DEAR ABBY: I have an acquaintance I have known for 10 years. He is homeless and a heroin addict. His addiction has gotten worse over the last year and it is really bad now. He shows up at my home at all times of the night, sleeps on my porch and leaves wet, dirty clothes behind. He comes over high on heroin, nods out and acts very strange. I feed him, let him shower and even buy him clothes from the resale shops, but I need this all to STOP.
He continually needs something — money for cigarettes, a ride to here or there, clothes. I am a 65-year-old semi-retired man and I do not want or need a homeless heroin addict in my life in my remaining days on this planet. I have tried repeatedly to end this “friendship,” but he doesn’t have anyone. When I tell him to leave me alone, he breaks down and cries. It breaks my heart.
When we first met, he was a happy, friendly, handsome person, but now it’s horrible. He’s sickly and looks bad. I have even considered selling my home and moving. What can I do to finally get rid of this guy for good? — DESPERATE IN FLORIDA
DEAR DESPERATE: By now you should have realized that you can’t fix what’s wrong with this person. In fact, you have become his enabler. Tell him you have done everything you can, but it hasn’t helped him straighten his life around. Offer to help him find a drug rehabilitation program. Then tell him that until he demonstrates a willingness to help himself, you do not want to see him again. If he shows up stoned after that, rather than give him showers, money and clothing, call the police and have him removed from your property.
DEAR ABBY: Two months ago, I started dating a man I’ll call “Hugh” after a mutual friend of a friend introduced us. He is retired, and I still work. Hugh is very sociable and friendly, and drinks much more than I do. His friends are great. One particular single friend, “Terry,” is my age, and we have similar interests. I haven’t been intimate with Hugh because I’m not particularly attracted to him. I also don’t think Hugh is all that interested because we don’t get together too often, although he calls daily for a minute or two to check in. He wants a relationship, but I don’t feel it.
I’m starting to think Hugh is looking more for a friend with benefits. I would prefer to remain just friends. I also want to be able to further a relationship with Terry, who has a lot more in common with me. How do I do it tactfully? Hugh has been nice to me, but, like I said, I feel no romantic connection. I also don’t want to string him along. — KEEPING OPTIONS OPEN
DEAR KEEPING: Tell Hugh you like him and hope you will always be friends — but just friends. Let him know you see others and hope that he does, too. Throw a party and invite a group of friends, including Terry. If Terry shows any interest in you, respond accordingly. Then cross your fingers.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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