Yesterday, I took my grandson, age 7, and two of his friends to see a children's movie. The film was delightful, and the kids loved it. Their parents had agreed the boys could stop by a video arcade after the movie, so I took them there.
While they were playing video basketball, I checked out the other games. I saw a young boy insert a quarter into the slot and watched as realistic-looking people appeared on the video screen. I was shocked to see the teenager maneuver the figures so they would shoot and blow each other up, with body parts flying everywhere. The purpose of the game was to see how many people one could kill in the allotted number of seconds. I watched this young boy as he kept feeding money into the machine and mowing people down.
Why is this sort of game allowed after all the trouble we are having with our children killing each other? Any answers out there, Ann?
A Concerned Grandmother in Louisville, Ky.
Game manufacturers will continue to supply violent games as long as they bring in money. The parents of young children in your community should get together and call the person who runs the arcade and request that the offensive game be removed. Since that catastrophe at Columbine High School in Colorado, people are much more sensitive to this problem. Move on it promptly.
I have been married for four years. After being divorced for 20 years, my husband's former wife is still using his last name, and it burns me up. We go to the same beauty shop, the same supermarket and the same pharmacy. People there often call me by her first name, which is annoying beyond belief.
Am I going to have to change my last name to have peace? I feel as if this woman is married to my husband and I am the divorcee. They had no children together. Why is she doing this? I believe it is just to annoy me. Am I overreacting? I would like your unbiased opinion.
Apoplectic in Long Beach, Calif.
Divorced women have the legal right to use their husband's last name, since they have established an identity and credit record in that name. Also, according to the rules of etiquette, it is proper for divorced women to use their own first name with the ex-husband's last name (Mrs. Jane Gotrocks), and often they do, especially if the name carries some clout.
Those divorced women who wish to distance themselves from the ex often go back to their maiden name, especially if there are no children. If your husband's former wife chooses to use his name, she has a perfect right to do so. If this is so annoying to you, perhaps you should consider using your maiden name.
My wife just came out of the hospital after having an operation for breast cancer. Fortunately, the doctors told us they got everything, and the tests indicate that she is cancer-free.
Now, we are receiving phone calls from friends asking the most personal questions -- things that are none of their business. It would be nice if they would just ask how she feels instead of asking for details of her medical history.
My wife says we should not insult them. But are insensitive clods like that capable of being insulted? Please tell me how I should respond to people who insist on asking questions that I don't wish to answer.
Anonymously Fed Up
You do not owe clods who ask nunnuvyerbizness-type questions a polite response. Simply ignore the question, and change the subject.
To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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