creators home lifestyle web
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar


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.

But I don't feel comfortable making up fake excuses, saying he has to work when I know he's home surfing the web or reading a book. How do I respond? — Puzzled

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, 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



45 Comments | Post Comment
Re: LW2, when I'm in that kind of situation (i.e., I'm invited to something my husband doesn't feel like going to), and am asked "Why didn't you bring your husband?" I just smile and say, "Ah, he had some other stuff going on," then ask them how they're doing.

Or, an alternative: "He's a sweetie, but he's not much for parties."

Always works, he never has to go to things he doesn't want to go to, I never have to give more of an explanation, and they've stopped asking. They get the message without being told point blank that he didn't want to see them or come to their event.
Comment: #1
Posted by: sarah morrow
Sun Jan 9, 2011 9:17 PM
LW1: What concerns me the most here is not even the lack of rent being paid. While in of itself that IS something of an issue - especially if the writer is getting into dire financial straits - it's not the main issue. The main issues are the rest of the complaints listed: "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..." What concerns me the most of all is when the LW was told, "It's not our problem." WRONGO! It's most definitely their problem - or the writer can MAKE it their problem real fast. She can go through the process of evicting them, which will be time consuming and do serious damage to the relationship between father and daughter...but it doesn't sound like that would be any big loss in this case.

If the daughter and her husband were actively seeking work and having a tough time finding anything at all (understandable in this economy) and were otherwise ideal tenants, that would at least give the writer something to work with. If the daughter and the SIL were able to locate some menial jobs and pay a minimum amount of rent, that would be even better.

But it sounds like they're out and out freeloaders, and inconsiderate ones at that. I say toss em and get some responsible paying tenants in there. Ask them to leave, and if they don't, go through the legal process of throwing them out.

You can bet that were I the SIL in this story, I'd definitely be keeping the place picked up, would be trying every avenue to find a job, and I sure as hell would be instructing my wife not to mouth off to her mother...who happens to also be our landlord.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Matt
Sun Jan 9, 2011 11:20 PM
Er...HE can make it their problem real fast, daughter shouldn't be mouthing off to her father/landlord. Forgot the writer was male.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Matt
Sun Jan 9, 2011 11:27 PM
LW1 - I totally agree with the Annies. And with Matt. When LW1 and his wife evict the kids, they should respond to every complaint "It's not our problem."

LW2 - Sounds like my parents. When I was a child, anytime my mom and I would go somewhere, my mom would tell me "When they ask where your father is, say he's home sick." You would imagine that people would have thought that my father was very sickly. He just wasn't social. What I never understood was why people kept asking, when it was obvious that they didn't believe he was sick. When I got older, I would just reply "He's not sociable." Now, when I'm at an event and I see one spouse and not the other, I don't ask where the other is. Either that spouse is busy, antisocial, or they are in the process of divorcing and haven't announced it yet. None are my business. If I don't want my lack of questioning to appear as if I'm thoughtless or dislike the missing spouse, I will tell the present one "Say hi to [insert spouse's name]" as we're saying goodbye.

LW3 - If I had a lot of extra money, I wouldn't tell relatives or friends. I just finished watching the recent movie "The Lottery Ticket." Great movie. A poor young man wins the lottery and tries not to tell anyone, but the word gets out and everyone wants a handout. Seven years ago, before my husband and I had children, I decided to buy my dream car. I'd wanted it since I was a small child. It is now a classic. I decided that I'd better buy it before we had kids, because if I waited until we had kids and they were in college, the car would be too rare to find. So I managed to finance it. It wasn't in the budget, and after I bought it, money was even tighter. However, to outsiders, it appeared that I was rolling in the dough because I had an extra car. Very suddenly, I was invited to bridal showers and baby showers and all sorts of parties by people that I barely knew or was barely related to. It was pretty evident that they thought I was rich. I joked with my husband that to outsiders, they assume that if you have a nice house or a nice car, you're rich. But the reality is that you're just paying a bigger house payment or a bigger car payment and are even more strapped for cash. The good news is that because money was tight, we honestly didn't have a spare penny to lend/give to relatives who had no intention of paying it back. But if we ever do, I'm certainly not going to tell anyone.
Comment: #4
Posted by: FAW
Sun Jan 9, 2011 11:50 PM
LW1, these are not family; they are abusive freeloaders. They've already had a chance to "pay a reasonable rent" and show no interest in doing so; don't let them continue to rip you off. Evict them and change the locks before you lose another month's rent. You should have no trouble finding responsible adults to rent your duplex.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Baldrz
Sun Jan 9, 2011 11:56 PM
I guess I've been sounding coo-coo lately, so I'm going to leave off comments tonight, except Annies' advice was sound.
A thanks to Chelle and Lise B. for touching base with me yesterday.
I sincerely apologize for offending anyone.
Have a good week, all.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Jean
Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:16 AM
I can't help but find LW1's letter confusing. He says that the daughter & hubby are staying in a separate unit of a duplex, but then say that they "don't help around the house" and help themselves to the food in the refrigerator. This doesn't sound like they're living in a duplex--it sounds more like they're living in a single-family home. A duplex would have separate keyed entrances, separate living areas and separate kitchens.

