Annie and her stolen mail

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My local paper runs a syndicated advice column called, Annie’s Mailbox. It was once the Ann Lander’s column. Anyway, I enjoy reading it primarily because I get a kick out of the questions people submit (or the editors make up) and then the tactful manner in which they are answered.

Being as that this is a slow news day, I have decided to steal some of Annie’s mail and answer some questions the way I think is best. Here goes.

Dear Annie: My daughter recently married for the first time. Her attendants were her three best friends. Their friendship goes back 20 years, and they still regularly get together for a girls’ night. My daughter attended all of their weddings. For each, she hosted a bridal luncheon. At her rehearsal dinner, my daughter presented them with necklaces and earrings, and her groom gave the groomsmen specially ordered gifts. Can you imagine my shock to find out none of these best friends gave the couple a wedding gift? Only the best man and one groomsmen came with gifts.

One of these friends recently made a comment that she has a year to give a gift. The same comment was made by the mother of the groom. What is wrong with these people? My daughter said it is no big deal, but I know she is hurt. Please give these thoughtless people an etiquette lesson. – Appalled Mother of the Bride

Dear Appalled: Before the lesson, I need to ask if your daughter is weird, hideous, or just unfortunate to have an over bearing person like you hovering over her life like a drone? Was your daughter one of those kids who always was left to wonder why all the friends she invited to her lavish birthday party that you went overboard with suddenly got sick the morning of the party? Is it possible that your daughter wore out her friendships acting as a Bridezilla or perhaps, she is really a sweet person who just happens to have a mother who is too involved in her life? Either way, you have nothing to worry about. She now has a loving husband who you can monitor, question, and eventually drive away and then be there to pick up the pieces of the life you shatter.

Dear Annie: I met someone with whom I would like to be friends. However, she has a repulsive habit. She constantly sticks her thumb in her nose. How do I tell her to stop without being offensive? – HFAR

Dear HFAR: Is this friend of yours recently married and was she left without gifts from her bridal party? Speaking of bridal, does she have nostrils the size of American Pharaoh? Here is what I suggest you do. The next time she does this, “accidentally” bump into her elbow and drive her thumb into her brain. I guarantee she will stop this behavior and you can then go about questioning why she places that thumb up her butt, which in most cases is easier to conceal.

Dear Annie: I recently dated a woman who never offered to pay for a meal, a movie or so much as an ice cream cone. We went out several times. We’re both in our late 50’s and earn good incomes. She says she won’t pay for things until she is in a committed relationship. I have no problem paying for anything that I invite her to. But she would suggest things for us to do and never offer to pay. What’s the etiquette these days? – Ron

Dear Ron: Does this woman have a daughter who was recently married and left giftless by her bridal party? If so, run for the hills as fast as you can. Otherwise, it is important you understand just how different the times are from when you were dating thirty years ago.

These days, everyone is a “player.” They are all looking to get as much as they can from as many people as they can. This woman is playing you because she knows she can. Here is what you do. Start seeing numerous women. In fact, if you have to, pay women to provide you with the services you desire. This way, when the two of you break up, you can leave her with an STD, which is not just normal, but almost expected these days. If you do, I assure you she will have paid plenty for dating a nice man like you.

Dear Annie: Last fall, we had a baby girl, and at the last minute, I decided on the name “Jane.” Unaware of this, my husband’s cousin’s wife commented that she always loved the name “Jane,” and that she and her husband had picked it out as the name they would someday give their child.

Had I known this, I would have selected a different name for my child. Well, this cousin is now pregnant with a girl. And even though our child is named “Jane,” they are planning to name theirs the same.

I know I can’t tell them to change it because I had it first, but it still upsets my husband and me. I believe out of respect, they should pick a different name. Am I wrong? How do I calm down about this? – I Picked It First

Dear Picked: Plenty of people pick things that others also pick later. It’s why so many people own iPhones. Do you dine in an empty restaurant or do others also pick to dine there? Do you think you are the only one who picks their nose (even if it is with a thumb)? Relax. You are making a big deal out of this. Odds are, one of your marriages will end in divorce and the two “Janes” will never have anything to do with the other.

Now, in case you both have healthy marriages, I suggest you convince this relative to name the girl “Mary.” This will allow the distant cousins to open up “Mary Jane’s Pot Dispensary” and they can provide you with some much needed weed to help you calm down.

Dear Annie: Why do people pay so little attention to the proper pronunciation of certain words? This morning, I received a telephone call from a sales clerk, who informed me that something I ordered was no longer available, but she had “fount” a similar item if I cared to substitute.

Also, I have heard several people say “ax” when they mean “ask.” An “ax” is something you use to chop wood. If the speaker had “axed her,” she wouldn’t be able to answer, now, would she?

Last week, for the umpteenth time, I heard someone say, “We are having a sells event.” The word is “sales.” You are having a sale where you hope to sell things. And why do people continue to say, “I done this,” or “they come over yesterday.” Why are we so careless in our speech? OK, Annie. I feel better now. Shepherdsville, Ky

Dear Shepherdsville: I hear ya. It’s like these people suffer from Oldtimers disease or some other brain illfliction. I can’t stand doin biness with these people.Sometimes, I wish they would choke on their words and need someone to give them the Heineken maneuver. Anyway, it’s a mute point trying to talk cents into these ingnorant people.

Dear Annie: Why are you so tactful? Why can’t you just tell it like it is and be more like me, the guy who has been stealing your mail lately? – Jim from LAPX