Posted: Monday, October 31, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: We live in a large townhouse complex with people from many different backgrounds. For some time, several of the residents have been talking about a young boy who lives here. The mother, whose husband openly disparages her (and has little respect for women in general), told me her son is routinely exposed to pornography. She said her husband’s father took him to a prostitute when he was 12 years old. The husband, apparently, is planning to do the same with his son next year.
This family is from a foreign country and another culture. I suggested the mother talk to a counselor. She told me she is too afraid of her husband finding out. I then suggested a social worker and, finally, an attorney. Instead, she wants me to talk to her husband. I told her I am not willing to get involved in a losing battle.
However, I feel increasingly concerned about the welfare of this child. Could you give me some guidance? — Unwilling To Watch the Titanic Hit an Iceberg
Dear Unwilling: Most states have laws on the books that prohibit disseminating obscene material to a child. However, since you have not actually witnessed it and the mother seems reluctant to corroborate, you are in a gray area. We suggest you report this, anonymously, to your local child welfare authorities and ask them to investigate.
Dear Annie: I am a 19-year-old college student and a cashier at a restaurant on weekends. I like my job and my bosses, and my “regulars” are extremely nice and easy to deal with. But now I dread coming to work.
One customer comes in every time I’m there, and I cannot stand her. She complains constantly and always has something nasty to say about the other customers. Now I find that she is saying negative things about me, as well.
I’ve tried to ignore her, but it’s not working. I know I can’t tell her off, but I’ve had it with her gossip. I was taught that I should stick up for myself and those who are good to me, and I really want to, but I don’t know how to say it. I actually tried defending someone she insulted, but she wouldn’t back down and gave me a dirty look. How do I handle this? — Optimist Sick of a Pessimist
Dear Optimist: When you are working, you represent your employers and must treat the customers with respect even when they don’t deserve it. It might help to understand that this woman has a bitter, sour personality and undoubtedly treats everyone this way. It is your job to ignore her nasty gossip and remain unfailingly polite. If that is not possible, find out whether you can switch your working hours so you are not present when she is likely to appear.
Dear Annie: “Green Eyed” said her husband is tired after working as a long-distance truck driver and they haven’t had sex in two years. A few years ago, my husband informed me that he had no sex drive. I didn’t understand this because we’ve been married 30 years and are very close. There was no question of an affair.
About six months ago, I read that sleep apnea could cause a loss of sexual desire in men. I urged him to get tested. It turned out he does have sleep apnea and now uses a CPAP. His sleep has improved, and he has his sex drive back. — Happy Wife
Dear Happy: Sleep apnea can cause all sorts of problems. Thank you for mentioning the possibility.
Dear Readers: Happy Halloween. Please dress your trick-or-treaters in flame-retardant costumes that don’t obstruct walking or vision, and be sure to accompany them.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 10.31.11