AnnLanders.com - Dear Ann Landers: Will you please say something on behalf of recovering stroke victims?
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Section: health-and-wellness, behavior
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Will you please say something on behalf of recovering stroke victims? I had a stroke five years ago. My left side was paralyzed, my speech was unrecognizable and the prognosis was that I would leave the hospital in a wheelchair. Through sheer determination, I walked out with a cane. My manual dexterity has returned, and my voice and speech have made a major recovery. My legs are still shaky, but I can walk. People need to know that a stroke can mess up a person's emotions. One tends to laugh at the most inappropriate times and cry at the drop of a hat. Both are uncontrollable. After my recovery, I had a business making and repairing golf clubs. When I started to deal with strangers, the business went downhill. Recently, a woman at my pharmacy told me she had run into a couple who had been in my shop. They asked what was wrong with me because I sometimes laughed when nothing was funny. Most people think you are mentally incompetent if you do this. I have a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Business Administration. I taught myself to design Web sites at the age of 70. I am far from being an idiot. Please tell them. -- Bill in Illinois

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Section: mental-health, behavior, depression
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a 60-year-old man who doesn't have any interest in anything or anyone. I'm bored with everybody I meet. I am bored with my job and bored with my life. I grew up in an orphanage and am unable to show love because I never had any as a child. It is impossible for me to keep a relationship going. Either I lose interest or the other party does. I wish there were some way I could feel like I did 30 years ago, when I was full of ambition and looking forward to the future. Is there any hope for me, or should I just resign myself to boredom for the rest of my life? Thanks for listening, Ann. -- Bored in Brooklyn

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Section: manners, behavior
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Have Americans forgotten there is such a thing as verb tense? I am shocked when I hear people say "woulda came," "coulda went," "shoulda did," "woulda took," "had went," "hadn't came" and so on. Don't they realize "woulda" and "coulda" are slang versions of "would've" and "could've" -- which are contractions for "would have" and "could have"? I heard a narrator say, "I seen," in a political commercial and a TV reporter say, "We haven't spoke." An attorney in a television show said, "The evidence do not," and a TV anchorwoman said, "Had threw it" and "between you and I." I was a secretary for almost 50 years and am thankful that, with only a high school education, my English is impeccable. You will do a lot of folks a big favor if you print this letter and bring it to their attention. -- E.E., Wood Ridge, N.J.

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Section: children, relationships, family
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am the grandmother of a child who was put up for adoption. It was an open adoption, which means the adoptive parents send my son photographs and letters so he knows how his child is doing. The adoptive parents are lovely people, and my grandson is doing wonderfully. Not a day goes by that I don't thank God for them. Every Christmas and birthday, I send gifts to my grandson because I want him to know I care about him. The adoptive parents have a second child, and I make sure to send gifts to that child, too. The rest of my family disagrees with this. They say I should distance myself from the boy and stop keeping in touch with the adoptive parents. Tell me, Ann, are they right? Is it a mistake for me to maintain a relationship with this child? The adoptive parents have never asked me to back off, nor has my son objected to my presence in the boy's life. Christmas will be here soon, and I would appreciate your opinion. -- Torn in Texas

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Section: money, manners, family, marriage
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I plan to be married in a few months and need some advice. My fiance and I have been together for almost seven years and have all the appliances and accessories we need to furnish our new apartment. We could use some furniture, however, and are now in the process of looking at chairs, tables and so on. Several friends and relatives have let us know they want to give us a shower or a party. We really don't need presents. We would be thrilled if they would give us money so we could buy furniture. Is there a polite way we could ask for money instead of a shower or wedding gift without looking tacky? - Broke in Mississippi

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Section: pets, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I just read the letter from "Pat in Avon, Ind.," about the caged dog next door. My neighbor's dog is tied on a short leash, day and night, to a shack in the corner of their backyard. He barks incessantly, and it really gets to me. That poor creature is ignored, except when the owners hit him for no reason. Like Pat in Avon, I approached my neighbors about this cruel and inhumane treatment and was told to shut up and mind my own business. You advised Pat to call the humane society. Well, Ann, I called the ASPCA and was told that as long as the dog is provided with food, water and shelter and receives medical attention when needed, they can do nothing. Something must be done to change the law so these defenseless animals can be helped. What do you suggest? -- Dog Lover in New York

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Section: health-and-wellness, money, work, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a male escort working on my master's degree at a university in Washington, D.C. I take out women (usually my mother's age) and am well paid. 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: health-and-wellness, gender
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I feel compelled to respond to the letter from "M.J. in Sarasota," who decided to have a hysterectomy to make absolutely certain she would never get ovarian cancer. She still needs to be careful. I was diagnosed with fibroid tumors in 1988. Even though there was no family history of ovarian cancer, I decided not to take any chances and had a complete hysterectomy. Eight years later, I was shocked to discover I had Stage III ovarian cancer. Many women do not realize that malignant cells in the ovaries can spread through the surrounding tissue. Even if the ovaries are removed, ovarian cancer can still develop elsewhere. It is important to continue watching for signs of the disease. I am enclosing a list of the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and I hope you will print it for all the women in your reading audience. -- Shirley in Orlando, Fla.

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Section: manners, marriage, work
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I was invited to the wedding of a close friend last fall. Instead of giving my friend and her husband money, I commissioned a local artist to make a gift for the couple. The artist told me it would take about a month for the work to be completed. I wrote my friend a note apologizing for the delay and explained that I was having something special made for them. It has been three months, and the work is still not finished. I spoke to the artist, but he won't give me any answers. Should I give the couple a check, apologize again and tell the artist to forget it? Please tell me what to do. -- West Orange, N.J.

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Section: relationships, mental-health, family, health-and-wellness
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
A few years ago, you printed a poem in your column. I do not remember the name of it, but some of the lines were: "Kisses aren't promises" and "Even sunshine burns if you get too much." I would dearly love to have another copy of that poem because it touched me deeply. I hope you can find it and print it again. -- L.B. in Cordova, Tenn.

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"Sensual pleasures have the fleeting brilliance of a comet; a happy marriage has the tranquillity of a lovely sunset."
-Ann Landers