Deal With It

Dearest Timothy,

Our adult daughter has never quite found her calling in life. She has pursued multiple degrees, tried many different jobs, and even did a stint in the Peace Corps. She always ends up back at home – broke, depressed, and searching for her “true calling.” We’ve been beyond supportive over the years, but we’ve had enough. We’re ready to have our life, our home, and our disposable income back. How do we push this little bird out of the nest once and for all, without having her land face down in the gutter?

Oh, dear. Is this the new thing? Instead of aging parents invading the homes of their adult children, we have adult children invading the homes of aging parents? The problem is you don’t really know what her problem is. Therefore, the best thing you can do as a family is to get her some very good counseling. It’s obviously a cycle and the cycle has to be broken. I wouldn’t advise just kicking her out until you find out what the problem is. Attack the problem, not the person. It sounds like she has a broken wing. I wouldn’t kick her out of the nest. She obviously can’t fly. It may not be your fault, but then again it may be. Who knows? She may have some sort of disorder – emotional, physical, mental – but your daughter has a broken wing. Get as much help as you can to ensure that she can be independent, stand on her own, and have a good life. That is a parent’s duty. You’ll be much happier for having tried, especially if the outcome is good. If you just throw her out of the nest, there will be a disaster. You can count on it. One of the blessings of being a parent is that you don’t always get what you want, but you always love what you got. Good luck.


Over the last several years, my life has been a pretty difficult roller coaster of life experiences: an unexpected breakup with a very long-term partner who I thought was “the one,” ill parents, a totaled car, the death of my dog…the list goes on. My friend “Michelle” was really wonderfully supportive to me during those experiences. However, her attention has started to smother me. She calls and texts several times a day to see what I am doing, she wants to hang out several nights a week, and she even seems to get upset when I say I have plans with other friends. I truly believe she was a big part of me getting back on my feet, but now I feel like she won’t let me stand on my own. How do I get her to give me some space without hurting her feelings?

My goodness. Did you get a new car? No? Go get a rental car and run the bitch over. This woman is codependent. The thing is, that comes in handy when you need help. She has been very supportive of you and you should always be grateful, but you need to communicate with her. You both need to have a talk. People don’t communicate the way they should because they are afraid of hurting people’s feelings, but that only causes more hurt feelings in the end.

There is nothing wrong with explaining to her that you would like to be on your own more and you don’t need supervision. It sounds like that is what is happening. She is checking on you. Maybe you should get her a job at the suicide helpline. That will make her happy! Tell her that’s her true calling. Then she will be helping people and not bothering you so much. Seriously, just talk to her. It’s amazing what a few honest words and clarification can do. She is a good soul. She just has strings attached to her benefits. Cut her loose!


I recently went to Las Vegas for a bachelor party weekend with a bunch of my friends. While I was there, I made a horrible, drunken decision. I cheated on my girlfriend. She is wonderful and I am crazy about her. I feel horrible for what I did. I will never let something like that happen again, but I am overcome with guilt. I don’t want to lose her. Do I need to tell her what I did?

FOD GOD’S SAKE, NO. DO NOT TELL HER. That will only lessen your pain and cause a great deal for her. Are you that selfish? Do NOT tell her. That is such a stupid reaction. “To lessen my guilt and my shame, I’ll just dump it on her!” Don’t you dare.

However, I would recommend an antiseptic cleansing of your unit and parts. You might go to the drugstore and ask for a very powerful bleach of some kind that will stop just short of eating your skin. Try a Brillo Pad. That ought to get you over your shame. The reminder of the pain will ensure you never do a dumb thing like that again.

So, if you want to flagellate, flagellate. But do it on your back – not her back. You did something wrong. Keep it to yourself and don’t ever do it again. If you consider doing it again, just remember that Brillo Pad.


I hope you can settle a disagreement between my friends and I. Should one leave a tip on a carry-out order? Some of us feel you shouldn’t, as you aren’t receiving table service. But others feel that those who prepare your meal still deserve a tip.

Well, that has always been a controversial question. I look at it this way: If you go to some place and you order carry-out, you wait for it, and they’re kind to you, leave a little tip! You don’t need to leave 20 percent, but maybe leave a dollar or two. If they’ve been nice and pleasant, a small gesture is fine and a good way to say thank you. But don’t leave a $4 tip on a $20 takeout order. Look, if you can afford to not cook and go out and get food, be happy about it. Spread a little joy. Not a lot, but just a little jam on their toast would help. Everybody appreciates a lil’ jam! Even people that have a lot of money – you would be amazed at how much they appreciate a little bit of jam on their toast! So spread a little jam at the carry-out.


A fairly good social acquaintance of mine is getting married in the mountains of North Carolina this summer and invited my husband and I to the event. We RSVP’d yes several months ago and have made all of our arrangements for the upcoming trip: pet sitter, hotel accommodations, time off work, etc. However, the last few times I have seen this acquaintance, she has avoided talking to me. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I worry that attending her wedding will be awkward. On the other hand, I don’t want to forfeit hotel deposits and time off work because she is being standoffish. What should I do?

Confront the unpleasant bitch. It’s quite simple. Ask her, “Is there anything wrong? Because if there is, I am getting my hotel deposit back and I am not coming to your Bigfoot wedding in the mountains.” I mean, just take care of yourself and your husband! If she’s not talking to you or even looking at you, there’s something wrong. Why would you want to go to a wedding where the bride is so unpleasant? Sometimes you just have to ditch people. Not literally, of course – you shouldn’t behave like a serial killer – but you just have to get rid of people.

Basically, what has happened is she has no further use for you. That’s it. She may have been playing up to you for some kind of advantage. There are people like that. And when you have fulfilled that goal, they are done with you. To hell with her. Maybe when she is in the mountains Bigfoot will get her. Then you’ll catch the wedding on that Animal Planet station – her screaming in the forest as her unpleasant self is dragged off to endure the eternal unpleasantness of being married to Bigfoot. And you can be grateful that he got her.

Timothy Tidwhistle is an assumed name, but rest assured he is a very real person.
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