Dear Annie: My ex-son-in-law has temporary custody of my granddaughter, "Cathy," who is 8. Every time I buy her something, she wants to leave it at my house. I couldn't understand why so I asked her father. He said it was because Cathy had overheard him talking to his ex (my daughter), fussing that Cathy would lose things they bought her, or she would forget to bring the item back to the parent's house where it belonged when she stayed overnight with the other parent.
I think the problem is that Cathy has her mom and three sets of grandparents who buy her things, and Dad now has a stepdaughter who doesn't get much (if anything) from her father or grandparents. She is 3 years older than Cathy.
I don't think Cathy needs to be punished because her stepsister doesn't have much of a relationship with her family. Any help would be appreciated. -- Sad Nana
Dear Nana: You have no cause to be sad. Cathy isn't being "punished." Your ex-son-in-law is trying to be kind to his stepdaughter. It must be terribly hurtful for her to see how much Cathy is indulged when she is neglected. You should absolutely get on board with this. Tell Cathy you think it's a great idea for her to keep those gifts in your house so she can use them when she visits. Put a positive spin on it. Make those presents special "Grandma" things. Your job is to provide a place of stability and calm for Cathy, not to undermine her father's decision to limit how many presents are at his house, whatever the reason.
Dear Annie: I recently stopped at my husband's office and needed to use the bathroom. I was so angry when I noticed a calendar that had half-naked women on it. My husband thinks the calendar is OK, but now I feel as though I'm not good enough or pretty enough for him.
There are only men who work in this office, and he says the calendar belongs to everyone. He's the boss. I want it down! Am I being silly? -- Outraged in Pennsylvania
Dear Outraged: You're not being silly, but you are totally out of line. This is not your office. You don't work there. If there were female employees, then your husband would be wise to remove the calendar lest he be sued for creating a hostile work environment. Or, if it were common practice for female clients to stop by and use the restroom where they would see the calendar and become upset, it would be smart to get rid of it. But since only men work there and women don't generally visit, this is none of your business.
Girlie calendars have been around forever. We agree that they are sophomoric, but guys have always liked to look. It has nothing to do with your husband not finding you "pretty enough." Please put your insecurities away and stop telling him how to run his office. It will only lead to trouble. For you.
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.
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