Mom collects neither rent nor gratitude - Newsday

Mom collects neither rent nor gratitude

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Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: For two years, my daughter and her boyfriend "Rick" have been living in my house. They do not pay rent, but they pitch in toward utilities. My daughter cooks for her boyfriend and herself. In the two years they have been with me, they have never invited me to have a meal with them. I believe they are being rude and petty, and recently I told them so. Rick has a wonderful relationship with his father (his mother passed away a few years ago). I asked him if he would do something like that to his father, and his answer was that his relationship with his dad was different than my daughter's relationship with me.

I feel sad and angry about this. Am I overreacting? --Sad Mom


DEAR MOM: This isn't really about a meal or two, but about the fact that you are providing housing to two people (presumably adults) who are not showing sufficient, or any, gratitude.

"Rick" gave you a clue when he outlined that his relationship with his father dictated a different kind of behavior from him. Notice where Rick lives? With you! And notice whom he respects? Not you! You will not receive gratitude by demanding it. But you can receive rent. You are not happy with this arrangement, so you should change the terms. Either charge this couple rent or tell them it's time to find other housing.


DEAR AMY: "Sad in Sausalito" said her husband had "mini-tantrums" whenever she wanted to make an unscheduled stop while out together. Another reader said the best solution would be for each of them to trade off choosing a stop. The actual best solution, which I learned early during 26 years in the military and which I've used for some 15 years of marriage, is to always carry a boredom killer, usually a good book.

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DEAR JERRY: If you've got a good book with you, you're never bored (or alone). Thank you!

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