Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My situation is tough. I am a pregnant teenager, 16 to be exact. Aside from my family and a few friends, no one knows the whole truth, which is that I was raped.
I no longer want to leave my house because I get harassed constantly when I’m out in public. I hear derogatory things like, “There is a baby having a baby.” I am not sure how to address situations like this. There are not many pregnant teenagers in my area. I am only about four months along and excited for my child, but the people in my community are making my life miserable. Is there anything I can possibly do to make them mind their own business? — A Teen in Need
Dear Teen: Not really. It will serve no purpose to hide or be ashamed. This is not your fault. Maintain your dignity at all times and respond politely to anyone who addresses you. Those who look askance at your condition will eventually get used to it and you will be less annoyed by them. In the meantime, if you have not yet had counseling, please contact RAINN (rainn.org) at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673).
Dear Annie: I have finally met the woman who fulfills me in every way. “Nora” is thoughtful, caring, beautiful and, most important, trustworthy. Here is my dilemma: She often has a foul body odor. This turns me off when I would like to be intimate.
Do you know of any female hygiene products I could buy for her that might help? We have a newborn son, and Nora refuses to use an antiperspirant because of the aluminum content. However, the deodorant she currently uses does not seem to be strong enough. Also, she has somewhat hairy armpits, which adds to the problem. She doesn’t believe in shaving them.
Is there a tactful way to approach either of these subjects, or should I just keep my mouth shut? — Holding My Nose
Dear Holding: Some women object to shaving body hair, and if Nora is one of them, we think you should try to accept it as best you can.
The body odor is a different issue, and you should discuss it with her. If she recently gave birth, her hormones may still be a bit out of whack and will settle down over time. It’s also possible she has an infection and should discuss it with her doctor. Otherwise, she can check online or at health food stores for other natural deodorants that may work better. Until then, when you want intimacy, suggest showering together. It can be both sensual and helpful.
Dear Annie: I rolled my eyes when I read the letter from “Devastated in Oklahoma,” whose angry husband cheated on her years ago. What upset me was her statement: “I am attractive and in good health. I’d probably have no trouble meeting someone else, but at this point I’d rather not risk it.”
What is wrong with this woman? Why does she have to have a man? There are plenty of single people with lots of friends who are active in groups and volunteer in their community. In deciding she must have a man in her life, she is choosing to continue putting up with his rages and possibly getting an STD if he has another affair. It seems to me being single and busy with friends trumps anger and disease. — Sick of Dependent People
Dear Sick: Not everyone is comfortable ending a marriage, especially after so many years, and we think the decision about what to put up with is hers to make. But counseling can help clarify things, which is why we recommend it so often.
Annie’s Snippet for St. Patrick’s Day: May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. May your heart be as light as a song. May each day bring you bright happy hours that stay with you all year long.
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 3.17.09