Dear Annie: Making friends might prevent mail theft
Dear Annie: I live in a large apartment building in a very safe part of town. It’s an older building, and all of the mail for the complex is in one room. Large packages are placed by the mailbox in that room rather than brought up the four flights of stairs.
A few weeks ago, I purchased a couple of expensive kitchen gadgets online and was waiting excitedly for them to arrive. As the order said five to seven business days, the more than two weeks I’d been waiting seemed wrong. I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so I knew that the package would arrive while I was at work. However, I checked for it every day before and after work, just in case. Nothing.
After tracking the package online, I saw that my order had arrived three days earlier. But it had gone missing. I told the apartment manager, and he said there wasn’t any video surveillance. The best I could do would be to put up signs asking for info or saying that the package had been mistakenly picked up and to have it delivered to me or the apartment manager. I can be refunded for the kitchenware through the online retailer, but, Annie, how do I deal with neighbors stealing my stuff? I don’t feel as safe in this apartment now, even though I’ve been living here for more than four years. — Signed, Sealed, Delivered ... and Stolen
Dear Stolen: If you want to feel safer around your neighbors, get to know them. It’s harder to steal a Ginsu knife from someone you know — and who may be in your kitchen one day — than from a stranger who is merely a name on a packing slip.
Consider planning a barbecue or movie night for the complex. You’ll make friends, and the other people in your building will recognize you as an active member in your community. In the meantime, to ease your mind, have your packages delivered to the post office for you to pick up or delivered to your work.
Dear Annie: I had my first child when I was still a teenager, and we’ve always been exceptionally close as mother and daughter. When my daughter had her own children in her mid-20s, I was still young enough to be mistaken for their mom. I’ve enjoyed fun and close relationships with my grandsons and my granddaughter.
However, I just found out that my 14-year-old granddaughter, Emma, has been in therapy for the past few months because she was cutting herself. She’s been acting out since my daughter and her husband got divorced last year. I heard one of my grandsons talking about Emma’s “sessions” and asked my daughter what was going on. I’ve done some research online about cutting, and I know that Emma’s health should be our main focus. But I’m hurt that no one told me about this sooner. I have always been there for my family and would think my family members would turn to me when things get hard. — Confused Nana
Dear Nana: Your daughter is acting purely on instinct, a mama bear in survival mode. She hasn’t been thinking about anyone but her little cub. The most important thing is getting your granddaughter help. It sounds as if she is on that path.
Your family didn’t mean to hurt you by leaving you out. Try to remember what it’s like to be in the trenches of parenthood with a young daughter. It’s easy to get tunnel vision when in such a crisis.
Set your emotions aside, and just be there for your family — as you’re already doing.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.