Dear Annie: I am a 15-year-old boy and an only child. I get good grades and my social life is somewhat fair. I have no drama except for one thing -- my mom. Mom is 40 years old and has a full-time job. But every time she talks to me, she yells. No one can tell her that she needs help -- she gets angry. She cooks, but rarely cleans. I do most of the chores in the house. She is stingy when it comes to money and won't even give her spare change to charity. She rarely listens to me unless I say something about my dad. My parents had some trouble not long ago and contemplated divorce, but they are now back together. But she is still mad at him for cheating on her. I've suggested we go to counseling, but she refuses. Every day I try to put up with her, and I know my dad does, too. Is it too much to ask that she be more polite and friendly? It hurts me to know I can't make her happy. I can't take it anymore. I want her to understand and listen to me more often. -- Misunderstood Boy in Guam
Dear Misunderstood: It sounds as if your mother has been going through some rough times and she is angry and frustrated. You are right that counseling would be good, but you can't force her to go. You, however, should talk to someone who can help you deal with this situation better. Does your school have a counselor? If not, do you have a favorite teacher or relative who might be able to offer useful advice and a shoulder to lean on? You seem like a terrific and caring son. Please try to give your mother a hug once in a while and tell her you love her. She needs to hear it.
Dear Annie: May I use your column to defend our beautiful state of West Virginia? For the umpteenth time, I've heard someone comment that people here have no teeth and marry their siblings. While most of us take this with a smile and a shrug, I want to tell people that if you think our governor wears bib overalls and smokes a corncob pipe, then you are showing YOUR ignorance. West Virginians are wonderful, smart, decent, hardworking people with great senses of humor. We invite everyone to come see our beautiful seasons, and our mountains, parks, forests, rivers and streams -- but most of all, to experience our small-town hospitality. Thanks for letting me vent. -- Grammie in Fairmont, West Virginia
Dear Grammie: Feeling better? We're happy to give tourism a boost. As anyone who has visited knows, West Virginia is a beautiful state with lovely scenery and a gracious population. All stereotypes show is the speaker's ignorance, but they are hard to eradicate, so it's a good thing you also have such a great sense of humor. Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2016 CREATORS.COM