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Should we be worried?

By From page B5 | January 31, 2014

Dear Annie: I have a question regarding the appropriateness of a grandfather sleeping with a 5-year-old granddaughter during visits to her family home. In this case, the grandmother and grandfather take turns sleeping in the same bed with the granddaughter.

I feel this is most inappropriate and sends very mixed messages to the child. I have read some research that suggests it shouldn’t be done after the age of 8, or at reaching puberty. What is your take?

— Concerned Cousin

Dear Cousin: Unless one of the grandparents is molesting the child, this is nothing to be alarmed about. The grandparents don’t live with the family and don’t sleep with the girl on a regular basis. We suspect this arrangement has more to do with the lack of beds during a visit and the desire to spend extra time with a young grandchild. If the girl objects (and if she doesn’t now, she will later), other arrangements should be made — such as a sleeping bag or an air mattress.

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Dear Annie: I have two girlfriends I’ve been very close to for several years. We are all in our 40s. Recently, we have grown apart. I’ve seen Facebook postings of things they are doing and pictures of activities they’ve done together, and I haven’t been invited to any of them.

I mentioned this to one of them, who assured me they weren’t trying to hurt me. But I recently saw pictures of them celebrating on New Year’s Eve. The same friend told me it was a spur-of-the-moment thing, that they had no plans to celebrate, but circumstances allowed it when their shifts ended. When I asked the other friend, she gave a flippant remark as if it didn’t matter.

Am I being oversensitive? Is it too much to think they could have called or texted me to join them? I sat at home, ringing in the New Year alone. My gut tells me to move along. What do you think?

— Afterthought

Dear Afterthought: Your gut is right. These friends are no longer interested in making the effort to include you. Please search for friendships elsewhere. There’s no reason to sit home alone because others don’t call. Make your own plans. Get involved in activities that will allow you to meet others and become more interesting in the process.

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Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from “Massachusetts,” who is having an affair with “Harry,” her childhood sweetheart, even though both of them are married to others.

I have been married to the same woman for 35 years, and it has not always been a bed of roses. My job placed a lot of stress on our marriage. But we persevered. I have always told my kids, their friends and anyone I know that marriage is the hardest “job” they would ever have. It takes a lot of effort and commitment from both sides to make it work, but anything worth having is worth working as hard as you can to achieve it. The benefits far outweigh the bad parts.

I could have cheated numerous times, but when I pledged my vows, I meant every word. Obviously, “Massachusetts” and “Harry” were not quite so sincere. Those two have not only betrayed their spouses, but also their children.

You want to mess around? Get a divorce first. I have no idea what either of your spouses has done to deserve the blatant disrespect you two have shown, but I hope they can find happiness with someone else after your divorce.

What absolutely floors me is that you would write to Annie’s column, which is published across the country, asking her for suggestions to help you cheat. The only feeling I have for you is absolute contempt.

— You Disgust Me

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Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. 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.

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

Special to The Enterprise

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