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by Abigail Van Buren

Promiscuous Co Ed Will Be Poor Role Model for Sister

DEAR ABBY: I'm about to move out of a condo I have shared for two years with a roommate I'll call "Carly." Her parents own it, and I'm leaving because Carly's sister, "Heather," is moving in soon to attend school. Carly is supposed to look out for Heather and teach her how to live on her own because Heather has some mental challenges.

In the two years I have lived with Carly, she has been mostly absent. She often leaves for days at a time without telling me. I hope this will change when her sister moves in.

Carly is also very promiscuous. She's always with one guy or another, and occasionally intimate with more than one at a time. Through closed doors and over a blaring TV I have overheard her and her boyfriends going at it but accepted it as part of normal college life. I fear Heather will be mortified to hear what I have heard.

I don't think Carly knows she has been overheard. Should I warn her when I move out? Or should I not mention it and hope she's a better role model for Heather when she arrives? -- ALMOST EX-ROOMIE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR ALMOST EX: By all means warn Carly. Had you done so the first time the noise bothered you, living there would have been less embarrassing for you. But at the same time you should also have a chat with Carly's parents. The responsibility they are placing on her is a serious one, and it doesn't appear Carly is up to shouldering it.

A better solution for Heather would be for her to be in a program where certified teachers can help her learn independent living skills and in which she would receive appropriate, consistent supervision. Her safety -- in more ways than one -- could depend on it.