Dear Annie: I recently discovered that my stepmother has been using cocaine and meth. She is in her 40s and has two young children. I always thought she was a little nuts, but I never suspected she was using drugs.
I am just baffled by this. I immediately informed my dad, and he believed me because he had noticed her behavior, but he didn't know how to confront her. When he caught her red-handed, she said she would stop, but I don't think she did. I haven't seen any signs of withdrawal, and the other day a friend asked whether my stepmother was on drugs. This friend's mother is a former user, and my friend is aware of the signs.I don't know much about the drug culture and have no clue how to handle this. My father is sure she quit. I never thought this would come into my family. My stepmother isn't aware that I know. I don't want my father to be upset. What can I do? Help Me in California
Dear Help: It's unlikely your stepmother simply stopped. Getting off highly addictive drugs is not as easy as wanting to or promising to. That's only the first part of becoming sober. The rest requires a lot of work. Talk to your father about your concerns and suggest he contact Nar-Anon (nar-anon.org), for family and friends of drug addicts, at 800-477-6291.
Dear Annie: Recently, we were invited to our neighbors' for a drink, and on the counter was a laptop computer running a slide show with pictures of their summer home, boat and grandchildren (probably two dozen shots). Of course, we had to watch and give appropriate comments.
Shortly after this, we went to a small party and the hosts had set up their computer on the buffet with a slide show of their 11 grandchildren. The next week, we attended a dinner where the hosts had conveniently placed their computer near the entrance with a slide show of their new home expansion renovation project.Am I crazy, or is this totally rude? Not only are you a captive audience, but you have to ooh and aah over all this. I have adorable grandchildren and a beautiful new home, but wouldn't dream of displaying them like this. What do you think? Please Release Me
Dear Please: Years ago, hosts would corral unsuspecting guests and make them watch an old-fashioned slide show of their recent vacation. It was equally uncomfortable and resented. The good thing about a computer is that it can run in the background while you do other things. If the hosts expect you to stand at attention in front of the laptop until the slide show runs its course, yes, it's rude. Otherwise, you don't need to give it your complete attention. A brief compliment will do, after which you can declare that you wouldn't dream of monopolizing the screen.
Dear Annie: You told "Mother of the Bride" that it's fine for her daughter to stage two weddings. Are you completely insane? It is not OK. The couple will already be married. Any second ceremony will be a renewal of vows.
If a big white wedding is important to the daughter, then she needs to do it right the first time. They don't get a free pass because she got pregnant and they decided to elope. What possible justification is there for such a thing?Really, I'm shocked you would agree that it's OK to do something so incredibly tacky and gauche. J.J.
Dear J.J.: Believe it or not, there are very few restrictions on having the whole enchilada under these circumstances. According to Emily Post, if a couple is married in a civil service and later wishes to have a religious ceremony, it's perfectly OK to have a wedding and reception, including a white bridal gown (she suggests skipping the veil). Guests should not be deliberately misled into believing they are witnessing the original vows, but it's OK to invite them to a "celebration of marriage" because that's what it is.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.