A little forgiveness needed to reconcile with your sister

I am in a dispute with my kids’ middle school. For the past two summers, the school has recommended to our Grade 8 students several reading selections that contain crude language and explicit sexual content. I don’t understand why.

Dear Annie: I am in a dispute with my kids’ middle school. For the past two summers, the school has recommended to our Grade 8 students several reading selections that contain crude language and explicit sexual content. I don’t understand why.

The “reading specialist” who helped select the titles says, “Kids need to read things that aren’t pretty, because life isn’t perfect.” I argue that they can read about all of the imperfect things in the world in the newspaper without the lewd language and sexual content.

I’m also disgusted with the administration and school committee for supporting these recommendations. I’m not looking to ban any books. Parents are free to acquire these titles at bookstores and libraries. I’m only looking for the school to exhibit some level of respect when suggesting titles for their students.

Is this a common situation? Can parents no longer assume that the books our schools are giving to our kids are within expected parameters? — Sickened on the East Coast

Dear Sickened: We assume you have read these books and so have a fair basis for your complaint. Some books with offensive language or content are valuable selections because problems are brought up in a way that provokes a careful and intelligent discussion of issues that kids need to hear and that parents are often reluctant to bring up. However, if you feel these books do not accomplish anything worthwhile, the best way to alter the school’s choices is to get a group of parents together and raise your concerns with the administration. They are more likely to listen to multiple parents who offer reasonable objections.

Dear Annie: My sister and I have been estranged for many years, in part because I was not a good sister, and also because her husband is a liar who stole more than $60,000 from our parents, who could not afford the loss.

I am getting married soon and my parents would like to see us get along. I was happy to invite her to my wedding, but when she RSVP’d, she included her husband. He was not invited.

If I tell her he’s not welcome, I fear the reunion my parents want will be cancelled and our relationship will never be repaired. However, it is my wedding day, and I don’t want my sister’s husband’s presence to put a damper on it. Any suggestions? — Want Peace in the Family

Dear Peace: We hate to stick up for a guy who stole money from your parents, but it is improper to invite one half of a married couple, no matter how much you dislike the guy. They are a package deal. Your parents, who were his victims, seem willing to forgive him.

And you admit that you weren’t a “good sister.” So there appears to be blame to go around and forgiveness from those who were most aggrieved. You don’t have to interact with the guy or be more than polite. But try to tolerate his presence for the sake of your parents. This is apparently the price of reconciliation.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “N.Y., N.Y.,” the 34-year-old who doesn’t want to see her ailing grandparents anymore because one has dementia and the other doesn’t smell good. I’m having a hard time replying in acceptable language.

My dear father-in-law has dementia and is unable to care for himself. He’s visited frequently by all of his extended family, even those who live hundreds of kilometres away. My mom is in a wheelchair and is incontinent and unable to bathe often. Her grandchildren wish she lived closer so they could visit more often.

I envy adults who have grandparents. “N.Y., N.Y.” doesn’t indicate that her grandmothers have been abusive or unkind, and she used to visit them frequently. Ultimately, her shocking selfishness will hurt her more than anyone else. — S from R

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Whistle Stop Cafe east of Mirror is open for sit-down dining in defiance of health restrictions that owner Christopher Scott says are unfair to restaurants and other small businesses.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Whistle Stop Cafe owner’s legal battle continues

Government stopped closure order legal action but Public Health Act breach still a live issue

RCMP seized a substantial amount of stolen property last week. (Photo courtesy of Innisfail RCMP)
RCMP charge six suspects after ‘substantial’ amount of stolen property seized

Innisfail RCMP recovered a large amount of stolen property after arresting six… Continue reading

Pharmacist Aamir Hussain, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square, said he expects vaccine to be available to eligible seniors next week at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)
Red Deer pharmacies prepare to be part of COVID-19 immunization plan

Seniors have already been calling to book appointments

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS checking in with local businesses about COVID-19 plan

Alberta Health Services in the central zone is reaching out to local… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers' group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jesse Johnston
Dairy farmers lobby asks members to stop using palm oil in feed after ‘buttergate’

A dairy producers’ lobbying group is asking farmers to consider alternatives to… Continue reading

A new report says Canada’s small businesses now collectively owe more than $135 billion as they struggle to survive the pandemic, a staggering amount experts say could hurt the country’s economic recovery. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Canadian small businesses rack up $135 billion in debt to survive pandemic: Report

TORONTO — Canada’s small businesses have collectively taken on $135 billion in… Continue reading

A Loblaws store is seen in Montreal on March 9, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Loblaw ready to call on pharmacists, supply chain to help COVID-19 vaccine rollout

BRAMPTON, Ont. — Loblaw Companies Ltd. says its ready to play a… Continue reading

Imperial Oil logo as seen at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Friday, April 29, 2016.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Imperial Oil reports one-billion-barrel drop in bitumen reserves at end of 2020

CALGARY — Imperial Oil Ltd. is cutting one billion barrels from its… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during a news conference about training for judges Monday, Oct. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice Minister David Lametti proposes permanent justice reforms in wake of pandemic

OTTAWA — The COVID-19 pandemic appears set to force a modernization of… Continue reading

Justice Minister David Lametti during a news conference in Ottawa, Thursday Nov. 26, 2020. Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval to remove a Quebec judge from the bench after the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the judge’s appeal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Justice minister to seek judge’s removal after Supreme Court declines to hear appeal

OTTAWA — Justice Minister David Lametti says he will seek parliamentary approval… Continue reading

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

OTTAWA — The Canadian Armed Forces is reeling after news defence chief… Continue reading

William Sandeson arrives at provincial court in Halifax on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Canada’s top court has declined to hear a Crown appeal of an overturned murder conviction in the case of a former Nova Scotia medical student. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Supreme Court declines to hear Crown appeal of overturned N.S. murder conviction

Canada’s top court has declined to hear an appeal from the Crown… Continue reading

Most Read