Mooch off this

Joey Garcia

My daughter dropped out of college and moved back home.
It’s like it was when she was in high school: We argue about her
curfew, she fails to follow through on chores and her room stinks like
a pigsty. I clean her room when she won’t because I can’t
stand having rotting food and trash in my home. Her father and I are at
our wits’ end, but don’t want to throw her out of the
house. She is not working, and we do give her spending money so she can
enjoy time with her friends. I do enjoy doing her laundry and cooking
her favorite foods. But how can we get her to clean up her act?

By not treating her like she is incapable of responsibility. Have a
family meeting and admit that you and your husband have failed her by
not preparing her to live well with others or on her own. Explain that
she will no longer receive spending money, but there is a possibility
of continuing to live at home if she keeps her room clean and completes
chores. Explain that living rent-free is contingent on attending
college and receiving grades of C-plus or better. Tell her that she
must find a part-time job to help pay for those college expenses or be
involved in volunteer work with one organization on a weekly basis. Be
clear that if she is unwilling to meet these new rules you will help
her to find a new place to live, perhaps with another family member.
(Be certain that your relative makes the same demands that you have
established.) Give your daughter 24 hours to consider the new rules
then ask her to sign a contract with you. If she resists, explain that
it is no different than the agreements one signs when renting an
apartment or committing to an education plan. Then invest the money you
have been giving her into therapy sessions for her and parenting books
and classes for you and your husband. Above all, grow a backbone. If
your daughter refuses to follow through, be certain that you do not
fail her again by allowing her to remain at home without

I found Internet dating awkward and humbling. It’s hard to
put myself out there, but I have met some nice women, and that’s
good, because you can never have too many friends. However, I’m
wondering what I should do when I reach out to someone that I’m
interested in and don’t hear back? Are there proper rules of
communication etiquette, or is it more like if you don’t hear
back, move on?

Don’t take the lack of response personally. Some women (and
men) who post dating profiles are inundated with potential suitors and
simply can’t respond to the hundreds of e-mails received. Others
are not current members of the site, but have kept their photo and
profile visible, instead of choosing the “hide profile”
option when their subscription ends. They can’t respond to you
unless they part with another $40. Other women may have read your
e-mail or profile, but didn’t sense a spark. Past experience has
taught these gals that some seekers treat any response as
encouragement. That’s why they decide not to respond at all.
Others are fearful of hurting a stranger’s feelings and
that’s why they don’t answer your inquiries. (And, yes, it
is actually kinder to click on the “not interested”
button.) Of course, many women are just busy and in a culture of
immediate gratification; few potential partners want to wait. Nor
should you have to. Follow the yellow brick road to an attraction that
is mutual and don’t worry too much about e-etiquette.

Meditation of the week
“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never
be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again,” writes
Flavia, a greeting card artist best known by her first name. What
sliver of your future is waiting for attention?

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