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Annie’s Mailbox – 2.28.12

Annie’s Mailbox – 2.28.12

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 8:00 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar

The Messenger 02.28.12

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 20 years. She has a grown daughter from her first marriage. I watched “Lori” grow up and love her as my own.
My wife always has been fiercely defensive of Lori. I can’t say anything remotely negative or critical about her without risking a big argument. Even the suggestion of having Lori help around the house or clean up her room would cause a fight. Lori is a good kid, but she has never wanted for anything. My wife makes no secret of the fact that Lori comes first in her life.
Lori is now in her early 20s and is a senior in college. Even though she is taking only two classes a week, she doesn’t have a job and is unmotivated to get one. My wife makes all kinds of excuses for her. Meanwhile, we pay all of her expenses, including her rent.
I’m disabled and on a small fixed income, and my wife is self-employed. We struggle with our finances while Lori lives a carefree life. It is causing friction in our marriage. We tried counseling, but my wife refused to discuss anything related to Lori and quit going.
Lori calls her mother every hour, and my wife encourages it. Lori has no other friends, and all of my wife’s attentions are focused on her daughter. I get very little. Is this normal behavior? — Concerned for Our Future
Dear Concerned: No, it’s not normal for a college-age daughter to have no friends but Mom, and for a mother to encourage so much dependence. Such an enmeshed relationship is not only bad for your marriage, it also is crippling for Lori. Instead of helping her daughter learn self-reliance, Mom is being selfish by holding Lori so close that she deliberately prevents her from becoming an independent adult. We hope you can make your wife understand that this is poor parenting and in no one’s best interest.
Dear Annie: What is the etiquette when you go to someone’s home and it’s overly hot in the summer and too cold in winter?
A lot of my friends’ homes are uncomfortable for me, and I have been asking them to adjust their thermostats. A trusted pal recently told me she thought this was rude, especially when it doesn’t trouble other guests. She suggested I wear layers and tough it out. What do you suggest I do? — Too Hot or Too Cold
Dear Too: Wear layers and tough it out. Etiquette says you don’t get to tell your friends how to heat and cool their homes. And if you are the only one discomfited by the temperature, the problem is you and not the thermostat. Please see your doctor for a checkup.
Dear Annie: I had to smile at the letter from “Road Worrier.” When we started to get calls that our 92-year-old father was driving through stop signs and red lights and running into cars in the parking lot, we gave his car keys to his caregiver and said she’d take him where he needed to go.
When he died, I sent his suit to the funeral home. I later got a call saying they found a car key in the pocket. Later, we spoke to Dad’s neighbor, who said when the caregiver would go to church on Sundays, my father would come out of the house five minutes later, put his walker in the backseat of the car and drive off. He’d return 15 minutes before the caregiver came back.
We don’t know where he went for those four hours, but we’re glad nothing happened to him or anyone else. When they started to close his coffin, I put that key back in his pocket and told him, “OK, Dad, now you can drive Mama all over heaven.” — L.A.
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