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Published November 02, 2010, 12:00 AM

Annie's Mailbox: Set record straight if asked about man

Dear Annie: I am an older divorced woman and belong to a square-dancing club. Shortly after I started, a single man joined and quickly became my dance partner. He was very smooth and a good dancer, and we also began dating.

By: Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, INFORUM

Dear Annie: I am an older divorced woman and belong to a square-dancing club. Shortly after I started, a single man joined and quickly became my dance partner. He was very smooth and a good dancer, and we also began dating.

Then he said there was something I needed to know about him, but he was reluctant to tell me. Instead, he gave me his ex-wife’s telephone number and told me to call her. It turns out he had molested his two sons the entire time they were growing up. But his ex said that was 20 years ago and he had been through counseling and wasn’t the same person anymore. I decided the moral thing to do was to give him the benefit of the doubt. We continued to date.

However, a few other things began to crop up, like chronic lying and manipulating people. He is also frequently unemployed. So I broke it off and also quit dancing with him. Now he is spreading rumors to make me look bad for dumping him.

A friend who lives in his neighborhood has cut down her contact with me, and I think that’s the reason. I am a bit socially awkward, and if I ask my friend whether this man is spreading unkind rumors about me, I fear it will make me look paranoid. How should I handle this? – Confused

Dear Confused: Ask your friend why she seems to be avoiding you. If she mentions anything about this man, feel free to give her the whole story. While we don’t recommend trashing his reputation in advance, you are entitled to set the record straight should anyone ask.


Dear Annie: I am writing about “Worried in Arizona,” the 13-year-old girl who thinks she may have breast cancer.

In March of last year, my daughter called and told me that my 10-year-old granddaughter, Hannah, had been acting odd all evening. She said her breast had been itching all day and it was bothering her. My daughter did a little exam and felt a large lump. When asked how long it had been there, Hannah said about a month. She thought it was a bone.

So the tests began, and the surgeries. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. After a mastectomy and chemo, she is doing well. She is the youngest breast cancer survivor in the U.S. on record. And please know that her cancer was environmental, not hereditary.

Breast cancer is not just for adults anymore. Children have to learn to tell their parents when something is wrong, and parents need to listen. If our family can help one person, it will be worth it. – Beth

Dear Beth: Please know your letter may have saved a life today. Bless you.


Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

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