Sunday, September 21, 2014

A one-track mind and she’s on it


Dear Annie: I have a longtime friend who has become quite difficult to be around because she talks nonstop about herself. She is a single professional woman who is intelligent and talented. But I think living alone causes her to unleash all of her thoughts on me. Honestly, I sometimes don’t even make an effort to talk about what’s going on in my life.

This has not been a huge problem for me, because “Sue” lives in another state and I see her only a couple of times a year. When I speak to her on the phone, she usually talks for about 30 minutes without a pause. As soon as I speak, she says, “I have to go.”

Recently, however, Sue told me she plans to move to my area when she retires. This isn’t so far into the future. I need to address the imbalance in our relationship for our friendship to continue, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. How should I handle this?

— Tired of Listening

Dear Tired: A certain amount of hard feelings may occur no matter how sensitive you are when telling Sue she doesn’t let other people talk. She is not “trained” to listen to anyone else. Retraining is best done in person and will take repeated efforts. It’s also possible that Sue talks incessantly in order to cover a hearing loss.

The next time you see her, touch her arm to get her attention and say, “Sue, can I get a word in?” She may be unaware that she monopolizes the conversation. You also can tell her how much it would mean to you if the conversations were more give-and-take. And you can ask whether she’s having difficulty hearing you. We can’t promise things will change or that Sue won’t be offended. But if she wants to remain friends, she will make the effort.


Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our early 60s and enjoy eating out several times a week. We can cook perfectly well at home, but are happy to pay a 20-percent gratuity in order to have someone else do the cooking and clean-up.

We recently ate out with three other couples at an upscale restaurant. It was not crowded. However, it took more than an hour for our dinner to arrive, the bread basket was long gone, water glasses were not refilled, and then the orders were misplaced. Twice I had to find our waitress, who was busy texting on her phone, just to get some information. When our dinners finally arrived, the cook had to come out and help her sort our orders, as she had no clue.

The food was excellent, and the restaurant, as is customary, added an 18-percent gratuity for the large party. We paid in cash to the exact penny, wrote a note on the bill about the horrid service and left no additional tip because there was no service.

I realize that things happen in the kitchen that are beyond the server’s control, but when this happens, a good server should communicate this to their customers. Bring a free round of drinks or hors d’oeuvres. At least keep the water glasses filled. It’s not that difficult.

— Still Steamed

Dear Steamed: Your complaint is quite valid. However, if there was an 18-percent gratuity added to the bill, you did indeed pay for service. If you intended to teach the server a lesson, you may have missed. Better to complain to management.


Dear Annie: “Native New Yorker” took issue with people asking “Where are you from?” because he had a raspy voice. I have been asked that, too. A couple of times I responded, “From the womb.” Once, someone actually asked, “What state is that in?” I had the presence of mind to respond, “I believe it’s in the state of matrimony.”

— Pedro from Guam

Dear Pedro: We love it!


Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, 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

— Creators Syndicate Inc.



Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

    Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Davis Community Meals needs cooks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Send kids to camp!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Wise words

    By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12



    Awareness is key to this fight

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Where is this going?

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

    We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

    By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

    Options for protection come with flu season

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

    Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Archer will get my vote

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Mike Keefe cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    Building something at schools’ HQ

    By Our View | From Page: A10

    Don’t sell city greenbelt

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Paso Fino project is flawed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Speak out

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Maybe David can beat Goliath again

    By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

    Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

    Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    ‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

    Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery





    ‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3



    UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Styles on target for November debut

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

    MBI hires VP of marketing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

    Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery



    Carol L. Walsh

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8