Dear Annie: I’ve noticed a strange habit that some people seem to have. Recently, several friends have talked to me on the phone while using the bathroom. I can hear everything that is going on, including the toilet flushing. It makes me very uncomfortable. Is it proper etiquette to be using the bathroom while talking on the phone?— Heard Too Much

Dear Heard: Is that a rhetorical question? No, it is not polite to bring someone into the bathroom with you telephonically. The next time someone does this, don’t be afraid to say: “I’ll try you back later. You sound busy.”

Dear Annie: I was born with a cleft palate and nose, and I have a psychological complex from it that makes me self-conscious around others. But I would really like to meet someone and have a romantic relationship. Can you give me advice on how to go forward and just be myself? — M.P.

Dear M.P.: I hope this goes without saying, but having a cleft palate or nose doesn’t make you unattractive. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t deserve the pleasure of your company.

Now, you cite your self-consciousness as a barrier to meeting people. I encourage you to consider trying therapy to nurture healthier self-esteem, first and foremost. The moment we fully love ourselves is the moment we’re ready to accept love from someone else. You might also benefit from talking with other people who understand your experience. The Cleft Lip and Palate Association facilitates such support communities. Though they’re based in the United Kingdom, you can join their online support communities at https://www.clapa.com/support/online-support.

Dear Annie: You recently published a letter from “Monarch Watcher,” who said that Hass avocados led to habitat destruction of monarch butterflies. Do not swear off avocados as of yet. Monarchs have indeed experienced a sharp decline in habitat, but avocado production is not to blame. Here are some facts for you.

1. Eastern Monarchs winter in Mexico, western monarchs mainly in California.

2. Mexico established the Monarch Butterfly Biospace Preserve to help preserve the habitat.

3. In 2016, the U.S. stated it will accept avocados from all of Mexico, provided they can meet the measures put into place to prevent the spread of disease and insects set up by the farms in the Michoacan areas.

4. One contributing cause to the decline of monarch populations has been the weather in Texas: All the butterflies need to pass through Texas, which has had some severe droughts in recent years.

5. U.S. agriculture has been killing off weeds including milkweed. Milkweed flora is a big food source for monarch butterflies. A 2020 report estimates a loss of 165 million acres of habitat.

This year, monarchs should come under the endangered species act. They were petitioned in 2014, and the final decision is expected this year.

Please note that I do enjoy eating avocados but I am not associated in raising or production; I am just after truth in reporting. — Luke B.

Dear Luke: I am deeply sorry for publishing misinformation on monarchs. I referred to an older FDA document and didn’t realize they’d changed their guidelines in 2016. Your fact-checking is appreciated.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2021 CREATORS.COM

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.