Assuming that it is an actual duplex, the first thing that LW1 should do is change the locks on the unit where he & his wife live so that the daughter & hubby can't raid their kitchen or mess up their living space. Then he should talk to a lawyer about bringing eviction proceedings. Even without a lease, the daughter & hubby may have legal rights. It will be important to make sure that these freeloaders don't have a legal loophole they can use to continue to mooch off the parents.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Jeanne
Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:20 AM
LW1 - As hard as it's going to be, kick your daughter and son-in-law out. They probably won't talk to you for a long time, but in my opinion that's better than footing their bills the rest of your life while you suffer. And I agree with the person who said that when they whine to you that they have no money or no place to go, repeat what they've said to you - "It's not my problem." And in the meantime, change the locks so they cannot get into your home. That'll keep them away from your fridge.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Michelle
Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:04 AM
LW1, for all the blame you're putting on the kids, this is a problem you created when you failed to explain up front that this property is one you were counting on to help prevent you from coming to THEM with a handout a few years down the line. Put that way, a lot of kids will be more respectful of your financial situation, and you're teaching them about paying bills in the real world -- a valuable lesson.

At this point, you're going to have to go to them and tell them exactly what you told the Annies: I need this space for people who are paying full price for it, promptly, each month. You'll have to tell them that you'd hoped not to have to do this, but that your finances and health no longer allow them to stay there. As you expect, this isn't going to be popular. It's possible that it will sever family ties, because from their point of view, you're suddenly pulling a rug out from under them.

But my guess is that if you allow the situation to continue, and YOU go to THEM asking to pay your mortgage when you're no longer able to work -- they will again see it as "not their problem" and you'll end up not just estranged, but out on the street, too.
Comment: #9
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:32 AM
LW1 -
The Annies's advice was right on the mark and the posters have all added to it and made it even more perfect. I'll contribute this:
" I don't know how to end this without totally destroying what little family we have left"
There isn't any easy way and it may not even be possible. But you have to protect yourself - If you continue to let them sponge off you, there will come a day when the sponge runs dry. What then? As Hedghehog pointed out, when your house comes into foreclosure, "you'll end up not just estranged, but out on the street, too." Better to be just estranged - throw them out now, keeping in mind what everybody said regarding the legal aspect of it.
"When I say they must move out, they tell me what an evil person I am"
Well, in that case, they might as well be complaining for something. Start with changing the locks to your own place, since they evidently have a key. Then give them a deadline to get out and find out what legal recourses you have if they won't comply. When they start their manipulations techniques, give them a taste of their own medecine and tell them "It's not our problem", like others have suggested - good one. You may want to play Mr Nice Guy and help them the way the Annies suggested, or not - I wouldn't. It will only futher drain your dwindling resources and they won't appreciate it anyway.
They'll stop talking to you and sulk, hoping that the emotional blackmail will make you cave in and change back to the old, familiar, profitable (for them) pattern of behaviour they've always known. It may take a while before they grow up and come around. If they don't, well, at least you'll have your house. If you don't kick them out, they'll hate and blame you anyway, and you'll also lose the house. This is insane.

LW2 -
" "He's a sweetie, but he's not much for parties." Sounds absolutely perfect to me. Good one, Sarah Morrow!

