Dear Annie: I am a 13-year-old girl whose best friend (I’ll call her “Blue”) has become very rude and even annoying. I can no longer make a comment about something without her answering nastily or adding logic to imaginary scenarios that aren’t intended to be logical. It’s irritating.
We have another friend, “Violet,” who is very creative and loves to draw. So do I. But when I showed Blue a picture I had done, she said, “Violet is way better than you are.” This hurt my feelings, and I was angry. When I consulted Violet, she said Blue had been rude and annoying to her, too.
We don’t want to offend Blue or lose her as a friend, but frankly, we can’t handle her anymore. What should we do? — Red in Nevada
Dear Nevada: It’s not uncommon for those entering their teen years to behave in ways that are baffling, annoying or rude. Talk to Blue. Tell her how you feel. Explain that sometimes the things she says are hurtful. Don’t be angry or accuse her of anything. Just let her know how sad it makes you. We hope she will be more aware of these things in the future and care enough not to hurt you, but we can’t promise. Sorry to say, not all friendships survive this stage.
Dear Annie: I had to write about your response to “Concerned Cousin,” who worries about two grandparents who take turns sharing the same bed with their 5-year-old granddaughter when they visit her home.
You should have mentioned what happens when men are sleeping: They can have a wet dream or be stimulated by any dream and touch the person in bed with them, and it can lead to sexual touching while they are asleep.
Grandpa should not share a bed with his granddaughter. Sexual molestation is rampant today, and it can start in even the most innocent of ways. Please re-address this letter in your column immediately. — Wyoming Reader
Dear Wyoming: We were saddened at the number of readers who seemed certain that all grandfathers (and apparently some grandmothers) are molesting their grandchildren, intentionally or otherwise. While parents need to be vigilant about these things, it is an insult to all grandparents everywhere to assume that all are pedophiles or lack self-control. While some grandparents (and parents, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends) are indeed untrustworthy, it is terribly hurtful to accuse all grandparents of such horrible things.
Nonetheless, in today’s world, we certainly understand the parents’ concerns. We mentioned having the child use an air mattress or sleeping bag, which would be the preferred solution for those who want to be extra careful and worry that they cannot trust the grandparents. Here’s one more with a different perspective:
Dear Annie: I’m so grateful my family did not think it weird or creepy for a young girl to sleep in the same bed as her grandfather. My sister and I slept at our grandparents’ house every weekend. We would alternate beds, one of us sleeping with Grandma and the other with Grandpa. Each child got one-on-one time with a grandparent, staying up late, giggling, talking and listening to amazing bedtime stories about growing up during the Great Depression.
Grandma was a better storyteller, but the child with Grandpa got the fun of raiding the kitchen pantry for a midnight snack. I was about 11 when I no longer wanted to sleep in the same bed with either grandparent, but that was only because it wasn’t “cool” and I would rather stay up watching television. Silly me.
I’m 38 now, and both of my grandparents are gone. But those great bedtime memories will be cherished all my life. — Missing My Grandparents in Davenport, Iowa
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.