Dear Annie: My wife has gotten so many animals that it is out of control. Every time she gets upset or sad, she goes out and purchases another animal. Right now, we own eight cats, four bunnies, six rats, two cows and two horses. Our house smells like cat feces and our yard smells like cow and horse poop. Whenever we eat, the cats jump onto the table and try to eat our food. And she doesn't clean the litter box often enough, so it's gross and embarrassing when anyone comes to visit. I can see the guests gagging.
I'm not sure if I should tell her, leave her be, or just get rid of some of the animals when she is at work. It has gotten so unmanageable that I've been thinking about a divorce. -- Grossed Out
Dear Grossed Out: Absolutely speak up. Animals are not security blankets to be accumulated when one is feeling down. Tell your wife the situation has gotten out of control and you are going to call the Humane Society and let them take the majority of the animals because it is unhealthy for them, as well as you, to be in this haphazard environment.
Dear Annie: I'm writing about the letter from "The Husband," whose wife is an art class model for a neighbor. He is making more out of this than it deserves. Many years ago when I was an art student in college, I had to take life-drawing classes, but I was also a model. My wife was OK with the idea. We both knew several of the students. As you pointed out, Annie, it is not a sexual situation. The students are more interested in honing their drawing skills. The instructor is more focused on the students' drawings than the model, and the model is concentrating on holding the pose without shifting or moving.
Most schools welcome outside models as it provides a wider range of body types and sizes than would be found within the student body. I think being familiar with the neighbor is better -- why pose nude for a stranger? And most importantly, after class, she comes home to her husband. -- A Reader in Michigan
Dear Michigan: Thanks for your viewpoint. We heard from a great many readers on this subject. Read on for more:
Dear Annie: Here's another suggestion: The husband could volunteer his services as a model. This actually would serve two purposes: He would understand his wife's experience, and male models are hard to come by. -- Just a Thought from an Artist's Perspective
Dear Annie: I don't feel that sexual desire has anything to do with it. It is just weird. If we had a neighbor who was a gynecologist, I would not want to be his patient. It crosses a line. I can't imagine the wife not getting her husband's clear approval on this. -- K.
Dear Annie: If my wife posed nude without telling me first, I, too, would be uncomfortable. But I would never tell her that she had to stop. I would simply make sure she understood that I did not approve, and that I was changing jobs and moving out of town. It would be up to her whether she wanted to go with me or not. -- Ken
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