LW3 -
@FAW - if you think owning a nice car is enough to make people think you're rolling in money, try having a store. The mentality is that, all this merchandise is yours and therefore you're filthy-dirty rich, you own so-o-o-o much more than (poor, little, miserable) them. The nicer the store, the richer they think you are, of course. Never mind that all that stock wasn't donated for free by Christmas Elves, that the money so invested (or owed) is dormant until you can convert it into cash and that business may be so bad that you can't pay the bills, it seems there are a lot of people for whom this little equation represents something totally incomprehensible.

Comment: #10
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:00 AM
That daughter and son-in-law are some real pieces of work. They're not only freeloaders, they're rude, uncaring and downright hateful. So the parents' financial difficulties are "not their problem"? The parents are "evil" for not wanting to be taken advantage of?

All the other posters have good ideas. They can insist on a reasonable rent, help them find another place to live, whatever it takes. But they've got to keep these selfish people from bleeding them dry. It will probably be the hardest thing they've ever done, since I have a feeling they've raised their daughter with a sense of entitlement. But it's a matter of self-preservation at this point.
Comment: #11
Posted by: JMG
Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:26 AM
LW1 - First change the locks on your unit and do not give your daughter and son-in-law the key. 2nd since there are no grandkids involved you have two options either evict them or sell the duplex buy a smaller place and let the new owners evict them. Selling and getting a smaller place could help with your debt problems and a new owner evicting them if they do not pay him/her rent would cause less family problems.
Comment: #12
Posted by: S Smith
Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:37 AM
Okay, so just out of curiosity, now that the commenter's section of this column no longer really applies to the column itself, and since nobody is speaking to anybody anymore (either by choice or mandate or dread), and since this page has become populated primarily with bullies, kooks, crybabies, and waaaay too much TMI... where does a girl go to seriously discuss advice columns now? Honest question! I used to enjoy coming here to see what other intellectuals thought of the day's issue-at-hand. Now, there's no point. So can anyone recommend another thread where people are still focused on the topics, and not whether Jean is having a bad day or how Lise's moving plans are going? Please stop the ride -- I'd like to get off!

Sorry, ladies, but this has just gotten to be too much.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Cher
Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:50 AM
Cher, all due respect, but you picked an odd day to make your comment -- since aside from two comments (and one of them YOURS), all other comments so far have to do with the column.

Now, as for LW2, I am great friends with a couple, one of whom is not particularly sociable at all, but he's also very honest about it. So our whole group knows that he's not always comfortable in crowds or at parties. It makes the times he does spend with us that much more special. I'd say if her hubby can drag himself out to a rare event now and then and talk to their closest friends about his preferences, she'll have an easier time of it -- so rather than leaving her in the position to explain to their friends for him, I think he should try to do it himself.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Mike H
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:08 AM
I didn't get to yesterday's column until this morning so I'm still catching up. And a little out of breath from witnessing the carnage there. I hope I haven't offended anyone from today's posts; thank you for bringing back a sense of normalcy!

Regarding LW1: In this day and age, we find ourselves more and more living in a multi-generational world: Seniors can't afford to live on their own anymore, and neither can their children, professional or otherwise. If you can find a way to make this work, it could be a great benefit to everyone involved. Right now you are suffering from growing pains -- your household population is growing, and it's a pain in your butt. Try to draw some boundaries, limit access to each other's living spaces, and respect each other's privacy so you're not tripping over each other. And make sure everyone is contributing what they can, whenever they can. Your daughter has no right to the contents of your refrigerator, and you should not be witness to the mess in their living room. If they can't contribute rent or food or help with the utlities, then your hands are tied and they must leave. But if you pool your resources and show a bit of patience, it is possible that everyone can survive this economic crunch successfully. And then your daughter and SIL can launch without dragging you down like an anchor. Good luck!
Comment: #15
Posted by: Cher
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:16 AM
One more thought, for LW 1, and any other parents who are told they're evil or money-grubbing or whatever for insisting that the kids make good one what they promised: Your kid may believe that with all her heart. It IS a hardship to them, at that moment, to give up concert tickets or restaurant meals or whatever it is they want right then to pay off an obligation.

It's usually only after the debt has been paid -- and they've seen friends who haven't learned to repay debts floundering with bill collectors and credit issues -- that they appreciate the bigger picture, admire you for sticking to your guns, and say they plan to do the same with THEIR kids.

