Dear Annie: Our daughter will be a college freshman this year. She has been texting her new roommate so they can learn a little about each other.
Our daughter recently received a text from her new roomie stating that her parents and boyfriend will be bringing her to the campus. Her parents will be staying in her brother’s apartment, but the boyfriend is planning to stay in the girls’ dorm room. The room has two twin beds and very little space.
I was disappointed to hear this. My daughter is also bummed, but she is afraid to rock the boat with a new roommate. I contacted the university to see what their policy is. Even though it is an all-girl dorm, there is no policy against men staying in the rooms.
We very much want our daughter to have a good roommate experience. However, we do not want her to have to put up with a boyfriend in her room throughout the year. Do you have any suggestions?
Dear Mom: These are the kinds of problems that crop up in college dorms, and your daughter needs to work them out herself. She can talk to her new roommate, asking how often the boyfriend will be around and whether they can go to his place instead. She can get a privacy screen so this activity is not in her face. But we also recommend she ask to be placed with a different roommate, if not for this semester, then for the next one. Regardless of the university’s policy, they do not want the students (or their parents) to be unhappy with their living arrangements.
Dear Annie: Is it OK to send a copied thank-you letter? It would definitely make my life easier. I am a very busy person and will basically be saying the same thing to everyone. At least I’m sending one, right? Is it tacky?
— Not Old School
Dear Not Old School: Yes, it’s tacky. Did everyone send you the exact same gift? No? Then you cannot send the exact same thank-you note. A proper thank-you says something specific about the gift. If your friends and family can take the time and money to give you something, you can take the time to write them a decent note of thanks. We know you are busy. You don’t have to write them all at once. Set aside enough time to write four a day, and you’ll be done in no time — and proud of yourself, too.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Worried Wife,” who fears her husband is a pedophile. He absolutely is.
I am now 50 years old. Twenty years ago, my father, a respected community member, was accused of being a pedophile, but the case was not prosecuted. Our whole family went to therapy. My father admitted he had molested the poor boy and also that he had molested several other boys in prior years.
At that time, I told him that if I ever suspected him of molesting another child, I would turn him in to the police. I did so 10 years later. It turned out he had a string of male victims going back nearly 50 years. I only wish I had turned him in earlier. While it is sad that my 80-year-old father is in prison and will no longer communicate with me, it was the right thing to do. I am thankful that I was able to end his abuse of innocent human beings.
My father was never observed kissing or touching boys. We just knew he had an unnatural attraction for them. “Worried Wife’s” situation is far more blatant. She may want to keep him out of jail for her daughters’ sakes, but be assured that this young boy is only a stop on the way to his next victim.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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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