Dear Annie: My husband and I are seriously concerned about my 19-year-old sister-in-law, “Veronica.” She came to stay with us a few months ago because she was having a hard time at my mother-in-law’s house. We did not ask for any money. All we asked was that she clean up after herself and respect a curfew so she wouldn’t wake our infant.
Everything was OK for a few weeks, and then she started spending a lot of time with “John.” Every time she walked in the house, she reeked of marijuana. She later told me that John is a drug dealer. He was kicked out of his house, and she has been letting him sleep in her car.
Last weekend, we spotted the two of them smoking pot in front of our house. That was the last straw. My husband asked her to leave the next day. We told my mother-in-law in the hope that Veronica would get some help, but the entire thing has spun out of control, and my mother-in-law is no longer speaking to us.
We have since learned that most of Veronica’s friends have stopped contact because of her relationship with John. We also learned that he was robbed and held at gunpoint in her car. We worry for her safety if she continues to hang around John, but my mother-in-law refuses to believe a word we say and continues to enable Veronica’s behavior.
My husband is heartbroken over this. We don’t want our baby to be without a grandmother. How can we make her see that we are not the bad guys?
— Sad in California
Dear Sad: Mom cannot face up to dealing with Veronica, and you have dropped the girl back in her lap. She is frustrated and worried and taking it out on you. Veronica is an adult and must make her own choices, good or bad. Try to reestablish a relationship with your mother-in-law without mentioning Veronica. Call and inquire whether she’d like to see her grandchild. We hope she will agree.
Dear Annie: I don’t see happy letters very often in your column. There are some of us out here who are OK.
I am 62. I have a used car and not much money, work is sporadic, and I’m the happiest person ever. I have the best girlfriend in the whole world. We have been together for two years and plan on many more. My biggest problem is trying to figure out how to repay her for being the best companion I could ever imagine and giving me a second chance in life. Life is good.
Dear D.: You’ve made our day. Advice columns are intended to help people who have problems and need guidance, but it’s wonderful to hear from someone who is happy and satisfied. We hope you will take this letter and give it to your girlfriend. We think it will make her day, too.
Dear Annie: I understand how “That’s My Lot in Life” feels. He says his mother visits his sister often, but even though he knows she loves him, she never makes the effort to visit his home. I sympathize.
I have a brother who goes all over the country but has never, in the 50 years we’ve been married, been to our home. My parents, one aunt and one cousin have visited, but no other members of my family can manage to come. When I send Christmas cards, I always remind them that they “do not need passports to get into West Virginia,” but nobody takes the hint.
When my father died, I told my son I would probably never see my family again, as we simply can’t afford to travel that far, and they won’t travel here. It really hurts. The only time we talk to them is if we call.
— Little Sister
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], 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 www.creators.com.
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