Dear Ann: I have been married for three years to a wonderful woman. She has a 17-year-old daughter. I've been told several times that "Michelle" is not my daughter and that my wife will handle all matters of discipline. I have no problem with that, but here's what's going on:
A few months ago, Michelle's 18-year-old boyfriend moved into our home. He is sleeping in Michelle's bedroom. I told my wife it goes against my principles to have some teen-age boy living in our home and sharing quarters with her daughter. My wife told me to mind my own business. Well, I feel that this is my business.
My wife says, "If you don't like it, you can move out." I love my wife, but this boy's presence in our home is more than I can tolerate. I'd like your opinion. Yuba City, Calif.
Dear Yuba: Were you consulted, or did "the boy" just move in? An 18-year-old moving in and sleeping with your teen-age stepdaughter exceeds the limits of good sense even if they aren't having sex. If not, they soon will be.
Suggest to your wife that she help the boy find other, more suitable housing at once. If she is unwilling to do this, ask her if she will go with you to see a marriage counselor, because yours is in deep trouble.
Dear Ann: My friend, "Alice," is a wonderful, talented, generous person with a good heart. The problem is that every conversation with her inevitably turns to sex. No matter who is in the room, Alice eventually gets quite graphic about her sexual intimacies and difficulties. The woman is too candid about her personal life to suit me.
I find this embarrassing and imagine others do, too. How can I tell this otherwise funny and pleasant woman that refined people simply do not discuss such things in public, especially with strangers? I don't want to hurt her feelings or damage our friendship. Please advise me. Her Pal in North Carolina
Dear N.C.: Your friend is looking for attention and has found a surefire way to get it. Tell her that most people consider sexual activities an intensely personal subject and not appropriate fare for social chitchat. If she fails to get the message, cut her off at the pass, and don't let her get to the second sentence. Interrupt her and change the subject. I don't think you'll have to do this more than once.
Dear Ann: Please help me do the right thing. Last week, two friends came with me to a casino. We entered our names into a drawing, and the winner had to be present in order to claim the money.
As luck would have it, I was in another room and didn't hear my name called, but one of my friends did. He raced through two buildings to find me, yelled over all the noise of the crowd to get my attention, and ran with me to the other room. I didn't realize I had only a few minutes to claim the money. With seconds left, we reached the room, and I won the $5,000 prize.
Here's the problem. I gave my friend $100 for all the trouble he went through to find me, but now everybody is saying I should have given him more. After all, if he didn't race around the casino looking for me, I never would have won. I want to do the right thing, Ann. Is there a specific percentage of the money I should give him? Lucky in Marysville, Calif.
Dear Lucky: My office took a vote. The decision: Split the winnings 50-50. Without him, you would have won nothing.