, this guy is a LOSER, and you should have told her to dump him. She has been living with him for more than a year, and they are engaged to be married. He is no immature child. He is in his 40s, and so is she. Why is this jerk looking in the online personals to meet other women? Furthermore, she must have suspected he was not entirely faithful, which is why she resorted to duplicity to find out exactly what he was up to. You should have told her to get rid of the creep. The wedding ring on his finger will not keep him from straying. Better she should know NOW what kind of guy she is involved with. Please, Ann, reconsider your advice. -- No Mystery in Centereach, N.Y.

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My "significant other" (I'll call her Jasmine), after shacking up for two days with a former lover, suggested that we continue to be "companions." We were once married, but we divorced after a few years and have been going steady for nearly 20 years. We do not live together, but those who know us consider us a couple. We had agreed if there were a problem, we would discuss it and try to work out a solution. The first inkling I had of the affair was when Jasmine called me from the airport to say she was headed out to meet her former lover, who was only in this country for a short time. I did not ask her any questions about her plans, and she didn't volunteer any details. When she returned, she said there was no reason we couldn't continue our relationship as we had in the past, and that she intended to see the other guy three or four times a year. I told Jasmine she had no moral standards and that I wanted nothing more to do with her. She claims she cannot understand my pain and disappointment and sees no reason for me to be upset. Is this woman a sociopath, or am I missing something? -- Perplexed in Portland

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Section: relationships, money, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a 42-year-old man, married with two children. Things are just fine within my immediate family. The problem is my mother. She wants me to buy her an automobile. Not just any automobile. She wants one exactly like mine. Mother has a comfortable lifestyle and can certainly afford to buy any car she wants on her own. However, for some reason, she thinks I should give her one. And, of course, she doesn't want anything as moderately priced as the neighbor's car. She feels entitled to a car just like mine -- the expensive variety. No other car will do. Ann, I have worked hard for everything I have, including my car. I paid my own way through college and am reasonably successful in business. I do not feel that I should deprive my children of the money we are saving for their college education in order to satisfy my mother's expensive taste in automobiles. I have told her that money is tight at the moment, but this hasn't stopped her from nagging. My relationship with my mother has never been terribly close, and now, her pressuring me to buy a car is straining it to the breaking point. I don't want to destroy the good will that I have slowly and carefully built up over the years. I need some advice. -- No Name, No City, Please

Tags: parents

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Section: relationships, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I belong to an informal dinner club that meets once a month for dinner in one of our homes. One of the women has appointed herself "social director" and is making our lives miserable. "Irene" phones everyone to remind them of the upcoming dinner plans, which is fine. The problem is that she always tells the hostess what to serve. She does not have food allergies or any medical problems; she just likes certain things. Irene eats enough for two people, so making an extra dish for her is a major annoyance. The rest of us in the group do not want to disband, and Irene would be terribly hurt if we excluded her. Any suggestions? -- Too Much Cooking in Alabama

Tags: food

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Section: manners, relationships, dating, family
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Two years ago, I met a wonderful man, and we have been dating ever since. When "Bob" bought a home last May, he asked me to move in with him. I knew his mother would be moving in, too, but I thought it would be temporary. Well, it's been eight months, and she is still here. I cook, clean and do laundry, but she does everything over again, saying I didn't do a good job. She has peculiar eating habits, which makes it difficult for me to prepare a tasty meal that everyone can enjoy. When I try to cook something she can eat, she claims my cooking "doesn't taste right" and adds other ingredients or dilutes it with water. She also tells me I shouldn't use a mop on the floor because "it's not clean unless you get down on your hands and knees and scrub." I've told Bob several times that I am ready to pack up and leave, but he cries and begs me to stay. I honestly don't want to go, Ann. I really love the guy. Can you help me? -- Exasperated in Salem, Ore.

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Section: behavior, children, family, mental-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
This is in response to "Greensboro, N.C.," whose 17-year-old son left home after refusing to get a job or go to school. Those parents should check with a legal expert to find out if they are responsible for the boy's expenses. I have friends who were presented with huge bills run up by their minor child who no longer lived at home. These parents found themselves responsible for trashed living quarters, wrecked cars and expensive clothing -- and they didn't even know where the kid was living. Parents in this position need to be assured of legal protection no matter how much they love the child or hope he will come home. If their minor child has moved out, they should see a lawyer before things get more complicated. They could be liable for a bundle. -- Been Down That Road in Holland, Mich.

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Section: relationships, dating, behavior
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I'm writing this as healing therapy and to ask for your advice. After 17 years, I began seeing a woman I used to date when we were both a lot younger. I traveled 150 miles round trip twice a week to see her and came to realize that I really did care for her a great deal. I also realized I was an absolute fool to have let her go 17 years before. We were intimate on one occasion, and things seemed fine, when all of a sudden, she did a complete turnaround. The invitations for dinner stopped, and I could tell by her voice on the phone that something was wrong. It has been 18 months since I have seen her. We argued over the phone last spring, mostly out of my frustration over the situation. She told me never to call her again but said she could call me. But no call has come, and I am devastated. I feel she owes me an explanation for cutting me out of her life so I can give this relationship some type of closure. I miss her very much and don't feel I deserve this kind of treatment. I'm afraid I will never be able to trust another woman after this. Any suggestions? I am -- Hurt and Abandoned in Pa.

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Section: work, money, health-and-wellness
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Most of the world works by day and sleeps by night. But many people do their jobs while everyone else sleeps -- police officers, nurses, firefighters, waitresses, truck drivers, telephone operators, cab drivers, janitors, security guards and night-shift workers. I am a woman who manages a very busy bar, which means I work late hours six nights a week. Some people have the crazy idea that I get paid to "party." Actually, I monitor the bartenders and have to decide which customers have had enough. I rarely get to sit down. Meanwhile, my husband seldom gets to stand up. "Mike" is a disc jockey. He is expected to be cheerful and funny and sound as if he is having a ball, even when he has a killer headache or the flu. I get home around 4 a.m. Mike gets home about 5:30 a.m. We eat supper together and go to bed when the sun comes up. Then, the phone starts to ring. People think because we work at night, we have the whole day free. Some of our friends and family members have actually said, "You sure have it easy. You can sleep all day." Where do people get that nutty idea? Night workers are just like everybody else. We spend eight hours at work, a couple of hours commuting and running errands, a few hours doing marketing, cooking and household chores, and if we are lucky, we get six or seven hours of sleep. Will you please say a few kind words for us night owls? We could use a little sympathy. -- Sleepless in New Orleans

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"At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other."
-Ann Landers