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Annie 3.9.12

Annie 3.9.12

Posted: Friday, March 9, 2012 8:00 pm

Dear Annie: My niece, “Tricia,” and I have always been close. Her mother (my sister) had a very traumatic life, and I often came to the rescue to be sure my niece was fed and protected. Tricia is now grown with two adult children of her own and a fabulous home in Arizona. She has reunited with her first child’s father after 17 years. They have decided to get married, and everyone is thrilled about it.
My sister is sometimes jealous of my relationship with Tricia, although I have tried not to overstep. Now Tricia wants me to fly out and help her plan her wedding and select her gown. Twice, I have tried to visit her with my sister, but Sis does not do well in airports. Both times, she caused a scene, and we barely made it through security. The first time, she refused to give up her cigarette lighter and yelled that it wasn’t a bomb. You can imagine how well that went over. The second time, she was so drunk, she couldn’t stand up. I told her I would not travel with her if she didn’t behave herself.
So how do Tricia and I enjoy this time without including my sister? I know how important it is for her to be part of the planning, but I cannot put myself through her raving dysfunction a third time. She has never apologized or even acknowledged her behavior. She may not even remember.
I don’t want to destroy my relationship with my sister. How do I handle this? — Auntie and Sister
Dear Auntie: Your sister seems to be doing a pretty good job of wrecking her own relationships without any assistance from you. Her acting out at the airport may, in fact, be purposeful. Tell your sister you are going to Arizona and you’d like her to be there, but you will not travel on the same plane. Offer to pick her up at the airport when she gets in. If she doesn’t show up, be sure to include her by emailing or texting photos of the dresses as you are looking at them. Call for her opinion on whatever plans you are making. Her level of participation is entirely up to her.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Michigan,” who was upset when the restaurant owner took a portion of a tip left for the servers.
My son is a 25-year-old culinary school-educated sous chef with three years of experience. He has no benefits (not uncommon) and makes no tips. He and his co-workers make anywhere from $8 to $13 an hour. He loves his work, but lives paycheck to paycheck. A routine dental visit would be a hardship. Yet, when the waitstaff can pull in $200 a night in tips, the cooks don’t get a dime of it.
Isn’t a tip a reward for the total experience — meaning both the food and the service? I believe a new way of thinking on this topic is way overdue. — Mom Worried About Her Starving Chef Son
Dear Mom: In many restaurants, tips are shared between the waitstaff, cooks, busboys and other workers. Obviously, this is not the case in your son’s place of business, but it’s a common and practical solution.
Dear Annie: I have been through the same situation as “Road Worrier.” My husband had multiple minor accidents, as well as less serious but equally worrisome misjudgments behind the wheel. I sat him down and very calmly asked what it was going to take to get him to stop driving. I offered different scenarios, from scratching another’s vehicle to killing a child. I never raised my voice. One week later, he suggested we sell his car. Now I take him wherever he wants to go. — Been There
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

Published in The Messenger 3.9.12

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