Friday, November 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘The Brady Bunch,’ this isn’t

AnniesMailbox

Dear Annie: I’m from a big blended family, and we’re the type who believe that family is everything.

I recently moved an hour away from my dad, his wife and their kids. I love my dad with all my heart, but I can’t stand his wife. She is constantly talking down to my siblings and me (from Dad’s previous marriages). We aren’t treated nearly as well as the kids she and Dad have together.

When I was younger, I struggled with my weight and have worked very hard to maintain a healthy size. But whenever I visit Dad’s house, his wife constantly makes comments about how I need to watch what I eat. She makes me feel awful. At the moment, I have cut back on my hours at the gym because of an injured knee, but she acts as if I’ve never worked out a day in my life.

I’d love to cut all ties to her, but I can’t imagine not ever speaking to my dad again. Plus, I worry what my grandparents would think of me for doing that. I have tried to ignore my stepmother’s comments, but it’s hard to do when they’re constant. My dad and I don’t discuss our feelings, because he doesn’t like talking about them. Should I continue visiting my father and simply put up with his wife? Or is it time to cut them out of my life and move on?

— Lost in the Middle of Nowhere

Dear Lost: This doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Cutting Dad off because of his wife seems like you are punishing him for marrying her. Please don’t do that. Instead, tell your father how you feel, even if he doesn’t respond. Simply say that you find it difficult to listen to the constant criticisms about your weight and you no longer feel comfortable visiting him in his home. You can stay with other relatives or friends, or even in a hotel, and meet in a neutral location, with or without his wife. You also can stay in touch by email and phone calls. How often is up to you.

————

Dear Annie: Nine years ago, my husband and I bought a large house with extra bedrooms so we could have his ailing, aging parents move in with us. We cared for them until they passed away.

The problem is, now every family member, no matter how distant, has decided that our large house is their free vacation spot. They invite themselves year round and stay for days at a time, eating our food, swimming in our pool, watching our TV and basically making themselves at home and never offering to pay for anything.

I’m tired of running a bed and breakfast out of my home. How can I stop this trend without offending our family members?

— Tired of Running a Hotel in Florida

Dear Florida: You have to stand firm while being pleasant. If Cousin Jake says, “I’ll be in town next month and will stay with you,” reply, “I’m so sorry, but we are simply not up to having people in the house. I’ll be happy to give you the phone number of the nearest hotel, and we can meet for dinner. We’d love to see you.” No matter how many times he protests, stick to your guns — but sweetly.

————

Dear Annie: “He Just Doesn’t Care” complained that her husband smokes outside the house, and the smoke on his clothing triggers her COPD.

Thank you for suggesting electronic cigarettes. My uncle smoked for years and simply could not quit, even after having a heart attack. He switched to e-cigarettes, which allow him to get the nicotine he craves, while emitting an odorless vapor. My aunt is thrilled that the house no longer reeks of smoke, and my uncle is pleased that his health has stabilized.

— Grateful

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, 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.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

    Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Looking for the gift of life

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

    The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Holiday shopping in full gear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Tell us your Putah Creek stories

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Gorilla death prompts S.F. Zoo changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Bob Dunning: MRAP your arms around this

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Locals come through for families in need

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Travel the world at Logos Books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Dormant-season pruning tips offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Horse owners needed for online survey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

     
    Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Shakespeare folio discovered in France

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Students come together for sustainability

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Behavior straining friendship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    It all started at the bookstore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What can we do to help?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    What if we really need it?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

    By Our View | From Page: A6

     
    Many thanks for a great benefit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Seahawks shut down San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
     
    Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    John Walter Neves Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B3

     
    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A10