DEAR ABBY: My sister, "Earline," seems not to really care about family that much. She does drugs and sells them.
My family and I just bailed her out of jail. I took my entire paycheck, my brother lent his entire paycheck, and our mom gave the last couple of hundred bucks she had to her name. Earline promised to pay us all back when she got home. (She was arrested out of state.)
We spent well over $1,000 getting her out, and she has been back for two weeks and hasn't repaid any of us. I have an 8-month-old baby to support.
This isn't the first time -- this has been going on for years, and I mean years. What should I say to Earline to get our money back, and so she'll stop doing this? She has two kids who live with my parents. -- NEEDS THE MONEY IN CHILLICOTHE, OHIO
DEAR NEEDS THE MONEY: Your sister may be so drug-addicted -- and addled -- that she can't see beyond her own needs. Surely, if this has been "going on for years," your family is by now aware that the chances that she will repay the money are practically nil. My advice is to write it off, and the next time Earline finds herself in a jam –- or in the slammer –- let her bail herself out. Having to pay the consequences is the only way she'll learn, and possibly get help.