Dear Annie: Get out now!
Dear Annie: I have never felt the need to write in until I read the letter from “Please Help Guide Me,” who is despairing about how her husband of one-and-a-half years is abusive to her and her daughter. My heart was breaking for her, and my blood was boiling. She sounds depressed and thoroughly beaten down, and she needs to get mad and get out NOW, if only for her child. I’ve learned that anger is a great motivator.
She must put her daughter’s safety above everything else, keeping in mind that emotional abuse can and often is worse than physical abuse. That mother and child deserve better.
It was good of you to suggest the National Domestic Violence Hotline, but first she needs to grab her child and leave; even a shelter would be a better living situation. And have her contact an attorney. — Sympathetic Woman
Dear Sympathetic Woman: Your letter offers a great suggestion. You are correct that she should leave the household immediately and get out of the abusive situation.
Dear Annie: I appreciated the letter from “Another Aging Individual,” who saw a mother teaching her kid to be respectful of her elders. I’d like to add a message to parents, which is to teach your kids to skip the handicapped restroom stalls.
I was at a family comedy show where the bathroom was very small, with only two stalls, and the little girl who went in before me took the handicapped stall. I had to squeeze into the tiny regular stall instead. Fortunately, I am able to stand without using the handrails, but I was barely able to fit. I kept thinking that I was squeezed in while the little girl, who didn’t seem impaired in any way, hogged the larger stall. — A Tip for Your Readers.
Dear A Tip for Your Readers: Thank you for your gentle reminder about handicapped stalls.
Dear Annie: I’ve been reading Ann Landers and “Dear Abby,” the famous twins, since the 1950s. You are good at coming up with original aphorisms. You’re clear and modern. But I think what I like best is your wisdom and bravery. The bravery is in your tackling tough questions. I often find myself finishing one of the reader queries and thinking, “I wonder how she will advise this person...”
I sure wouldn’t know what to tell them. Then I read your answer and admire its wise counsel. Somehow your tone suggests you’re fairly young, but your advice sounds as if it comes from a lifetime or two of experience, compassion, and, let’s be frank, good judgment. I knew from your first week that you were really great at this job. Keep it up! — Faithful Reader
Dear Faithful Reader: Thank you so very much for your kind words. They mean a great deal to me. “Ask Ann Landers” and “Dear Abby” are the gold standard for advice columns, so your reference to them is all the more meaningful.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — 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.