Annie’s Mailbox – 1.16.12
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 8:15 pm
The Messenger 1.16.12 Dear Annie: Four months ago, I joined a nonprofit that provides free tutoring and homework help to elementary-school kids. When I started, the kids coming into our center were from low-income minority and immigrant families. These were kids who would be home alone all afternoon if they didn’t come to us. A few weeks ago, the demographic shifted. A large number of kids from stable, affluent families began arriving at the center. The parents of these children own property in an area that is quickly gentrifying. This nonprofit is meant for kids whose families really need it. I feel as if I’m providing free baby-sitting and tutoring for kids whose parents could afford to pay for such services. What do you think? — New Yorker Dear N.Y.: You should discuss this with the administrators of the program. Perhaps there could be an income-based tuition or in-kind contribution so that families that can afford it would help support the center. Either way, consider that these higher-income kids are getting valuable lessons in diversity, and some of them might also be home alone if the center didn’t exist. As long as the original students are not losing their places in the program to higher-income children, you are performing a useful and appreciated service to the community. Dear Annie: There have been so many letters in your column about women not wanting sex. How about hearing the other side? I am a 57-year-old man, married for 25 years. Overall, it’s a good marriage, except I am not interested in sex with my wife. She has gained 100 pounds. I lost weight myself and had to fight her every step of the way. Seven years ago, I bought her an expensive exercise machine that she said she wanted, even though she never uses it. She gets offended when I encourage dieting or exercise. She has had some major health issues, and when she decided she only wanted to work part time, it forced me to work overtime. I stood by her through all this. I am now semi-retired, and money is an issue. A couple of months ago, she began pressuring me, asking what’s wrong that I don’t want sex. When I finally told her it is her weight, she didn’t speak to me for two days. She thinks we need counseling, but I am concerned that she would hear only what she wanted to hear. I have had opportunities to cheat but asked myself each time whether the available woman was worth losing half my house and half my pension. So far, the answer has been no. But I don’t know for how long. — Kansas Dear Kansas: We think there is also some resentment behind your reluctance to be intimate with your wife. We understand that you don’t believe counseling would help, but please try nonetheless. It could bring insight, as well as suggestions to improve the situation, and that surely has to be better than what you have now. Dear Annie: You printed a letter from “Noisy Dog Next Door,” whose neighbors’ dog barked for hours on end. Our neighbors have four dogs that also bark nonstop. We mentioned it to them several times. They apologized, but nothing changed. We hesitated to call the neighborhood association, because everyone would know we were the ones complaining. We finally stumbled on a solution last summer. We set up a tower fan to help lower the cost of cooling our home and discovered it also drowns out the sound of the barking. We now run the fan 12 months a year. — Memphis Dear Memphis: We’re not sure that would work as well in Minnesota as it does in Tennessee, but thanks for the idea. Annie’s Snippet, credit Martin Luther King Jr.: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” ——— Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.