Dear Annie: My son, Terry, is 30 and newly divorced with two sons.
My husband and I have been helping him since he had a hard time finding a job.
He lived with us for three months. My husband (his stepfather) bought him a car and insurance so he could get to work and be able to pick up his boys.
In April, Terry moved into an apartment.
We paid the security deposit and first month’s rent. He found a job in June, but with child support payments, he still had a hard time with the rent, so we continued to help him through the summer.
The problem is, in August, he let Larry move in with him.
Larry is an alcoholic with no job. He has a filthy mouth and is into porn.
Terry says he’s just “helping him out.”
We think this is terrible and have decided to stop giving Terry money for rent because we don’t want to help Larry. I don’t think our grandsons should be around this man.
Terry says he doesn’t need our permission to let someone move in. I believe if he were paying his own way, it wouldn’t be my business. Am I wrong for not wanting to help anymore? — Slapped in the Face
Dear Slapped: You are absolutely right. You are not obligated to pay your son’s rent under any circumstances.
If he chooses to bring an unsavory character into his life, that is his choice, but you don’t have to subsidize it. Don’t be angry. Be firm and practical.
Tell him he can do what he wishes, but he’ll be doing it on his own. If you feel you must help him in some way, offer to pay a portion of his child support.
Dear Annie: I read the response to Doctor in California and agree that the media put such a spin on many medications that people can be afraid to use them.
I am a dog groomer. One day a regular client brought in her dog. It had lost all its hair around the ears, and the skin had turned a bright red.
The owner was using a cream the doctor had given her, but it wasn’t helping much.
She told me the doctor had also suggested steroid shots, but she had refused because she didn’t want her pet to “become addicted and gain all that muscle.”
Holding back a giggle, I assured her it was a different kind of steroid and would help her dog immensely. Two weeks later, the dog’s skin was back to normal. — Ginger
Dear Ginger: We’re envisioning a new canine superhero.
Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.