Woman learns ear cuffs can be worn at any age

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: Yesterday, a store clerk complimented my ear cuffs, then had the gall to ask whether anyone had told me that I was too old to wear them. I was floored! Too old for earrings, no matter what kind?

I'm over 60, in great shape and regularly pegged for younger. But even if I were covered in wrinkles, I would be shocked to be told that certain jewelry was inappropriate because it was "too young" for someone my age. These particular earrings are not showy. They are delicate gold with small diamonds and extend from the lobe upward to the midpoint of my ear.

I've never heard of someone being too old for a particular style of earring. What do you think? -- Aging Gracefully Cookie

Dear Cookie: We think the store clerk was rude. There are styles that older women might choose not to wear because they highlight one's age (miniskirts, for example) and cause others to think they are trying too hard. But it usually applies to clothing, not jewelry. This type of ear cuff (also called a climber, because it climbs up the ear) is perfectly fine for any age. But there may be some younger folks who object to seeing something they consider "trendy" on someone over 40. The good news is, when you are 90, those same younger folks will think you are amazingly cool. We say, wear whatever jewelry you like and stop worrying about what other people think.

Dear Annie: "Not-So-Happy Birthday" complained that her husband's family continually asks whether they have changed their minds about not having children. And then the husband invited the entire family (including young kids) to his wife's 30th birthday party. The wife was upset that the relatives paid too much attention to their children while she was opening her gifts. I think she and her husband have made the right decision not to have kids. She's much too self-engrossed to be a good mother. Kids are demanding.

"Not" doesn't need to discuss having kids with her in-laws. Whenever the topic comes up, she should just tell them that the subject is closed and divert their attention to something else of interest. But I don't believe there is any reason for the in-laws to apologize for their behavior during her birthday party. This is what parents do -- they watch their kids, and everything else is secondary.

I have two children. The youngest had only one child by choice and the other, now 50, never expressed a desire for kids, though she loves her niece very much. I tried not to interfere in my children's choices regarding children, as I believe that is their personal business, not mine. -- Contented Enough

Dear Mother: You sound like a wise woman. We happen to be quite fond of children, but the decision to be a parent is intensely personal, and solely between the spouses. People with kids assume childless-by-choice couples will regret their decision down the road, but that's often not the case. Regardless, no one is entitled to pressure them. (Unless you're royalty, in which case, having children comes with the job.)

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to 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