Dear Abby: Bossy sister turns a good deed into a bad situation

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, March 24, 2021

DEAR ABBY: My older sister moved in with me after she was placed on furlough because of the pandemic. I was resistant to her moving in because she likes to run the show, she has taken financial advantage of every family member, never admits she’s wrong, and I was worried she’d take over. But I wanted to help her save money, so I said yes.

Now it’s like I’m walking on eggshells. Every time I make a simple request, she accuses me of trying to act like her mother! After six months she asked if I’d prefer she move in with our parents, and I said yes. Now she’s upset, and my parents are begging me to let her stay because they don’t want to deal with her. I just want my peace back. What should I do? — TIRED LITTLE SISTER

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DEAR TIRED: I’ll tell you what NOT to do. Do not relent. She asked if you’d prefer she move in with your parents, and you answered her honestly. Set a date for her to be out and stick to it. It will save your sanity.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a very hands-on person, recently retired, and I would like to do volunteer work. Sounds simple, right? Well, it seems no one needs volunteers. I have been looking for something, preferably ecological in nature, for two years. But whenever I inquire, I’m flooded with appeals for money. I was hoping you might give me some more ideas. — BROKE BUT AVAILABLE

DEAR BROKE: You describe yourself as hands-on with an interest in things that are ecological. Because your efforts are not needed at the organizations you contacted, modify your search.

Would you be interested in helping to keep your neighborhood clean and free of trash, starting a vegetable garden to feed the needy, performing yard and gardening chores for elderly members of your community who can no longer do it themselves? How about teaching a class in ecology at a community center?

If that is not to your liking, would you deliver meals to shut-ins for a while? An animal hospital or pet rescue group may be able to use a willing hand in exercising the animals in their care. The options are there. Sample them until you find something to your liking.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 40-something woman and have been with my partner for four years. I am the mother of three boys; he’s a father of two girls. We live at my house.

Whenever his youngest comes to visit (she’s 16), she insists on his every second of attention. He eats it up. It’s so frustrating. They both ignore the fact that I am here. It’s very upsetting and, I don’t think it’s normal. What about you? — MIFFED IN MICHIGAN

DEAR MIFFED: Have you discussed this with your partner? I don’t know how often the girl comes to visit, but clearly she is starved for her father’s attention. I don’t think you should begrudge it unless her visits last for an extended period. Of course, your partner and his daughter should be respectful and not treat you like an old piece of furniture or a servant, but you might be less upset if you use some of that time to pursue interests or relationships of your own.

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.

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