Dear Ann:

I am a faithful reader of your column in the China Post in Taiwan. Please print my letter so we Taiwanese can express our gratitude to the people all over the world for sending rescue teams and donations to Taiwan during the worst earthquake in Taiwan's modern history. The death toll climbed to 2,300 and the aftershocks still continue. In fact, a second large quake shook Taiwan two weeks ago.

People in our country were touched by the rescue teams' efforts to help save survivors trapped in collapsed buildings. They rushed here immediately after the quake, and worked with our rescue people day and night. They shared our joy when victims were found alive, and grieved with us when the dead were discovered.

The heroic efforts of the people who came to help us earned not only the respect and gratitude of the folks of this country, but also the rest of the world. When the earthquake struck on Sept. 21, it was the first time that politically isolated Taiwan has felt warmth from the international community.

You have said you love the way your readers take care of one another. I hope our experience will encourage more countries to help their neighbors when help is needed. Those countries that sent rescue teams to Taiwan are Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, the Republic of Slovak, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United States and Turkey. None of the above has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. They deserve applause. Thank you, Ann Landers.

--Sung-Gong Lai from Taiwan

Thank you for a letter that will remind my readers worldwide that we are all brothers and sisters under the skin, and that we need one another. I am grateful to you for writing.

Dear Ann:

My husband is a control freak. He controls the money, the home and tries to control my life. "Darren" has two grown children from a previous marriage. In the eight years we've been married, they have been to our home once. He neither calls them nor invites them for holidays. He feels it is THEIR duty to call HIM. The same with his grandchildren. We have only seen them twice in eight years.

Darren's son is getting married soon to a lovely girl. Because I want to have a relationship with his children and grandchildren, I called and offered our home for the rehearsal dinner. They want it to be simple, so I planned to have a catered meal in a tent set up on our lawn.

Here's the real problem. Darren does not want 35 people in our home using the bathrooms, nor does he want the expense of feeding these people. He also thinks 35 is too many people for a rehearsal dinner. Ann, we have a lovely home and never have visitors because Darren doesn't want to spend the money to have the carpet cleaned. He has plenty of money, but he is extremely cheap. We haven't had a vacation in the eight years we've been married because Darren won't spend a dime for pleasure.

I would like to wash my hands of this rehearsal dinner and let Darren handle it any way he likes, but I don't want to disappoint the kids. A relationship with them is important to me. I am lonely--and angry. What should I do?

--Ohio Blues

Fight for the rehearsal dinner, and tell Darren you will pay to have the carpet cleaned out of the grocery money. P.S.: What are YOU getting out of this marriage? Is it worth it?

Questions may be sent to: Ann Landers, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, Calif. 90045.

(c) 1999, Creators Syndicate