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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dear Annie: Crush on the clerk broke his heart

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I have an embarrassing problem, and I don’t know what to do.

I met a beautiful young woman who works in a local store. She is about 20 years younger than I am. She took my breath away the first time I saw her, but I figured that with the age difference, there was no chance.

I saw her every day for about 18 months, and every day I liked her more. One day, she told me she was depressed and needed to be cheered up. She also told me she was glad to see me because I always cheered her up. That was the nicest thing a woman has ever told me.

A couple of weeks later, I went into the store, and we locked eyes. She turned around without a word and went into the back room and didn’t come out while I was there. Needless to say, that hurt.

For the next two weeks, she acted the same way, as if I were invisible. I was devastated. I stopped going in when she was working. I can take a hint.

Ten months later, she changed shifts, and I saw her again. It is a much longer story, but she acted as if I was her best friend again. That’s when I realized I am in love with her. But with the age difference, I know it’s a no-brainer. Again I was devastated, even more so this time.

My question is this: Why is she so cruel? Is it a power thing? A tease?

My heart is broken again, and I guess I want to know why a woman would do that to someone who has always treated her with respect. It’s so cruel. I’m lost here. Maybe I hurt her. But she won’t talk about it, so I don’t know. What should I do? – Crush on the Clerk

Dear Crush: I think you’re shopping in the wrong aisle here. It’s possible this girl is playing games with you, but the bottom line is that you will never know what is going on in another person’s head. You can only control how you react.

So let’s focus on your feelings here: I don’t think you are in love with this girl; you are infatuated with her. The best way to get over infatuation is to avoid the object of it. Change your routine; go to a different store.

I’d also recommend getting involved in a community organization so you can meet more people and build your self-esteem. You can’t expect anyone else to respect you if you don’t respect yourself.

Dear Annie: My girlfriend and I occasionally go to events during which “The Star-Spangled Banner” or a similar patriotic song is performed. The announcers always ask that people stand and please remove their caps. My girlfriend, “Marie,” absolutely refuses to remove her hat. This is not for political reasons. Rather, she says removing a hat is only for guys. Fortunately, no one has expressed annoyance at her – at least no one other than me. Asking politely has no effect. What can I do? – No-Hatter

Dear No-Hatter: Neither of you is too far off base. The widely accepted etiquette is that men must remove their hats during the national anthem; women can leave fashion hats on but should remove unisex hats (such as baseball hats and beanies). So show her this column if you are in the right. And if you’re wrong, you owe her some Cracker Jack.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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