“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 Nov 5, 2013
DEAR AMY: We have a neighbor we have known for about two years. We have helped her in many ways -- with friendship, taking her shopping, bringing over baked treats, and stepping in, in emergency situations.

This neighbor now seems to think we (mainly me) are her go-to people for everything. She has a son who lives nearby, but he seems to not show up much.

I blew up a few weeks ago when I was dealing with my own problems and told her I can't be everything to everyone. She apologized and said she understood. But it hasn't stopped and I have had it.

My husband doesn't really deal with her on the same level and now he makes me feel guilty when I can't tolerate being her problem solver anymore.

The stress from her gives me headaches. She had a very good and interesting job, traveled the world, and yet has not an ounce of common sense.-- Not my Neighbor's Keeper

DEAR KEEPER: Your kindness has conditioned your needy neighbor to rely on you for everyday -- and emergency -- help.

Blowing up suddenly because you feel used will not retrain your neighbor. It will only make her think that you are volatile (especially if, as you say, she lacks common sense).

I assume you think you don't owe her anything further, but you do owe her a respectful and rational explanation, along with some guidelines to which you will adhere -- even if she doesn't.

You tell her, "I can't do the things for you that I used to do. You're going to have to find other ways to get what you need, day-to-day." Research options for elder transportation or services in your area. But unless she is unusually impaired, it will be her responsibility to follow through. You should also follow up with her son (if possible) to let him know that you are backing off.

If she calls you with a non-emergency matter, you should tell her, "I'm sorry, I can't help out today." Stepping back might give you more energy (and renewed kindness) to step in as the world's greatest neighbor with assistance when she really needs you.

If your husband lays guilt on you about this, tell him he should step up more.

DEAR AMY: I would like to date my sister's sister-in-law.

When I expressed my romantic interest to her, she said that our families were too close and she would not want any resentment if our relationship didn't work out.

I've tried the platonic approach but the friendship wasn't reciprocated. Any advice, ideas or suggestions?-- Crushed Sibling

DEAR CRUSHED: If you express romantic interest in someone and she rebuffs you, then you need to back off.

If you express platonic friendship interest in someone and she doesn't reciprocate, then you have a definitive answer: She is not at all into you.

DEAR AMY: Your recent advice regarding the emotional distress caused by surprises in wills made me think of my recently departed mother.

While she was in good health more than a decade ago, she sat down with me and my three siblings to share her final wishes, neatly organized in a three-ring binder which she updated annually. Her current will, Do Not Resuscitate document, bank/investment statements and insurance policies were included, as were her wishes for her funeral.

Everything from the dress she saved to be buried in to the readings and music were included, and she did so with humor.(Example: "Anyone who shows up for my funeral deserves a hot meal. Don't skimp on a catered lunch or I'll come back to haunt you.")

Her pre-planning and the transparency of her final wishes made things incredibly easy on us, and -- despite the sadness of her passing -- we were able to draw strength, comfort and even chuckles from the notes she left for us, allowing us to truly celebrate her life while we mourned her death.

As a result, the four of us have all created our own binders patterned after hers and peppered with fond memories and anecdotes to help our survivors cope in similar fashion.-- Grateful

DEAR GRATEFUL: This is a fantastic idea. Thank you!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#2 Nov 5, 2013
2- Creep

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#3 Nov 5, 2013
1 Needy neighbors will drive you nutz! Mine is always asking me about computers. I finally told him that he needs to bring it in, because if what I suggest makes it worse, I dont want to be blamed.

2 Dang dude, she wont even be friendly to family! You dodged a bullet, be grateful.

3 Yes it is a good idea if you have nothing better to do with your day.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 Nov 5, 2013
LW2 went about it the wrong way.. He should have asked his sister and BIL to do stuff and then "included the SIL. After a while she would havve bcpme accustomed to him so that whn he suggeted an activity that Sister and BIL could not attend , the SIL would have felt comfortable in a one on one situation.

Having asked her out and been turned down means that is no longer possible. He sounds sad and needy and it is a situation he won't be able to keep away from because its family

Brooklyn, NY

#5 Nov 5, 2013
L1: This could have been written by me. Exact same problem years ago. Only thing was, I got tired of it and just handed her spare set of house keys back to her and said "sorry, no can do anymore, call your nephews". Easy peasy.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#6 Nov 5, 2013
LW1: Give her your husband's phone number, since he doesn't seem to think helping her all the time is such a big deal.

LW2: "Any advice, ideas or suggestions?" Advice with what? Being a clueless weirdo.

She has made her feelings for you clear; there aren't any. At family functions, just act normally around her for the sake of your real sibling.

LW3: Sorry, too busy living to put together a book about dying.
Blunt Advice

Saddle River, NJ

#7 Nov 5, 2013
1. Move.
2. She doesn't like you. Find someone who does.
3. I will keep this in mind if I am ever fortunate enough to retire before I die.

“I looked, and behold,”

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Nov 5, 2013
LW1: Learn to say to letters: N O.

LW2: Learn to accept two letters: N O.

Plant City, FL

#9 Nov 5, 2013
1: I'm annoyed at your loser hubby.
This is why I avoid my neighbors. I don't say a word unless I have to.

2: Ick, loser.

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