No, it's not fun to hear yourself called evil. But remember that you're not doing this to make their life harder -- you're doing it to make their life easier down the road (when you don't arrive on their doorstep with no where else to live). Even if they never come around to recognize that (which they might, in a few years), you've got the satisfaction of knowing you're doing the best to help both generations.

P.S. Cher? Not sure what you mean. Today's comments were pretty much right on topic until you started bringing in all these side issues! :-)

Comment: #16
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:21 AM
Re: S Smith

GREAT IDEA! I only hope they can find a buyer in the present market.

Comment: #17
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:36 AM
Just my luck -- I very RARELY comment, and today MINE was the one post that would have bunched me up too! Would I look too much like a hypocrite if I apologize once more for my bad timing? In my own defense, I did actually comment on LW1 right after that, but not before I had to eat a little crow for shooting my mouth off! :D And now before I go on beating a dead horse, I will sit back and simply observe from here on out!

Hedgehog -- I'm a big fan, by the way! Been reading your stuff for years! :D
Comment: #18
Posted by: Cher
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:39 AM
Re: Cher

If it's any consolation, while on the one hand I was very grateful for all the support and contructive suggestions I got, on the other hand, I am truly sorry that some found the disclosure of my situation so offensive. And I frankly did not expect that, since for others to partake on private history or ask for help from the other posters is not something I object to. I myself have extended a helping hand when I could.

I've read the Annies ever since they took over, and Ann Landers and Dear Abby all my life before that. This type of column is basically about life and all the crazy aspects it can take. Considering that, I find that the personal stories occasionally shared - whether to illustrate a point or to ask for help - will very much sound like the LWs themselves. And they do because they're life also, and in that sense, IMHO, they're no so off-topic after all.

Yes, there will be a lot of lonely people out there, as well as people who are very solitary. Some of them will not have access to the resources that may appear to be there, while others will be so distraught as to not realise what resources they have access to. I don't find it charitable to throw loneliness in people's face like an accusation, as it is not necessarily the person's fault - and I am speaking in general here, not in reference to what you or anyone else may have said in the past. But I have found out that the Eleanor Rigbys and Father MacKenzies of the world are not always to blame, sometimes it's just one of life's crazy aspects. As for yesterday's "carnage", well... I guess this thread is no better or worse than the sum of its parts and it has good days and bad days - like Jean.

Let's try to like and tolerate each other, shall we?
Comment: #19
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:46 AM
Re: Cher

P.S.: Don't stop commenting!

Comment: #20
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:46 AM
Get to the landlord tenant office. Find out what you have to do. Do it. Change your locks. This isn't rocket science. We once had a relative who was the prefect tenant but needed to grow up. We helped put together damage deposit and found a rent. He never moved back and has thanked us many times for enabling him to become an adult with self respect. He is married, has ahouse 1/2 paid for and money in the bank. He could easily have been a layabout like these 2.
Comment: #21
Posted by:
Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:04 AM
LW1 - I'm confused. The Annies identify the adult children as freeloaders and say to get them out, but in the next paragraph say to enable them by helping them with getting jobs, another place, etc., even though the LW says he and his wife are struggling themselves and with health problems. Did I miss something?

Freeloaders don't need helping. They already help themselves! The best solution is to start eviction proceedings through an attorney and the courts, and then let these bums fall on their behinds. Stop worry about their feelings - they sure don't care about yours, LW1!

LW2 - I like Sarah Morrow's suggestion :-)

LW3 - I think the Annies should hook you up with LW1 so he can learn a few things from you.
Comment: #22
Posted by: PS
Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:13 AM
Okay, that should have been worrying, not worry, in the second paragraph. I so need a nap.
Comment: #23
Posted by: PS
Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:14 AM
They may have a hard time selling the duplex since the kids have trashed their side. I'd take pictures of any damage, change the locks on my side and consult a lawyer about eviction. Be more careful when you choose a new tenant and check them out with their previous landlords.
Comment: #24
Posted by: nonegiven
Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:36 AM
Re: PS

Considering how reluctant the LW jas been to act and given he's concerned about "destroying what little family we have left", I think the Annies are suggesting ways that make it easier on him, not the freeloaders.

This being stated, I'm with you - I would change the lock, kick them out on their boum-boum and, if they sulk, wouldn't give them the time of day.

