DEAR ABBY: I graduated from college, and I'm starting my first full-time job and moving into my first apartment. I bought all the furniture for it, but needed help moving in.
My parents decided to drive five hours to my new home to transport the furniture in a truck they rented -- without consulting me. While I appreciate their help because I would not have been able to lift some of the items on my own, I feel they have overstepped the normal boundaries of parenting an independent 27-year-old daughter. They also decided they would spend the night in my apartment and sleep in my newly purchased bed without asking me.
Am I crazy for thinking my parents are not respecting my space? I don't want to be ungrateful, but I feel violated in some way. This is my first step out into the real world. -- BECOMING INDEPENDENT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR BECOMING INDEPENDENT: How exactly did you plan to get the large items of furniture from point A to point B if your parents hadn't stepped up to the plate? They were attempting to help you as they always have, not violate you. Although they were mistaken, they assumed that after a five-hour drive plus doing the heavy lifting, they'd be welcome to stay the night and not have to check into a hotel.
Because that wasn't the case, you should have thanked them for their generosity and told them you had made other arrangements for getting the furniture transported and installed instead of resenting them for it. Your problem isn't pushy parents; it's that you didn't speak up in the first place.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 27-year-old single mom, career-focused and driven in what I do for my son and me. I want the best for him. He is 3.
I am having a hard time meeting someone who will accept the two of us. Men come up to me all the time at work or when I'm out, but once I mention that I have a small child, it's like they run and hide. If I wait and tell them later, they get upset that I didn't bring it up earlier. I have no idea what to do.
I am ready to settle down and be a "family" with someone. How do I fix this? What should I do? -- LONELY IN SUGAR LAND, TEXAS
DEAR LONELY: You're doing nothing wrong, and nothing needs "fixing." A man who approaches you and then runs in the opposite direction when he learns you have a child, isn't interested in the kind of relationship you're looking for. He's looking for fun, not continuity.
So be honest about your situation from the beginning. While the idea of settling down is nice, you need to do it with someone whose priorities align with your own, and the men you have met so far don't qualify.
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