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Adult son resists rent demands from parents

DEAR ABBY: Should a 23-year-old son pay room and board even though he spends little time at home and eats out often? He doesn’t do laundry or help around the house. His argument is, we shouldn’t take money so he can save and buy a condo.

We are middle-class people and, at times, some bills are hard to pay. Our 20-year-old daughter contributes $100 a week, but she earns considerably more than he does. He is laying a guilt trip on us, and now I’m questioning whether our daughter should pay if he doesn’t. Your advice will help us clarify how the household should run. — TEMPORARILY CONFUSED MOM

DEAR TEMPORARILY CONFUSED: Your adult children should both contribute because the income is needed. Since your son earns less than your daughter and can’t afford to pay as much as she does, perhaps he should pay the same PERCENTAGE of his income as his sister. However, if that’s not feasible, he should absolutely be doing chores around the house to make up for it. The longer you coddle him, the heavier his guilt trips will become and the greater your frustration will be.

DEAR ABBY: Does it seem to you that the definition of the word “fiance” has changed? It used to mean a future spouse, someone whom you were committed to marry after a planned engagement period. Now, though, it seems to mean merely the person with whom you are currently having sex, or with whom you have a baby in common. Am I right? — OLD FOGEY IN PHOENIX

DEAR “FOGEY”: The definition of fiance has definitely changed since the inception of this advice column. Well into the 1960s, when a couple said they were engaged, it meant they would be married — usually within a year. However, over the last 20 years or so, I have received mail from women referring to the father of their children or the men they have been living with for an extended period as their “fiance.” (Men, not so often.)

For anyone interested in reading more about this subject, go online and search for a fascinating article that appeared on The title is, “What Do You Call the Person You Are Probably Never Going To Marry?” by Hanna Rosin. I highly recommend it.

DEAR ABBY: I was recently invited to a potluck baby shower. I have also been invited to potluck weddings! I always thought the point of a shower/wedding was providing for your guests while they provide gifts. Food is not expensive, and if money is an issue, one could schedule a shower outside of mealtimes, or with simple tea and cookies. I’d appreciate your thoughts on this. — POTLUCK BABY SHOWER

DEAR POTLUCK: My thought is: If the concept of a potluck baby shower or wedding is offensive to you, rather than judge, you should send your regrets.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


Actress-singer Sally Ann Howes is 91. Author Cormac McCarthy is 88. Rock musician John Lodge (The Moody Blues) is 78. Country singer T.G. Sheppard is 77. Singer Kim Carnes is 76. Guitarist Carlos Santana is 74. Actress Donna Dixon (“Bosom Buddies”) is 64. Actor Dean Winters (Mayhem in Allstate commercials) is 57. Actor Josh Holloway (“Lost”)  is 52. Singer Vitamin C is 52. Actress Sandra Oh is 50. Actor Omar Epps is 48. Actor Simon Rex is 47. Actress Judy Greer is 46. Supermodel Gisele Bundchen is 41. Dancer-singer-actress Julianne Hough is 33.


Be yourself, make decisions based on what you want and refuse to let anyone push you around. It’s your turn to shine, so tell it like it is. Expand your interests and gather information that will encourage a healthy, happy lifestyle.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Practice what you preach. Take the initiative to live life your way. Utilize your skills and knowledge to help you achieve peace of mind and a lifestyle that brings you joy.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Do whatever it takes to improve mentally, physically and emotionally. Discipline and hard work will encourage you to set high standards and goals. Strive to reach your objectives.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Take care of issues before they escalate. A practical approach when dealing with an over-the-top person will help you avoid becoming part of the drama. Stay productive.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Don’t waste time arguing over something you cannot change. Use your time and energy to accomplish your goals. You aren’t likely to anticipate a domestic change, but it will turn out well.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — Seek an unusual way to learn or to educate others. A change in how you deal with peers, friends or relatives will help you bring about positive change.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — Test your skills. Use your strength and agility to reach physical goals or challenges, and don’t give anyone the chance to mess with you. An intriguing investment will have underlying problems.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Opportunity knocks, and a potential gain is within reach. A partnership with someone who shares your sentiments will blossom into something exciting. Your negotiating skills will be crucial.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Don’t follow in someone’s footsteps. Choose a path that encourages you to advance. You can be loyal without being submissive. Encourage others to do as they please.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Put your emotions on the back burner and head down a path that brings you one step closer to your dream. A creative opportunity will encourage you to follow your heart.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Put more thought into money matters, health and contracts. Keep the peace at home, and channel your energy into something physical that will take your mind off your worries and clear your head.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Too much of anything will work against you. Limit your intake, spending and commitments. Change begins with you; focus on being your best instead of trying to change everyone around you.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — Take care of bureaucratic issues to avoid delays. Listen to what others say, and step in if someone offers false information. Take care of details, and leave nothing to chance.


By Chuck Sheppard

Lost and Found: Parker Hanson, a pitcher at Augustana College in Illinois,] was born without a left hand, but he adapted over the years so that he could still play his favorite game. On May 3, Hanson realized that the backpack he had left in his car, which contained his prosthetic arm and some of its attachments, had been stolen. Hanson told the Argus Leader that he had lost hope of finding the expensive prosthetic and had started to focus on fundraising for a new one when he received a text on May 11. Nate Riddle and Tim Kachel, who work at Millennium Recycling Inc. in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, found the arm as they sorted recycling materials. “I recognized it instantly,” said Kachel, who had heard about the theft on the news. “I was jumping up and down screaming ‘Stop!’” While Hanson is happy to have it back, he said the arm is “pretty banged up” and unusable. Shriners Children’s Twin Cities has stepped up to provide Hanson with a new arm free of charge, and his fundraising money will be donated to help other amputees get their own prosthetics. “If I can help impact some kid’s life for a positive, then that’s what I’ll take out of this whole experience,” Hanson said.

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