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Annie’s Mailbox – 1.25.12

Annie’s Mailbox – 1.25.12

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:31 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar

The Messenger 01.25.12

Dear Annie: My wife is addicted to playing games on her smartphone. She lies in bed in the morning playing games before she gets ready for work. When she comes home, she is often on the phone when she walks through the door. When we sit down for supper (which I usually make), she plays games while we eat. At bedtime, she lies in bed with her smartphone, playing until she falls asleep.
If we go out, she plays games at the restaurant. Conversation always begins with, “What?” because she is so engrossed in her game.
She hardly does anything around the house anymore and barely notices our son, let alone interacts with him. How do I break her of this habit? — Lost in Lexington, Ky.
Dear Lost: These games can be highly addictive, and your wife must admit the extent of her involvement before she will be able to cut back. Have you addressed this directly with her? Have you told her how neglected you feel and how much your son misses his mother? Have you asked her to limit her game-playing to specific times?
If she refuses to deal with this or change her behavior, the next step is counseling before your resentment creates a more serious problem. We hope she will listen to an unbiased third party.
Dear Annie: I have two sisters. They never have been financially savvy, especially when it comes to saving money. They start and then decide it’s a waste of time and end up spending everything they set aside.
I’m the opposite. I have always saved for whatever I needed or wanted. My grandfather got me into the habit when I was 10, and I kept it up long after he passed away. Over the past 15 years, I managed to save quite a bit. But when my parents saw what I had, they demanded that I share it with my sisters. I absolutely refuse. This is my money. I earned it. I saved it. And I told them that.
Since then, I’ve been receiving messages from my parents that “families help each other out” and “families share.” My parents have always given my sisters money whenever they needed it. When I was in high school, I would always give them money when they needed it. Now that the folks are retired, they say it’s my job to help my sisters. I say it’s not. Why should I give them my hard-earned income because they can’t be frugal?
I feel as though I am being punished for being financially responsible. My sisters haven’t saved a dime toward their own retirements, so this is only going to get worse. What can I do? — Stuck in the Middle
Dear Stuck: You do not owe your sisters money simply because they have been irresponsible. What you can do, however, is teach them better fiscal behavior. Tell them you are absolutely under no circumstances going to bail them out, so they need to start setting aside some funds for their future. Make an appointment for them to see a financial counselor through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling ( at 1-800-388-2227, and set up a budget. It’s the biggest favor you can do for them.
Dear Annie: I disagree with your response to “Loveless in Spokane,” the 72-year-old geezer who thinks women in his senior complex should bed down with him after they have dated a “few times.”
These ladies, and it is obvious they are ladies, were born and raised in an era when good girls did not have sex with a man until after they were married. This old guy is a cad. — Senior Citizen Who Respects Women
Dear Senior: Many readers pointed out that these women may not wish to have sex outside of marriage, a perfectly respectable position. If that’s the case, however, they should tell him so he understands the ground rules and doesn’t keep badgering them.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email 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


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