DEAR ABBY: I have been living in a three-bedroom house with two other guys since May. Last September, one of my roommates ("John") allowed one of his friends to move into our living room. We all agreed it would be only until the end of the month -- less than two weeks away.
"Alan" had been having trouble with the people he was living with and needed to get out before the situation exploded. He said he would move in with a co-worker in a week and a half. Well, that apparently fell through. So have four other "possibilities" he has since told us about. I've talked with my two roommates, and they are also tired of Alan's continuing to "hang out." Yet they do nothing about it.
Abby, I've tried everything I can think of. As the only early riser in the house, I'm usually up by 6 a.m. I have told Alan that it's past time he moved on and have left the "Room for Rent" section of the newspaper open and circled. I've even collected "roommate wanted" information from the bulletin boards at the university I attend. I've blasted my stereo, turned on the TV, left the front door open in the winter air, pulled the blanket off him, and banged around the kitchen. He doesn't seem to get the idea. Short of changing the locks, I don't know what else to do. How can we get this thick-skinned freeloader out? -- FED UP WITH OLD FISH
DEAR FED UP: It's time for the three of you to confront Alan. It would be best if you did it together. Give him one week to be out of the house, then be prepared to hand him his belongings and change the locks. Expect no expression of gratitude for the time he has spent under your roof, and you won't be disappointed.
DEAR ABBY: My problem is that I have a brother who lives across the country who is planning to visit us and bring the 5-year-old daughter of a friend of his. He befriended an unwed mother and witnessed her daughter's birth, so a bond was formed between him and the baby. The natural father isn't even in the picture.
I want to write him a letter and explain what a burden this would be on his hosts, my husband and me. Abby, a child this age requires constant close supervision, not to mention entertaining, waiting on and cleaning up after, etc.
I know he'll be upset with me if I write him this letter, but I feel I have a right to be upset with him. He never once asked our permission; he just announced his intentions to bring her and stay with us for two weeks. Two weeks is too long for any company, especially when a young child is involved.
Before I write him, Abby, I would like your opinion. -- WORRIED SISTER IN ATLANTA
DEAR WORRIED SISTER: Your brother apparently feels that the child is part of his family. Be diplomatic; write to your brother expressing your concern about entertaining a 5-year-old for two weeks, noting that she may get homesick. If he insists on bringing her anyway, research ways to entertain a young child in Atlanta, including finding children her age to play with. Or make him responsible for the little girl's care and entertainment.
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