Dear Annie: I have worked with “Gloria” for several years. I’ve always enjoyed looking at photographs of her two kids, but lately I’ve become uncomfortable with these snapshots.
Gloria’s daughter just turned 12, and all the pictures show her in very provocative poses with arched back, pouty lips, heavy makeup and even cleavage. I am concerned that she is encouraging the girl to pose in this seductive manner because she shows the photos with tremendous pride to both male and female co-workers.
Others have mentioned the sexual undertones of the pictures. Should I tell Gloria these photos make me uncomfortable and I don’t think they should be shared with others, especially men? I doubt she’d take it well. Photographic Phriendship
Dear Photo: It continues to amaze us that so many otherwise caring parents believe it is flattering to turn their preadolescent children into sex objects. You can gently point out to Gloria that these photographs make her daughter look like a little tart and people might get the wrong idea. Gloria may scoff, but it will make her think twice about displaying these pictures at work. Other than that, compliment only the more natural photographs and be visibly less interested in the not-quite kiddie porn.
Dear Annie: My husband has an office that doubles as a spare bedroom. Every holiday season, we have overnight company and need extra sleeping space. In order to make room, I have to pick up papers from under the desk, the computer, the floor, etc. Last year, I carried 30 boxes of papers to the basement.
My husband hates to sort through all this. I have set up two file cabinets, bookshelves and a cubby with 24 slots. I’m trying to get him to work with me on the boxes in the basement so I won’t throw out something important, but he balks at the idea. I’ve asked him to give me just one hour a day (we are both retired), but it is a struggle. If he lives to be 100, he could never read all the old magazines he is saving. He tries to show me where things are located, but all I see is chaos. Buried in Paper
Dear Buried: Your husband is a packrat, and the thought of going through his stuff is paralyzing, so you will have to do the lion’s share of organizing. Set a time for his assistance — say, right after breakfast — and make it 15 minutes instead of an hour. Sort through some things in advance. Show him a pile of magazines and tell him to pick out what he wants because the rest goes. (And do it.) Financial papers should be arranged by year, and trash should be shredded. If your husband sees that he can accomplish something in those 15 minutes, he may be willing to do more.
Dear Annie: I appreciate your including the quote from President Lincoln on Patriot Day. The quote, however, actually reads: “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
I am not about to speculate as to why “under God” was missing. As a history teacher, however, I challenge my students on the importance of accuracy in quoting primary sources and archaic texts. Thank you for an apt quotation. D.G. in Ohio
Dear D.G.: It was not our intent to leave out any words. There are often minor editing errors when material is transcribed from one source to another, and although readers don’t generally notice, any time “God” is left out, we hear about it. Our apologies to anyone who was accidentally offended, along with our thanks for the opportunity to reprint the quote in its entirety.
• E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Annie’s Mailbox‚Ñ¢, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.