Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for three years. It’s a second marriage for both of us. The other day, I was working on a photo wall collage and ran across some pictures I’m sure I was not supposed to see. They are snaps of my husband’s old girlfriends (between marriages). Some were nude photos. There also were copies of old e-mails and love notes.
I know my husband dated several women before he married me. He even lived with one of them for a few years. We are both “40-something,” so I’m well aware he has been around the block. I know he is faithful, but it bothers me that he has kept these photos and notes. I have not said anything to him because I want to be sure I’m not overreacting. What should I do? — Not Feeling Photogenic
Dear Photogenic: You put those pictures, e-mails and love notes back where you found them and pretend they don’t exist. What your husband did before he married you is part of his past and he is entitled to his mementos. As long as they are not waved in your face and he is not harboring fantasies about having affairs with these women, they are no threat to you. Tell your husband you accidentally ran across these items, and then forget about them.
Dear Annie: In the past month, I have received three e-mails from different people asking me to send a deposit and they will forward a winning lottery ticket to me. In exchange for cashing it for them, I will get a portion of the money. One letter said I had won a contest from Chevron, but the address was from Nigeria.
I know these are scams, but I’m sure there are a few people who might fall for them. What do I do with these e-mails? — Palmdale, Calif.
Dear Palmdale: Report them to the Federal Trade Commission. Most such scams involve people claiming to be Nigerian officials or surviving spouses of former government officials, who very politely offer to give you money if you will help them transfer funds out of the country. You are then asked to provide your bank account number and some money to cover legal and transaction fees. You may even be encouraged to travel to Nigeria or a border country to complete the transaction. Sometimes, the con artists will produce fake money to verify their claims.
According to the State Department, people who have responded have been beaten, subjected to threats and extortion and, in some cases, murdered. And, of course, there is a stream of excuses why there was never any transfer of funds to your account.
If you receive an e-mail from someone claiming to need your help getting money out of another country, do NOT respond. Forward it to the FTC at email@example.com. If you have lost money to one of these schemes, call your local Secret Service field office (listed in the Blue Pages of your telephone directory). To file a complaint or get information, visit ftc.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Need a Good Laugh,” whose husband is so sensitive to noise that he won’t let her watch TV programs with laughter or let the kids unwrap food in the car. He needs more than a trip to the doctor. He needs a divorce.
Can’t she see what an incredible control freak he is? She and her children can give that man all the peace and quiet he wants by leaving. My parents were very controlling, making every single decision for us until we were 18. Now we’re incapable of deciding anything for ourselves, no matter how small. “Need a Good Laugh” should head for the hills before she and her children are damaged beyond repair. — Been There
Dear Been: Before doing anything drastic, we believe her husband should see his doctor. If this is the only area in which he is “controlling,” it sounds like a medical problem.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.16.08