Carolyn Hax: These pot-smoking slobs are my problem because of insane Bay Area rent


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Carolyn Hax
Carolyn Hax 

strong>DEAR CAROLYN: I allowed my daughter and her now-husband to continue to live with me after they got married a few months ago, in hopes that they would fly the coop soon so I can finally have an empty nest. They are both 21.

They both work retail and go to school. I know they would very much like to live on their own but rents here in the Bay Area are insane.

They cannot afford to even rent a studio on their salary. I don’t want to be their financial support system just to get them out, but I don’t see any other solutions.

I know this will horrify purists: Paying an adult child to do what she should already offer voluntarily, out of gratitude and good manners alone? Seriously? But what you’re contemplating now is to reward them with even more money — underwriting their rent — for being such hideous entitled slobs that you’ll do anything to get them out. So buying their cleanliness sounds like the better bad deal.

And you don’t even have to spell out “… or else I start the eviction/ejectment process” unless she comes back with a threat to fight you.

If she does, that of course would be distressing on so many emotional, practical and parental levels. (Presumably all children at some point test their parents with open defiance — meaning all parents get at least a taste of what it feels like to discover you’ve raised a monster.)

But I hope it would also bring a measure of peace. If she cares little enough about you to choose this over doing her damn dishes, then she releases you from the worry that your warm mother-daughter connection will suffer for all this. Sad stuff, but you can’t break what doesn’t exist.

Think that behavior is outrageous? How about this:

DEAR CAROLYN: How do you let friends know without hurting their feelings that the reason you want to meet them at restaurants instead of going to their home is because they allow their large dog to jump up on and sniff visitors?

Pet Problem

DEAR PET PROBLEM: “Would you please hold on to him when I come in? I don’t like being jumped on.”

That sounds a whole lot easier than finagling your entire friendship into a restaurant setting.

If your friends respond to this (perfectly reasonable) request with a case of wounded feelings serious enough to threaten the friendship, then the true cause of that would be their decision to be self-indulgent, not your decision to tell them the truth.

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