DEAR ABBY: I’m almost 20. I have a well-paying job and live with my mother in a small town. My issue is I don’t know how to break away from her.
My older siblings still live here, too. They don’t help pay rent, utilities, groceries or anything. Mom and I pay for everything in a house of six people.
My boyfriend and I have discussed living together, but I don’t know how I will ever be able to leave. No one else helps Mom, and I don’t want her to lose the house. I know the solution is “everyone will have to pay their way.” But they don’t, and Mom won’t enforce it. I want to help her because she’s my mother, but I have my own life and I can’t stay here forever. How should I approach this with her? I don’t want there to be bad feelings.
I don’t know if I’m selfish wanting to move in with my boyfriend, but I want a life of my own. — STUCK IN THE WEST
DEAR STUCK: If your mother can’t keep her house on her own, there are serious problems ahead for her. If she doesn’t have the income to afford it, she may have to find a job or sell it. It should not be your responsibility to support the family. Your siblings aren’t contributing to the household because your mother has been enabling them to avoid it.
Have a private conversation with her. Tell her you plan to move out, so you are giving her plenty of notice and a departure date. I caution you, however, against moving in with your boyfriend if it’s because of a desire to escape this unfair situation. It would be better for you to be economically independent and have experienced living on your own before moving in with anyone.
That way, you will be less vulnerable should the romance not work out as envisioned, because not all of them do.
DEAR ABBY: One of my friends who I work with is getting married this summer. She recently asked me for my address and, since we also went to school together, asked me to give her a few other friends’ addresses as well.
So imagine my surprise when my friends all received invitations to her wedding in the mail and I did not. I think it’s possible that my invitation legitimately was lost in the mail or it may have been an honest oversight. However, I realize it’s also possible that she wants to keep her wedding small and decided against inviting me.
How do I politely ask if I’m invited to her wedding? I’ve tried bringing up the subject in conversation at work, but I’m afraid it would be rude to directly ask if I’m still invited. I consider her a good friend and get along great with her fiance, so I’m thinking it was an honest mistake. — TIRED OF BEING “MINNESOTA NICE”
DEAR TIRED: I don’t think that being direct would be rude. Because you consider her a good friend, ask whether your wedding invitation could have been lost in the mail because it’s possible it may have been.
If she responds that you are not invited, you’ll not only know where you stand, but also that SHE is NOT “Minnesota Nice.”
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at http://www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)