Animal Farm Dear Annie: My wife has gotten so many animals that it is out of control. Every time she gets upset or sad, she goes out and purchases another animal. Right now, we own eight cats, four bunnies, six rats, two cows and two horses. Our house smells …Read more. Secret Keeper Dear Annie: My only sibling has stopped speaking to me. My brother had a son 26 years ago. He claims he knew nothing about the child until I told him six months ago that he should take responsibility for his oldest son. We had words, and he texted …Read more. Inappropriate Roughhousing Dear Annie: My girlfriend has a thing that she does with her 10-year-old son that I find borderline weird. The first time I was at her home, while we were cooking dinner together, her son started whining, "Can we do it now, please? Please?" and she …Read more. Reliving High School Through Facebook Dear Annie: While in high school in the late 1970s, there was this guy, "Scott," who had a crush on me. Nothing transpired back then, so fast-forward 30 years. A month ago, I received a Facebook friend request from Scott. Of course, I accepted and …Read more.more articles
Evict Those Freeloading Children
Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our mid-60s. For most of our lives, we have done pretty well, but lately we've had financial difficulties because our incomes have been significantly decreased while our debt has not. My health is failing, and I don't know how much longer I can continue to work.
During the good times, we allowed our daughter and her husband to move into the second unit of the duplex we own. We charged minimal rent, which they soon stopped paying altogether. They don't work and do nothing to help around the house. They help themselves to our food without telling us, so when we go to the refrigerator, it is often empty. They have trashed their living space, and I need to get them out so I can get some rent coming in.
When I tell them about my financial situation, their response is, "It's not our problem." When I say they must move out, they tell me what an evil person I am. I don't know how to end this without totally destroying what little family we have left. Any ideas? — Slowly Drowning in Culver City
Dear Culver City: Your daughter and her husband are freeloaders who are taking advantage of your reluctance to throw them out. Where does your wife stand on this? You two need to present a united front when you inform your daughter that you can no longer afford to allow the unit to be occupied rent-free.
If they are willing to pay a reasonable rent, they can stay. Otherwise, give them a deadline to move out. Offer to help them find jobs and another place to live. If you can afford it, you could even donate something toward their expenses until they get settled in elsewhere. They won't like it, but unless you put your foot down, they will drain you of every last penny. It's your choice.
Dear Annie: My husband and I love each other dearly, but I am far more sociable. Occasionally, when friends invite us over, I go by myself. This is fine with me, but our friends will invariably ask, "Why didn't you bring Jim?"
The honest answer, "He didn't feel like coming," seems unnecessarily hurtful.
Dear Puzzled: If little white lies bother you, you can be direct ("You know how Jim can be.") or honest and evasive ("Jim couldn't make it."). But if these are good friends, they should not be surprised if you simply tell them that Jim finds socializing difficult and he'd rather be at home.
Dear Annie: I have a better response for "Dad's Personal Bank," who said he and his older brother provide for their father, who complains that it isn't enough and then takes vacations with their younger brother. You should have told him to cut Dad off.
I am 87, and my son is 62. For 30 years, we have given to relatives on both sides of the family. We have financed homes and cars and issued personal loans. If it is a gift, they know it. If it is a loan, they know it. We are the bankers, and we dictate the terms. If there are hard feelings, too bad.
We have invested a couple of million dollars in these relatives, and if anybody complains, they are blacklisted. We don't finance vacations or drug habits. I refused to bail out a nephew who got caught driving without a license. When I am 100, I will turn this whole situation over to my son, who will then be 75 and can have the fun of dealing with the relatives. — D.C.
Dear D.C.: Not everyone (especially a child) is willing to take such a hard line, but we're glad it works for you.
Annie's Snippet, credit Martin Luther King, Jr.: "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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