Dear Abby: I am a postal carrier. Today I left warnings in the mailboxes of six houses on my route because I found spiders inside. Three of the spiders were black widows. I know because I saw the red hourglass markings on them before they scurried to the back of the box.
Spiders love mailboxes. They nest and lay eggs there. I don't necessarily have to reach inside the boxes to deliver mail, but my customers always do in order to retrieve it.
People usually remember to spray their yards and garages for insects, but they tend to overlook the one place where they directly place their hands and arms.
Please warn your readers to take a minute to spray in, around and underneath their mailboxes — especially if they see a cobweb. It could prevent suffering a poisonous bite or an allergic reaction, which, in some cases, could prove to be fatal. —A Las Vegas Mail Carrier
Dear Mail Carrier: Thank you for an important warning. I know Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world, but no one should have to gamble when collecting the mail.
Dear Abby: My ex-wife and I divorced after 29 years. Both of us made a mess of our marriage. Three years of marriage counseling couldn't undo the infidelity and multiple personal problems we had accumulated. There is still a deep reservoir of hurt and anger over those years, but both of us have moved on with other relationships.
The problem is for the past 16 years, my daughter, "Lili," has lived with her mother, who apparently filled her head with all of my transgressions. Lili refuses to have anything to do with me. Nothing I did was any worse than what her mother did — but, of course, Lili wasn't hearing that side of the story.
My sons and I get along well. They seem to understand that neither of their parents was an angel. They accept my ex and me, warts and all. Even though we live 3,000 miles apart, I send my daughter birthday cards, gifts for her birthday, Christmas and Valentine's Day, etc. She ignores me — and the silence hurts.
I don't deserve this kind of treatment. Should I continue trying to reach out to her? Or should I just forget I have a daughter? Sixteen years of a one-way relationship is heartbreaking. —Imperfect Pop in Philadelphia
Dear Pop: By not acknowledging your conciliatory gestures, your daughter is sending you a message. Accept it. I agree, 16 years of rejection is enough. Perhaps one day your daughter will get the full story from her brothers and come to understand the multiple reasons why you and your wife divorced. In the meantime, please don't set yourself up to be hurt again and again.
Dear Abby: A few months ago, I met "Barry and Maryann," a married couple who work in the same office I do. They've been married for 10 years. We've become good friends and the three of us spend a lot of time socially. Barry and Maryann have both confided to me that they're unhappy in their marriage.
This morning, Barry called me at home and told me that he has feelings for me. It made me uncomfortable because I am friends with both Barry and Maryann. How do I suggest they seek marriage counseling when one of them has a "thing" for me — and the other doesn't know there's a problem?
I want to be friends with both of them. Help. —At a Loss in Las Vegas
Dear At a Loss: Since the husband has come on to you, a friendship with them may no longer be possible. Tell Barry that although you like him and his wife, as friends and co-workers, his romantic feelings are not reciprocated. Then urge him to take Maryann and get marriage counseling because confiding their problems in you is neither productive nor a solution to them. You'll be doing them both a favor.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate