Comments
1 - 12 of 12 Comments Last updated Oct 14, 2012

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Oct 13, 2012
DEAR ABBY: I'm 17 and go to a high school with drug addicts and girls who are lucky they aren't pregnant.(Some are.) My father thinks I'm like them even though I have proven time and again that I'm not. I have a 4.0 GPA and have never done drugs or had sex.

I'm not allowed to drive anywhere without my mother accompanying me. If I want to go on a date with my boyfriend, my parents must be present. I have lost friends who are tired of having to hang with my parents and me. I have tried telling my dad this, but he claims I'm being ridiculous and then picks a fight with me. I suggested family counseling, but Dad refused. He says we don't have the money.

What do I do? I just want to be a normal teenager who can hang out without my parents following me everywhere.-- TIRED TEEN IN WYOMING

DEAR TIRED TEEN: You have my sympathy. You have caring and conscientious parents, who appear to have gone overboard in trying to shelter you. By age 17 -- and with a 4.0 GPA -- you should have been allowed to socialize without a constant chaperone. That's how teens learn to develop relationships and make mature decisions.

In another year you will be 18 and an adult. If there is an adult relative in whom you can confide, ask that person to please speak to your parents on your behalf. You should be experiencing more freedom than you have been allowed.

DEAR ABBY: I have known my boyfriend, "Kyle," for eight years. We have been dating more than two years and living together for seven months. We have an amazing relationship. We love to laugh and make each other laugh. That's a "quirk" we share.

This morning, Kyle woke up, went straight to his dad's house without saying why and returned with his hair cut, beard trimmed and looking well-groomed. He seemed kind of "off," though -- almost nervous. He then went to his mom's to help with some yard work and when he came home, he snuck up behind me and slipped a ring on my finger. I got a little teary-eyed and asked where it came from. He said from his mom. He acted shy, wouldn't say much or look right at me. Then, after a moment, he shouted, "Just kidding! I wanted to make you laugh and freak you out a little."

I don't think there was malicious intent on his part. He's a sweetheart, but I don't know how to tell him how badly he hurt me emotionally. I thought he was proposing. What should I do?-- UNENGAGED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR UNENGAGED: Sit Kyle down and tell him the effect his "joke" had on you. After a couple has started living together, a proposal of marriage is no laughing matter unless both partners are in on the joke.

P.S. If you talk to him in all seriousness, you may find that he did propose, but then got cold feet.

DEAR ABBY: I'm in my early 60s and have no plans to retire. I raised a child on my own and wasn't able to save much for retirement, and my office retirement plan disappeared during the recession in 2008.

Because of my age, people young and old often ask when I plan to retire. I don't feel I owe anyone an explanation as to why I continue to work, and I plan on working as long as I can. I usually say I can't afford to retire, but then I get a response like, "I sure hope I'm not working at your age," or "You can get Social Security," etc. Any idea how I should respond to let these people know it's none of their business?-- MIFFED IN MENLO PARK

DEAR MIFFED: All you have to do is smile and say, "Retire? I'm just getting started!"

Since: Mar 09

Boynton Beach, FL

#2 Oct 13, 2012
L1: Keep clear of the helicopter blades for another year, then go far away to college.

L2: Oh, what a doofus. I actually think Abby might be right, that he meant to propose for real and then freaked out and played it off as a joke. Sounds like he has a bit of growing up to do before getting married.

L3: Don't make your finances other peoples' business by saying you can't afford to retire. Just say you really like your job, or like to stay busy or something like that. How many people ask this, anyway?

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Brooklyn, NY

#3 Oct 13, 2012
1- Maybe if you didn't hang around with drug users and pregnant girls, your parents would relax.

2- He wigged out because he knew you would say yes. It could have been a ploy to break up with you. Maybe he thought you would say no and he'd be able to end the relationship guilt free.
pde

Davis Junction, IL

#4 Oct 13, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Keep clear of the helicopter blades for another year, then go far away to college.
Sadly, the girl I knew whose parents were like this was prevented from going far away to college. She was accepted by several Ivy league universities, but her parents refused her any support at all if she went away. And since financial aid determinations are partly based on your parent's income until you graduate from undergrad, you're kind of screwed if your parents refuse you what the school says they should be contributing.

She wanted to be a doctor. She was actually doing university-level biological research in high school (she was the scary one at the school science fair). Her parents made her to to a local community college and live at home for two years, and then she learned that her credits wouldn't even transfer to the types of schools and programs she wanted to be in (so, after two years of college, she was going to be starting as a freshman anyhow).

She's now an administrative assistant with a associate's degree and her parents are perfectly happy with that since she lived with them until she married a guy from their religious community to get out.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#5 Oct 13, 2012
I wouldn't blame LW1 if she joined the service as soon as she graduates and never contacts those smothering parents again--if this letter is real.

LW2 can fingure out whether she still likes Kyle or not....

LW3 could take it as small talk and reply, "Is that what you want to do?"

Since: Mar 09

Boynton Beach, FL

#6 Oct 13, 2012
pde wrote:
<quoted text>
Sadly, the girl I knew whose parents were like this was prevented from going far away to college. She was accepted by several Ivy league universities, but her parents refused her any support at all if she went away. And since financial aid determinations are partly based on your parent's income until you graduate from undergrad, you're kind of screwed if your parents refuse you what the school says they should be contributing.
She wanted to be a doctor. She was actually doing university-level biological research in high school (she was the scary one at the school science fair). Her parents made her to to a local community college and live at home for two years, and then she learned that her credits wouldn't even transfer to the types of schools and programs she wanted to be in (so, after two years of college, she was going to be starting as a freshman anyhow).
She's now an administrative assistant with a associate's degree and her parents are perfectly happy with that since she lived with them until she married a guy from their religious community to get out.
That is DEPRESSING. Parents are supposed to want the best for their kids, supposed to encourage them to work toward their goals, supposed to teach them how to fly on their own instead of crippling them.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#7 Oct 13, 2012
1: Financial aid shouldn't count parents UNLESS they contribute (that's not how it goes?).
Glad m parents supported and encouraged college, but dang---poor kid. She will be fighting to flee and I hope she does it in a healthy way.

2: Weird. Not looking at her and got clean? Maybe real and panicked. He sounds like an idiot either way...but keep playing house--I'm sure that will help.

3: I work with a school full of people like this, mostly older women who are so freaking nosy. I can't stand it and it's hard to find pat answers....I've resorted to rudeness. Yeah, they talk about me, but the beasts leave me be...
Julie

Chicago, IL

#8 Oct 13, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
L1: Keep clear of the helicopter blades for another year, then go far away to college.
I seriously doubt the LW's nutjob parents are going to let her "go" *anywhere*...
pde

Davis Junction, IL

#9 Oct 13, 2012
cheluzal wrote:
1: Financial aid shouldn't count parents UNLESS they contribute (that's not how it goes?).
Glad m parents supported and encouraged college, but dang---poor kid. She will be fighting to flee and I hope she does it in a healthy way.
The FAFSA requires you submit your parent's income information (based on their previous year's taxes) until you're either age 26 or no longer an undergraduate, and all universities use that as part of their financial aid calculations for undergraduate students.

There are a few ways to legally get out of that requirement: if you're an orphan, if you enlist and serve (then go to college afterward), if you get married and no longer can be considered a dependent of your parents for tax purposes.

A school can also chose to regard a student as independent and disregard their parent's income information as part of financial aid calculations, but nobody I know who has petitioned for that status has actually gotten it. It's a very rare thing to happen as an undergraduate.
pde

Davis Junction, IL

#10 Oct 13, 2012
"if you get married and no longer can be considered a dependent of your parents for tax purposes."

Those two are connected: if you get married, you still have to demonstrate that neither you or your spouse can be regarded as a dependent. So it's both married AND not a dependent.

Just being a non-dependent for federal income tax purposes does not free you from having to submit your parent's income tax information if you're under 26 and an undergrad. They closed that loophole decades ago.
pde

Davis Junction, IL

#11 Oct 13, 2012
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
That is DEPRESSING. Parents are supposed to want the best for their kids, supposed to encourage them to work toward their goals, supposed to teach them how to fly on their own instead of crippling them.
She was a good friend in high school. We tried working so many different aspects to find a way to get her out of there, but when she discovered that despite the information she'd been given, not enough credits would even transfer to put her beyond being a freshman, she kind of gave up.

I don't have much connection with her nowadays, she has fairly withdrawn from most of us she knew in high school and immersed herself in her religious community (Greek Orthodox). I don't have the impression that her marriage is the best, however. But with three kids, and not a whole lot of options employment-wise, she's pretty much stuck.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#12 Oct 14, 2012
Yikes--that is scary.
I never had to deal with that and it sucks going to college can be thwarted if someone has a-hole parents.
Oh well, you can always go back later, but still...

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