Annie Lane: Ditch the dirtbag

Published 6:41 pm Friday, May 12, 2023

Dear Annie: I’ve been chatting with a guy online for a few weeks now — nothing serious, just light, “getting to know you” conversations, with some flirtation sprinkled in.

Well, today, he decided to randomly mention that I reminded him of another woman he’d been talking to, who he ended up having an “amazing sexual connection” with, though they didn’t end up seriously dating.

I found this to be way out of left field and pretty offensive. Yes, we were just casually chatting online and hadn’t even met in real life yet, but I believe that there still should be some basic sense of decorum. Am I crazy? I’m a very open person, but this just seemed wrong to me. I did let him know, politely as I could,  that I felt that his comment was unnecessary and not something I needed to know. He responded with an “LOL” and that he’d be sure to never be honest with me again. Was I overreacting? Should I give him another chance? 

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— Peeved in Portsmouth

Dear Peeved: This proud peacock wasted no time putting his sleazy colors on full display — and thank goodness. You didn’t even have to waste a date on him. Now that he’s shown you who he is, believe him, block him and move on.

• • •

Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from Dawn W. about the disproportionate number of persons with learning disabilities who drop out of school. The other horrifying reality is that a disproportionate number of people with learning disabilities enter our nation’s prison system. Nearly 40% of all prisoners have one type of disability, many of which are learning disabilities.

While I agree with her point of view and most of her recommendations, as well as your suggestions, she did not mention many options that parents have access to within the public school system. Additionally, FAPE is short for Free and Appropriate Public Education NOT Free Access to Public Education, as you stated. Big difference! Parents, persons with disabilities and advocates have fought long and hard for this specific language to be included in the IDEA law.

As an educator with over 40 years of experience, these are some options that I recommend parents consider when working with their local public school:

— Once the psychological evaluation has been completed, attend an Individual Education Plan meeting to make sure that your child is eligible for special education services, under your state guidelines.

— Ask questions to make sure that you understand the evaluation results as they are explained to you.

— Request an advocate to attend the IEP meeting with you. Advocates are available upon request through the public school district or state Protection and Advocacy organization.

— At the IEP meeting, if your child is eligible for special education services, make sure to advocate for the full range of appropriate educational services, including specialized instruction in the least restrictive environment, counseling and mental health services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-language therapy and assistive technology,  School personnel should explain why your child is or is not eligible for each of the services available.

As a dedicated and consistent reader of your column, I always appreciate the variety and breadth of topics you address. Thanks for the opportunity to share information. 

— Wyoming Strong

Dear Wyoming: I truly appreciate your expertise, and I apologize for the error regarding FAPE. Thank you for taking the time to write.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology — featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to