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11:15 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Dear Annie: My friend is always tardy to the party

Dear Annie: I have a friend who is always late. Lunch, dinner, concerts, movies -- I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an outing with her when she hasn’t shown up 10 or 15 minutes late. She’s a lovely, caring person otherwise and a thoughtful friend, but I can’t help but be put off by this seeming lack of consideration for other people’s time, again and again. It’s hard not to take it personally. She knows it’s a problem and has vowed to be more punctual. It was her New Year’s resolution last year, and it probably will be again this year, but I’m not holding my breath for change. I just want to know: What gives? Why are some people always late? -- Waiting Games

Dear Waiting Games: According to time management expert Diana DeLonzor, people who are chronically tardy tend to be optimists. They have unrealistic expectations of what they can get done in a set amount of time. Jeff Conte, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State, says lateness is connected to deep-seated personality factors, making it a very hard habit to break. So your friend’s chronic tardiness is likely as deeply embedded in her as the things you love about her. Keeping all that in mind might make it easier not to take it personally when she’s late -- but she can’t expect everyone to be so understanding. DeLonzor’s book, “Never Be Late Again,” might make a good holiday gift for your friend, seeing as she admits it’s a problem.

Dear Annie: This may seem like a strange problem, but it is frustrating me to no end.

I have beautiful candy dishes for everyday use and for all the holidays. I love to fill them with expensive candy for looks. I don’t have them all over the house. They’re just in the living room and dining room.

I don’t keep them out all the time, but when I do put them out and fill them, I want the candy to stay. However, my husband just can’t get it. I have treats in the cupboards and freezer for him, so he isn’t ignored. He can have all he wants when I decide to change candy or put away the dishes, but he is always in the candy dishes.

Another problem is that I have to hide goodies from him, or he will eat it all in no time. I will put candy, cookies and snacks in the freezer for our grandsons or company. When I go to get the goodies, they are gone. I can’t keep potato chips on hand for when I might want a few with a sandwich. He eats a can of nuts before I know it. He is not overweight, and I cook good, healthful meals for us.

I am like a chipmunk, stashing food all over the house. It irritates me so much! -- Weird, Stupid or Selfish?

Dear Weird, Stupid or Selfish?: You are none of the three. You are simply frustrated that your husband eats any junk food that you buy. Picture your husband like a squirrel who eats or hoards all the nuts he can find. That is just the way he is, and he’s not going to change. As you say, you are like a chipmunk and you just need to find more creative hiding places. As for filling the nice dishes, check local gift shops or craft stores for beautiful hand-blown glass “candies.” These would look even prettier than real candy and be less appealing to your husband.

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