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To some, others’ flossing is gross

Sat., May 19, 2012

Dear Annie: Some time ago, I attended an event at a friend’s church. There was an empty seat at our table, so a solo man was seated with us. He seemed agreeable until he was finished eating. Then he took a flosser out of his pocket and proceeded to clean his teeth at the table. I almost threw up.

Would it have been acceptable for me to ask him to please go to the restroom to perform that ritual? If not, how else might I have handled it? – Turned Stomach

Dear Stomach: People are often inappropriate in public and either don’t realize or don’t care that others find it unappetizing. It would have been fine to say with a slight grimace, “Would you mind flossing in the restroom? It’s such a private activity, and some of us have sensitive stomachs.” Of course, there is no guarantee that he would listen.

Dear Annie: The letter from “Lake Effect Wife” hit home. In my 35 years of marriage, I have always done the household chores, shopping and cooking. There were several years when I also was the only one bringing in an income. I have never been able to get my husband to do anything.

When I ask why, he says, “It’s not important to me, but if it is to you, then you do it.” I cannot describe how this has crushed me. I couldn’t figure out how I chose a man who cared so little for me that he wouldn’t lift a finger to help. I always thought marriage was a partnership, but I’ve been going it alone for a long time. If I knew then what I know now – I’d Be Single

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.


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