Dear Annie: What do you do when someone else’s mail is accidentally delivered to your home? When that has happened to me, I hand-deliver it if the addressee is nearby. Otherwise, I put it back in my mailbox marked “Not at this address.” Is that correct? Should I keep it? Throw it away? — Mary C.
Dear Mary: You are right to put the envelope back in your mailbox so the postal worker can retrieve it and deliver it to the proper address. Please don’t keep it or toss it. (Think how you would feel if someone did this with your electric bill.)
Dear Annie: I’m a 15-year-old boy and have been best friends with “Alex” since we were 5. Last year, Alex told me he thought he might be gay. He said he really liked this other boy we know and made me swear never to tell anyone. But a month ago, Alex got caught after school kissing that guy he liked, and the school called his parents. They grounded him.
My dad told me I’m not allowed to be friends with Alex anymore, but I don’t think that’s fair. Alex hasn’t changed. He’s still the same guy I’ve always been friends with, the one I played soccer and video games with. I tried talking to my dad, but he won’t listen. Now I’ve been grounded because, a week ago, I snuck over to Alex’s to play video games. I heard my dad yelling at my stepmom that I’d “better not be gay.” I’m not allowed to call him and my cell phone has been taken away.
Annie, I know I’m not gay, but does that mean I can’t be friends with Alex? I called my mom and she said she’d try to talk to Dad for me, but it hasn’t helped yet. I feel bad for Alex. I call him when my parents aren’t home, but every time, he cries and says he wishes he could take it back. I hate that. I know if it were me, he’d try to help. My dad said if I keep sneaking out to see Alex, he’s going to send me to live with my uncle. He may not even have to, because I heard Alex’s parents are sending him to live with some relatives in Ohio.
I don’t know how to get my dad to change his mind. He says I’m young and will make more “normal” friends. But Alex is my best friend and I know you don’t get a lot of those. Is Dad right? — Confused in California
Dear Confused: It’s too bad your father isn’t more tolerant and accepting. Being gay is not contagious, nor is it a reason to turn your back on a friend. Contact PFLAG (pflag.org) and ask if there’s anything you can do. Perhaps if your father had a better understanding of the situation, he might be less afraid of having Alex around. It’s worth a try.
Dear Annie: You told “Need Input” that it’s inappropriate for bridal couples to ask guests to bring their own meals. Allow me to politely disagree.
I recently went to a wedding where the reception was potluck, and it was one of the best parties I’ve ever been to. We all had an opportunity to enjoy the best dishes prepared by each of the households attending. Perhaps this is more appropriate for the kind of tightknit church community involved, but I would hate for the high cost of feeding people to take away from the joy a couple should expect to share with family and friends on their wedding day. I would never turn down a wedding invitation just because I was asked to provide a dish. — Joe in Roanoke, Va.
Dear Joe: Several readers wrote to tell us they enjoy this sort of thing, and for very informal weddings, it’s fine if everyone wants to participate. However, we are bothered when the weddings are more formal and the bridal couple expects their guests to pay for the privilege of attending and supply the meal, as well.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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 1.28.08