Mind you, this is easier said than done - we have no problem seeing the necessity of what needs to be done here because the freeloaders are not people we care about. When you're emotionally invested, it is a different story.

Comment: #25
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:55 AM
Re: Lise Brouillette

Comment: #26
Posted by: PS
Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:56 AM
Hedgehog, I see your posts all the time, they're informative, polite, please accept this nod of thanks to you for those.

LW1, sometimes the tough love approach is better for those involved.

Happy Monday, all.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Jean
Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:09 AM
Just teasing a little, Cher -- your initial explanation didn't appear until after I'd posted. Format here really isn't designed for back and forth, I guess. Thanks for the kind words!
Comment: #28
Posted by: hedgehog
Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:33 AM
Re: Cher

Google Topix Chicago Forum. Abby and Amy are posted daily, and for the most part, they do well at staying on topic. Unless the letters are boring...then they tend to go off on a tangent.
Comment: #29
Posted by: Shirley
Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:15 PM
LW1 If Slowly Drowning allows the situation to continue, when he and his wife hit bottom, they should know that daughter and son-in-law will not be a safety net for them. They are, like the Annies said, "freeloaders," and they are only going to be in a relationship with mom and dad for as long as they can use them. Drowning needs to change locks on his own part of the duplex immediately. Then see a lawyer. Either evict them NOW or insist they sign a lease that has built in expectations and consequenses, including eviction if they don't uphold their end. If need be, he might even be money ahead to offer to pay a deposit on an apartment for daughter and son-in-law, just to get them out of there. Hopefully, all the mess is fixable with old-fashioned elbow grease, rather than having to pay for actual repairs. (Maybe someone should send a copy of this letter to Lise B.'s landlord to let him know the hazards of being your kids' landlord.)
Incidently, I had let my son housesit a house I knew I would be inheriting, on the condition he fix it up (mostly cosmetic stuff that was low cost but would have cost a fortune in labor. At first he did pretty good, then he really fell down about doing it, and also felt stuck in a job he hated, plus he didn't get into the grad school there. So I firmly suggested he move on, but in this case I gave him time as I did not feel he was deliberately taking advantage. Daughter and son-in-law have repainted, remodelled kitchen and bathroom that old house, I'm thrilled. Son is now in a grad school he loves, heading for a new career, and our relationship has really improved. So tough love can work.

LW2 My husband won't go places either. I long ago stopped making excuses for him or not attending places I wanted to go just because he wouldn't. After a while your friends will catch on, but they will probably continue to include him in invitations just to be polite.
Comment: #30
Posted by: Elizabeth
Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:30 PM
There isn't anything I can say about LW1 except I feel for you. You try to do something for somebody and it winds up poo-poo all over you. That ain't right. I like all the advice given, by the Annie's and the posters. I hope the LW finds something that would work for him and help him out.
LW2, you may not know it, but I could be called anti-social at times as well. I need regular "downtime" where I can read or putter around the house. When I was 27 I went to my cousin's college graduation party and it was a whole weekend event. I went with my mother and her parents. The whirlwind of parties, graduation (90 degrees and bright sunshine), and lack of sleep caught up with me and I fell asleep on a couch in the middle of the last party. My Uncle took a picture of it. A woman I didn't know (but will never forget) woke me up by tapping on my shoulder. "Go Home!" she snapped. My Uncle and Aunt intervened. Later my Aunt told me never to feel bad for needing downtime, she knows I am a lot like my Dad who is an introvert and mostly hates parties. (BTW, my Aunt adores my Dad) A truly wonderful friend and host will send home a plate of goodies to the introverted spouse, if there is anything to spare.
Comment: #31
Posted by: Chelle
Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:29 PM
Re: LW2- Marriage is about compromise. Its one thing if her husband has anxiety about being around people. If its just because he would rather be doing something else then he's just selfish. I'm not saying he should go every time they're invited but the least he could do would be to go once in awhile for his wife's sake. I know a woman whose husband won't go to ANYTHING with her... its kind of a standing joke between the rest of their friends.(they all think he's just a jerk...) When she wants to go somewhere even though he refuses to come she has to get a baby sitter because he won't watch the baby...
Comment: #32
Posted by: duh
Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:48 PM
LW1 lives in Culver City, where the real estate market isn't as badly hit as other areas of Southern California, so if they've owned their duplex long enough, they probably can sell without losing money. S Smith's idea might be the easiest way, if they really want to preserve some kind of family relationship. The catch is that they might not be able to afford to buy something new, since property taxes are FAR higher on a newly-bought house in Cali than one you've owned for a long time.
But honestly, they've raised such a nasty and highly-entitled freeloader that it's quite possible estrangement is going to result from any action they take, if it means that their daughter has be responsible for herself. Even continuing to pay for everything until all four of them are totally broke and out on the street will probably result in Princess's wrath. Might as well brave it now and lean to deal with her displeasure while preserving your retirement. If you'd done your duty as a parent long ago and required her to be responsible (and let her be unhappy about it if she wanted to!), you wouldn't have raised a child who's incapable of having an adult life.
Comment: #33
Posted by: Janie
Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:17 PM
I think Janie's second paragraph is completely right. (I imagine the first paragraph is completely right too, but I don't know too much about the real estate market in S. Cali.). Sadly, I suspect that LW1 and his wife are going to just keep supporting the daughter until they're all broke, because that's what I've been seeing with some of my friends and family. They have no backbone and then they wonder why no one will help them when they're penniless through their own actions.
Comment: #34
Posted by: FAW
Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:26 PM
Re: Janie & FAW

