Dear Readers: Many of you will be enjoying your Memorial Day weekend with barbecues and picnics, but we hope you will also remember the purpose behind the observance. Please consider taking the time to visit a veterans hospital or military cemetery and pay your respects. And if you have a flag, it is appropriate to display it at half-staff until noon.
”Last Monday in May”
by John T. Bird of Birmingham, Ala.
We pause to remember those who died
with so much courage
so much pride.
They’ll never come back
but memories endure
to remind us of freedom: fragile, pure.
We’re worthy of their sacrifice
if we pause each day
not just on the last Monday in May.
Dear Annie: My youth sometimes rises but is mostly used up. On my last flight (several years ago), the pilot announced that we might hit some rough weather and that he would leave the “fasten seatbelts” sign on. Eventually, I had an urgent need to use the bathroom. I buzzed the flight attendant, explained my predicament and asked for permission to make the needed trip. She authoritatively announced that I would have to wait. I winced and said that really wasn’t an option, and she became hostile that I questioned her authority.
I haven’t tracked how many thousands of miles I’ve flown, and I know there’s been a crackdown on people wandering around when the seatbelt sign is on. But it seems to me that having the seatbelt sign on at that time was optional, while having an urgency issue was not.
I have not subsequently boarded another airplane. I would not feel comfortable urinating on the floor, nor would I appreciate being arrested. The flight attendant probably was only following instructions.
Not traveling by plane has saved me a lot of money, to say nothing of countless hours waiting in airports. But how would you have handled that situation? Would you wear diapers? Do the airlines expect flight attendants to collect urine bags left on the planes?
Dear Grounded: We think you were the victim of an overzealous flight attendant. Even with the seatbelt sign on, passengers are allowed to use the bathroom when necessary (although not to stand in line in the aisle). Also, certain inconveniences regarding travelers who are already on board have been somewhat relaxed since you last flew. You are unlikely to have this particular problem again.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “N.N.” about her verbally abusive husband. I, too, am the spouse of a constantly critical, controlling and emotionally abusive man who thinks all of our relationship’s problems rest solely on my shoulders. Your response was spot-on.
Two days ago, after my husband again called me names in a heated rant in front of our children, I decided I’d had enough and told him I wanted a divorce. I finally recognized that suffering through it for our children’s sake wasn’t right for any of us. An unstable and tense home environment can be more detrimental than a broken but happy one. Deciding to leave the relationship was difficult, but I look forward to a future not spent walking on eggshells, not feeling ashamed in front of my children, living comfortably in my home and giving my kids a calm, stable place to grow up. “N.N.” deserves respect and someone who truly loves her.
— Better Now
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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