June 20, 2009 in Features

See messy family at your home

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: My daughter, “Sharon,” is a good-hearted person, a wonderful mother, has a great career and is active in her church. But her house is an absolute mess. Things are stacked everywhere, the closet doors don’t close, and there are dirty dishes lying around. They have a dog and it smells like it. Her husband starts projects and leaves them unfinished and messy. It isn’t for lack of time. They both have the entire summer off and regular vacations.

We have offered to help, but they refuse. Is there anything we can say without harming our relationship? We don’t visit the grandchildren as much as we would like because it upsets us. – Frustrated Parents

Dear Parents: Unless the grandchildren are getting sick, leave it alone. Sharon and her husband may have some hoarding issues or attention deficit problems, but they have to be willing to work on them. When you want to see the family, invite them to your place or meet them in a neutral location.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Confused in Tulsa,” who found e-mailed pictures of his girlfriend on another man’s lap. People have lost their common sense. Who would have a fling, take pictures and keep them? Either that girlfriend is positively stupid, or her objective was to break up with her boyfriend.

We all do idiotic things, but I would never put them on film. I don’t believe confession is all that good for the soul, either. What happened in your past is better left there, and the details are nobody’s business. Couples that think everything should be revealed are laying the foundation for later trouble. – Fortville, Ind.

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, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.

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