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Under parents’ roof, rules apply

MONDAY, JAN. 19, 2009

Dear Annie: I am in my late 30s, divorced and live with my parents. Due to complicated circumstances, I am not financially able to live on my own. Despite being intelligent, I have made bad choices when it comes to men. It’s understandable how this could worry any parent, but the concern my mother expresses is exaggerated and tiresome.

I am constantly expected to report my activities, where I am going, with whom and for how long. I detest lying to avoid the interrogation. Lately, Mom has been grilling me about my phone calls. She doesn’t understand my need for privacy and complains that I’m keeping secrets from her.

Is there a way to resolve this? I don’t like sneaking around, but my mother can’t handle the fact that I’ve got a private life. – Daughter Seeking Privacy

Dear Daughter: When adult children move back home, the dynamics of the relationship often revert to your childhood experience. Talk to Mom gently and explain that you understand her concerns, but she must give you space to make your own mistakes. Offer to give her more information if she will stop bugging you about your phone calls and activities. But the only way this will stop is if you move out. Start saving your pennies.

Dear Annie: Recently, my husband and I attended a Diana Ross concert in Costa Mesa, Calif. We had wonderful seats – main floor, center. However, the man directly in front of me chose to stand for the entire concert. When I gently tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he would please sit down, he started screaming, “Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me!” He continued to stand the whole time.

As it was a sold-out concert, we were stuck sitting behind this jerk. I noticed there were a few others on the main floor who remained standing. One group of women lined up like a chorus line blocking everyone’s view.

Annie, I could have stayed home and listened to a CD and had a better experience. What is wrong with these people who have no regard for anyone else? How would you have handled this situation? – Never Again

Dear Never: These people are rude and inconsiderate, but they don’t care. You should have complained to an usher or to management. It is their job to see that people behave themselves.

Annie’s Snippet (Credit Martin Luther King Jr.): Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar write for Creators Syndicate.

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