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Annie’s Mailbox – 2.20.12

Annie’s Mailbox – 2.20.12

Posted: Monday, February 20, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar

The Messenger 02.20.12

Dear Annie: I have two grown children, both married with kids. My youngest, “Carrie,” has a 14-year-old daughter who has been seeing a boy for a year.
The other day, we were visiting Carrie, and my granddaughter and her boyfriend got very cozy at the dining room table while we were eating dinner. They started kissing and making out in front of the entire family. Carrie didn’t say a word.
I think this is terrible. Carrie is not the easiest person to approach about it, however. If I say anything to her, I doubt she’ll respond well. Any suggestions? — Grandmother in Boston
Dear Boston: Carrie may have reasons for ignoring such inappropriate behavior. Perhaps this teenage granddaughter already has plenty of issues with her mother, and Carrie has decided to ignore as much as she can. If you spend time alone with your granddaughter (and we recommend it), you can discuss these things directly and calmly with her. Otherwise, it would be a good idea to stay out of it.
Dear Annie: My dentist performed a root canal on the wrong tooth. Because of his mistake, I had to go through two root canals and two crown preps. He didn’t charge me for the one he did in error, but I did get a bill for more than $2,000 for the other.
I feel violated. Crowns do not last as long as natural teeth, so I’ve lost a perfectly good piece of my anatomy. The dentist now says I eventually would have needed a root canal there anyway, but that’s not true. I have X-rays from another dentist that show nothing wrong with that tooth.
I know I could sue him for malpractice, but I don’t want the stress of going to court. And the dentist told me if I sue and don’t prove my case, he would countersue with a defamation claim.
Should I report him to the dental board? Should I inform my family, since I have recommended this dentist in the past? — A Lakes Region
Dear Region: Telling your family is your choice. Mistakes can happen in any profession. However, this dentist should have apologized profusely instead of becoming defensive and threatening you with a countersuit. We recommend you call your state dental society about resolving this conflict. If that doesn’t help, you can consult an attorney and find out whether it’s worth pursuing a financial solution.
Dear Annie: This is for “Desperate To Help,” who is concerned about a 54-year-old friend who “has a great sense of humor and a good heart” and is morbidly obese.
Dear Desperate: Do you enjoy the company of people who are constantly criticizing your choices? Enjoy your friend for who he is and stop trying to change him.
If you invite him for a walk, walk at his pace and let him choose the distance. Talk about the scenery and the weather. Share a joke. Do not mention anything about health, or he will know the only reason you’re walking with him is to deliver yet another lecture on what an ugly piece of blubber you think he is.
If you invite him for a meal, make it what you usually eat rather than a weight-loss special. Talk about an interest you share. Does he enjoy watching movies? Watch one with him and discuss it. Maybe you think he should be out jogging instead, but that’s not your business.
Forget about trying to make him lose weight. Try instead to make yourself a better companion. Right now, you are being a pest. Give him respect and trust by accepting that his habits are his own decision. — S.
Dear S.: While we agree that you cannot force someone else to lose weight, you are being awfully hard on “Desperate,” who is truly worried about the health of a dear friend and doesn’t want him to die young.
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 St., 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