I'm afraid you're probably both right...

Comment: #35
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:00 PM
I received an "incorrect Captcha", so if this double posts, I'm sorry
LW1: I agree with what everyone has said so far. Steps to take:
FIRST - get a backbone. Both the LW and his wife have to be on the same page, or the other steps won't work
SECOND- put freeloaders on notice they need to leave. If they say "we don't have anywhere else to go", respond with NMP (Not My Problem)
THIRD - see a lawyer about instituting eviction proceedings
FOURTH-Change Lock on your own unit.
Things will no doubt be tense and there will be screaming and tears, i.e., a tantrum. If you don't deal with the tantrum now, you will indeed be homeless and penniless if you allow this to continue.
Sorry, there is no easy way out of this. Stand up for yourselves, or expect the alternative: continue being walked on.
Comment: #36
Posted by: JustMe
Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:15 PM
Cher, I agree with you 100% I stopped reading the insipid personal comments from Jean and Lise B. --- they have nothing to add to the letters asking for advice. These people need to take their personal post off-line.
Comment: #37
Posted by: Lulu
Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:32 PM
Lulu, why do you feel you have to decide for everyone else? Or anyone who says anything that you feel is off-topic isn't welcome?

Have you noticed that every once in a while somebody will write on this blog thinking they are writing to Annie's Mailbox? Lise on a number of occasions has kindly let them know the Annies didn't get the letter but gave them her best answer. And Lise does have a kind and knowledgeable writing style. As do many of the other posters here. I have many favorites, but you specifically mentioned Lise and Jean.

My own personal opinion is that Jean has had a hard life. She has medical issues and a person who suffers can offer a unique perspective. And I believe she does it without self-pity and resentment. The other day, she was definitely off-topic and I don't know what caused it, but no harm, no foul. I still will read her posts.

If you don't want to read her posts, fine, but blasting either of them is not a cool move.
Comment: #38
Posted by: Chelle
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:16 PM
Hmmm.. If LW1 can't bring themselves to throw the kids out on the street, how about telling them that you have to rent out the duplex but that they can live with you. Give them the smallest room or the couch. Turn of the cable and the internet. Cook fish and cabbage. Bust out the Lawerence Welk. Eat a lot of beans. Maybe freak them out by letting them catch you making it on the kitchen table. Get my point?
It would probably be lousy for you for a while, but it seems lousy anyway, and when they leave voluntarily, you have side stepped the problem of being "evil" for expecting them to get a friggin job like the rest of us. I mean, there's a reason we all leave our parents our grandparents house and it's not because we want to bust our buns fixing lawn mowers or selling internet ads. It's for the freedom, control and autonomy. They've got the best of both worlds. Why would they leave?
Eat beans, by God, eat beans!!
Comment: #39
Posted by: Opheera Mcdoom
Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:22 PM
In this day and age of political correctness and tip-toeing around people's sensitive feelings, etc., I realize that it can be hard to let common sense prevail. It's time that LW1 and his wife grew a pair of spines and tossed their free-loading daughter and her shiftless husband out on their lazy butts! No excuses, no helping them find suitable housing, no "donating" towards their rent, no more handouts. This pair is typical of a lot of adult children who latch onto their aging parents and bleed them dry. Scrape these two pieces of gum off the shoe...yesterday!

