Thursday, January 29, 2015

When compassion backfires


From page B5 | September 05, 2014 |

Dear Annie: My cousin is 53 years old and is in and out of jobs. He has no place to go and parked his van on my property on the condition that he stay no more than five months. He asked for permission to use my laundry equipment and electricity. But he’s already stayed 10 months, uses my facilities without permission and leaves things all over my front yard.

On several occasions, I kicked him out, and he refused to leave. Several of my neighbors reported a squatter in the residential area, and the police arrived to deal with the complaint. They only request that he leave. But he’s still here.

How do I get rid of him?

— Cousin of a Squatter

Dear Cousin: Depending on your local law, you can call the police and tell them your cousin is trespassing on your property, in which case, they may be able to forcibly make him move. Otherwise, you may need to sue him to get him evicted. In either case, we recommend you consult an attorney about what you can do.


Dear Annie: I am amazed that women do not realize that one of the primary reasons they are not being asked out is simply because they insist on traveling in packs. Men do not like to break into a group of women just to ask one of them to dance or to chat.

Some years ago, I did an experiment with a female friend, asking her to place herself alone against a wall in a bar with her arms behind her. It took less than five minutes for someone to come up and ask if he could buy her a drink. Meanwhile, as I looked around, I saw many men standing about and many women in groups chatting away with no man even close to them.

Wake up, women. You have the ability to change your dating success pronto.

— PB Watching

Dear PB: A lone woman might indeed attract more attention, but not always for the right reasons. Women travel in packs for their own protection. Not every man is trustworthy. A woman who is alone at a party, for example, runs a real risk of being assaulted when she leaves, if not before, especially if liquor is involved. If a woman chooses to separate herself from her friends to get attention, that’s fine, as long as she lets her friends know where she is and with whom.


Dear Annie: I was very touched by the letter from “L.A., Calif.” I, too, am a single mother of two children. My kids were 4 and 8 when I divorced their dad. He had supervised visitation, which he chose to give up. Our children have not seen their father in 10 years. Is there resentment? I would say more hurt than anything. He chose everything else over his family.

For a long time, my daughter has wanted to change her name from her father’s last name. My son doesn’t seem to care. Now that they both are adults, they can legally change their name without parental consent.

I think your advice was great, but I don’t believe a name change needs to have anything to do with Mom’s animosity toward her ex. I think it is her intent to give her children a connection to what is constant and stable in their lives: their mother. Taking her maiden name will help them feel more attached to someone who means so much to them and won’t abandon them.

My kids have thrived, are mature beyond their years and surround themselves with positive friends. I have absolutely no regrets. Being granted total physical and legal custody was the best gift the judge could have given us.

— Been There, Done That, Happier for It


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

— Creators Syndicate Inc.



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