Ask Amy

Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 1:00am
Amy Dickinson

DEAR AMY: My 23-year-old daughter has been living with her boyfriend for the past year. He is 27 and his parents support him while he goes to college.

We pay half the rent for them while our daughter is at college and provide her with living and tuition expenses.

We have tried to make him feel welcome, and I believe he feels he is part of the family — so much so that on a recent visit, my husband mentioned that although he wanted to take a nice family vacation this year, he wasn't sure we'd be able to swing it with the downturn in the economy and how much we've lost in investments.

The boyfriend then said, "Well, it shouldn't be too expensive for a group of seven."

Our family is composed of six: four children and two parents.

Am I wrong to be flabbergasted that he assumes we would invite him and pay his way (airfare and hotel) on our family vacation? It is hard enough to afford it for our own group of six, let alone adding another.

My daughter has told us that if he's not part of it, she will not go.

Are we wrong to "cut the cord" and just let her not be part of this vacation?

— Astounded

DEAR ASTOUNDED: Your daughter and her live-in boyfriend should be considered a couple — and he should be included in family events.

Is it possible that this young man was offering to share expenses? If not, does this mean that you need to pay all expenses for two adults to go on vacation? Absolutely not. The problem here goes beyond the vacation issue.

Your daughter's boyfriend seems to have been infantilized by his parents' complete financial support.

He may not know the value of a nickel because at 27, he has yet to earn one.

You and your husband should explain to your daughter that you can't afford to take seven people on an all-expenses-paid vacation because you are hosting her all-expenses-paid life.

Surely the two of them could find some way to contribute financially to their own expenses while they finish their educations. You should encourage them to try. I agree that it's long past time to cut the cord.


DEAR AMY: I have to say I was very disappointed by your column concerning marijuana.

Having recently graduated from a prestigious institute of higher education, I know many brilliant people who smoke marijuana often. You equated his marijuana use with alcoholism when you said, "I hope you'll make the choice to get and stay sober." This is ridiculous and misleading.

Although you may adhere to the 1960s stereotypes, today, my generation finds the ban on marijuana outdated and antiquated.

I concur that any addiction is problematic, but the underlying assertion that pot is dangerous is beyond my comprehension.

You assert, "Marijuana impairs your judgment and cognitive abilities, and your young and still-growing brain has been affected by this chemical influence." However, there are many legal drugs that impair judgment, some far more than marijuana.

I think it ridiculous to allow this irresponsible journalism to stand.

— Kramer

DEAR KRAMER:
I've received several letters from readers claiming that I was too hard on "Miserable," the 19-year-old man with a daily marijuana habit and girlfriend issues.

I didn't leap to the conclusion that Miserable was addicted to marijuana — in his letter, he said he was.

If he had written to me saying he was addicted to beer and that he had no intention of stopping (as he did about his pot use), and if he reported that his relationship was suffering, I would draw a straight line to his alcohol use and suggest that when he dealt with his addiction, his relationships would change.


DEAR AMY:
You recently suggested that offering yogurt to a co-worker who crunched loudly on carrots would solve the noise problem in the office.

Please, no yogurt and spoon. I worked with a woman who would spend five minutes scraping her yogurt container with a spoon. It was enough to make you want you to take a dive out of the 4th-floor window.

— West Coast Reader

DEAR READER: Your letter makes me think that as long as there are cubicle farms, there will be noisy animals at the office.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles

2 Comments on this post:

By: BenDover on 4/30/09 at 7:51

Dear Pothead,

I suspect your 'prestigious institute of higher education' warped your brain. I don't disagree that marijuana should be legalized but you should get off your high-pony and stop assuming everyone else in the world is an ignorant rube. The superior tone of your letter is all I need, to know that you are a bigger danger to society than any number of drunks and addicts.

By: courier37027 on 4/30/09 at 7:52

Nice double-standard you have there, Amy. The 27-year old man is chastised (and rightfully so) for living off his parents' handouts. But the 23-year old woman, also getting her rent paid by parents, gets a pass. I say they are both adults, out of their parents' homes and living like they are married. let them pay their own way for everything. That's the problem with this country; so much idiocy is subsidized.