For heaven's sake, LW2 is honest to a fault. If she must be truthful, then take the Annies advice and supply one of their curt but honest responses when pressed as to the whereabouts of your husband. Personally, it's really none of their business where he is; people are free to decline invitations. I wouldn't have a problem saying, "Oh Jim's at home doing some work." What is technically true if he's surfing the net or reading a book.
Comment: #40
Posted by: Chris
Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:06 PM
One last comment regarding the husband-who-won't-go-to-parties -- because some people seem to be vilifying him -- I had a small dinner party last night, for some good friends. One old friend came, and it was great to see her, but she dragged her husband along. He's a nice guy but last night he was obviously exhausted. He works a twelve hour day... she's currently unemployed. Then she wanted to stay and talk till late... the poor guy was dead on his feet. And everyone else there was female; you could tell he was having a hard time of it. I've also stayed away from some events when I knew the main folks there would be my husband and some buddies of his who I don't have much in common with. Anyway, I just wanted to put in a comment that often spouses have good reasons for not attending events with their partners.
Comment: #41
Posted by: sarah morrow
Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:54 PM
I agree with the posters who say SELL THE HOUSE and buy smaller. This means sell both sides, not just one. I don't know if they go on the market separately or not. IF you own them both get rid of them and find a small place. One thing you can do is offer to sell the unit to the ungrateful daughter and s-i-l. Tell them to find their financing and it will be a deal. Maybe even less than market price. BUT STILL MOVE YOURSELF.
Sad thing is, they raised and created the monster trying to take them over. They feel guilty but tough love comes into place when they are adults. Find them jobs? No, give them the address of the closest state job service. THEY have the information there for social service programs they may be available for. This gets them off the parents welfare list. Willing to bet they have bucks for beer and smokes and all the junk food they want. Message to parents. Don't make your grocery shopping lists so pleasing. Buy essentials and make them the kind the kids don't like. Change your habits of eating. Go vegetarian, etc or anything else for a few months. Might just be a few weeks of stealing food then. DO NOT make a habit of buying sweet daughter's favorite foods. Like feeding the skunks under the porch when you really ask for help in smoking them out.
Comment: #42
Posted by: Joyce/MN
Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:15 PM
Jean, thanks for the shoutout -- and I'm glad you post here, too. It's always something interesting going on here!
Comment: #43
Posted by: hedgehog
Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:47 AM
my husband and I just got the royal flush from our daughter.She is 33,living at home,but contributing,has a job.She asked us to move her fiance in so they could save money so they were debt-free when they got married.Long story short,he moved in for a year,didnt save a dime,and helped my daughter run up her card.He lied to my husband,and was asked to leave.Daughter has burned a bridge with us as her mouth spouts crap like,you hurt me by calling him names,like freeloader,lazy,cant keep a job,etc.Until she met him she never had a complaint.Now we hardly see her,and when the world smacks her upside the butt,the bridge is going to be hard to rebuild
Comment: #44
Posted by: marrianne
Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:59 PM
Hello to the world at large I want to share my testimony to you all which i believe you can still try your best to give a testimony like this so i was married to morphy at first will both love each other but short time he started a new behavior which i cannot even explain to any one then i keep it to my self hopping one day he will change for good no way he did not change so i was in pain every day don`t no what to do on till one day when a friend of mine visited me in my office she met me crying then she was asking me what is going on i try to be cam but i could not then i open up to her telling me there is a way out which i will do before he left me with my kids i look up and not knowing what to do then i ask her to tell me. shortly she open up to me and say there is a man called agadaga he is a spirit man he can do it with in three days then i look an said okay i will try my best to contact him four days later, my husband did not come home i called his phone switch off then i try my possible best i did not hear from him so i began to look for one way for a help so i remember my friend told me about one man called agadaga i quickly run to my friend asking her if she still have Dr.agadaga contact then she gave it to me that was how i contacted this great man of spirit he did it for me so quick so now i can now control my husband in any thing even i can tell him that i don`t want him outside today he will not. Now i have a happy family so via email
Comment: #45
Posted by: pathan
Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:26 AM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Feb. `16
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 1 2 3 4 5
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month