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Annie’s Mailbox – 1.20.12

Annie’s Mailbox – 1.20.12

Posted: Friday, January 20, 2012 4:00 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar

The Messenger 01.20.12

Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our early 50s. We have been married for one year and have not been intimate for six months. Until he transferred to a second-shift job, our bedroom was exciting. Now I’m not allowed to touch him. Anything more than a hug and he pushes me away. I miss how we once were. He says he hasn’t been feeling well but refuses to see a doctor or a counselor.
If he’s not willing to discuss this further, it’s hard to know what to do or think. I love him dearly, and he tells me he loves me, too, but with all these mixed signals, I’m not so sure. Any ideas? — Boston Beauty
Dear Boston: It’s possible the job switch is exhausting him, or there could be something at work that is making him unwell. Or he could have met someone else on his new shift. There are other possibilities, but if he refuses to see a doctor or a counselor, it means he prefers to leave things as they are, and this is unacceptable. Please see a counselor on your own and figure out your next step.
Dear Annie: We became close to one set of neighbors over the years. Their 17-year-old daughter often baby-sat our two children, ages 9 and 11.
Six months ago, we attended a social event together while their daughter stayed with our kids and one of their friends, who was sleeping over. At some point, the sitter walked the kids to her parents’ house, took their car (she had just gotten her driver’s license) and drove them to a local ice cream store where her friends were working. She told the kids not to tell their parents.
Three days later, our 9-year-old accidentally spilled the beans. I called the sitter and fired her, and then I told her mother what had happened. Her only response was, “Well, it wasn’t illegal.” We haven’t spoken since.
Two weeks ago, I texted the sitter and told her to call me so we could fix this mess already. I hoped she would apologize to my wife, even though she has not admitted she did anything wrong. Instead, her mother texted me back and told me to leave her daughter alone. She then reminded me that I never paid the girl for sitting that night. I am still in absolute shock. Any advice? — Upstate N.Y. Dad
Dear Dad: This girl showed terrible judgment, but that is not unusual for a 17-year-old. She should have apologized immediately for putting your children at risk and doing something without your permission. You should have forgiven her, with the understanding that it would not happen again. It would have been better if her mother had not become involved, although we suspect the sitter was in tears after being fired and Mom thought she was protecting her.
To resolve this, please walk over to the neighbors’ house and pay the girl the money you owe her in person. Then, gently and kindly, explain that her behavior that evening alarmed you and made you question how responsible she is. Give her the opportunity to apologize. We hope she will.
Dear Annie: Like “Road Worrier,” I was unable to get my mother, who was legally blind with macular degeneration, to give up driving. She always said a prayer before getting behind the wheel.
Living in different states made it difficult, so I spoke with an attorney, who told Mom that either she gets rid of the car or I would ask for legal guardianship and make ALL her future choices. She was furious but knew I meant business. The car was gone within a week. Her anger didn’t last long, but I was willing to risk a permanent estrangement. It would have been worth saving the life of someone’s child whom she eventually would have killed. — Did What Needed To Be Done
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, 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