Can You Say “Enough Already”?
Dear Margo: I need advice regarding my stepson, who is almost 25. He’s been in a two-year college since he was 19, and after flunking out, missing classes, etc., he is still in a two-year college. My husband basically has been supporting him the whole time. We pay for his iPhone (he has gone through three); we bought him a new car and make those payments; we pay his credit card bills (he can charge up to $2000). My husband has paid for his classes and books; his mother pays for car insurance. We even paid some parking tickets for him!
I am ready to lose it because I feel he is a grown man. He lives with a girlfriend and her child from a previous relationship. Shouldn’t he be on his own by now? This has been an ongoing fight between my husband and me. I feel we are enablers. What say you? — Had It Up to the Gills
Dear Had: I don’t know that your husband is enabling him so much as crippling him. The kid is either an idiot or totally uninterested in getting an education. And why should he? It sounds as though both parents are happy to coddle him until the end of time or until he gets Social Security, whichever comes first.
I think six years at a two-year college speaks volumes and your husband is deaf to the message. Even if he feels guilt about divorcing, he is doing the kid no favors. He is not making amends; he is making a mess. And he is clearly tuning you out, so I would suggest making an appointment with a psychologist who can explain to him that he is robbing his son of any motivation to get his act together. It will be hard, after all this time, to tell the sponge, I mean the young man, that the jig is up, but he absolutely must be “encouraged” to begin to be self-sufficient. — Margo, incredulously
Dear Margo: I have Muscular Dystrophy. I am beginning to need my wheelchair full time. Friends and family are doing whatever they can to make their homes accessible to me so I am not left out of activities. My friends and family mean everything to me, and I depend on them a great deal. My wheelchair can be unforgiving when around doorways, hardwood flooring, etc. It is inevitable that I will damage something in someone’s home, and I will feel terrible about it. What should I do when I damage something? Many times, I may never know. I can’t fix every scratch I may make or clean every tire track I leave on the rug. I want to be invited, but I also want to be a good guest. What do you think? — Richard
Dear Rich: How thoughtful you are. I get the feeling that your friends and family are all in your corner, so I’m sure they will all be understanding about whatever marks there are from your chair. You might call the manufacturer and ask if they can recommend certain products for scuff marks or scratches. If they have suggestions, pass them on to your hosts. I feel certain that apologizing in advance for any marks made by the chair will put you in the “good guest” category. People know these things can’t be helped, and your awareness of this will surely be appreciated, so go forth and party on! — Margo, sociably
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
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