By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, Published December 22 2011
Annie's Mailbox: Get friend to stop driving drunkDear Annie: My friend “Candi” regularly drinks and drives. She often drinks at a friend’s house and then drives herself home. Other times, she drinks at home and then goes out. There are even times when she takes her teenage daughter in the car after she’s been drinking.
I’ve confronted Candi only to be told that she doesn’t have a drinking problem and I should be quiet. But, Annie, I can’t tell you how many times her children and I have found her passed out in the yard, on the floor, at the dinner table or behind the wheel of her car while it’s in the driveway.
Candi is endangering her life and the lives of everyone around her. I can no longer idly sit back and let this continue. What’s worse is that she has a legal handgun, and I am scared to death that she will use it while she’s drunk. Is there anything I can do to convince her she needs help? – Looking for Some Answers
Dear Looking: Candi sounds like a tragedy waiting to happen. We don’t know whether she will ever admit that she needs help, and you can’t force her. So, if you know when she is driving drunk, call the police. If she is drinking in your presence, take away her car keys. Caution Candi’s daughter not to get into the car with her mother when she’s been drinking. Also contact Al-Anon (al-anon.alateen.org) and suggest to Candi’s daughter that she do the same.
Dear Annie: “Clay” and I are both 23 and have been friends for a while. Lately, I’ve noticed that Clay is dating younger and younger girls. He seems to go for the ones under 18. His current girlfriend is going to be 15 in a month.
Clay has told me that he meets girls in a chat room specifically for teens. I’ve been trying to find a way to talk to him about this, and I finally said that I can’t support his choices. I told him if he messes up his life, it’s his problem and I will not defend him. He claims he likes dating younger girls and is always careful.
I don’t know what to do anymore. I don’t want him to get hurt, but if he gets arrested, it’s his own fault. Please help. – Pennsylvania
Dear Pennsylvania: Clay is being exceedingly reckless by stalking young teenage girls. (The term for adults who are attracted to teenagers between the ages of 11 to 14 is hebephilia.) If Clay has sex with these girls, he can be sent to prison, though it’s possible the risk excites him. There may be underlying reasons for his inability to be attracted to adult women, but unless he is willing to address that, there’s not much more you can do for him. But if you know what chat rooms he is using, you can notify the servers. If you are aware that he is having sex with these girls, you can report him to the authorities.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.