Dear Queenie,

Our adult son still lives with us because he can’t afford to live on his own because he doesn’t have a good job. My wife won’t let me make him pay rent because, like I said, he doesn’t have a good job and she won’t even ask him to help around the house. She says it’s our responsibility to see that he doesn’t end up homeless or in prison.

Queenie, how can I get him to grow up?—Fed-up father

Dear father,

Your son will have absolutely no motivation to grow up as long as his mother continues to treat him like a child.

You should insist that he help around the house and pay a reasonable (as large as possible) portion of whatever he earns for rent and the food he eats. Perhaps having little or no pocket money left over will motivate him to try to get a better job and even (hopefully) move out.

If your wife gives you a hard time about all this, ask her what will become of him if he has not learned to live on his own when the time comes that you and she can no longer take care of him.

Dear Queenie,

I am so confused. I fell in love with my best friend 7 years ago. We met each other through mutual friends.

The problem is he has a girlfriend, and every time we have an argument he gets upset for a long period of time. It can be the most small thing and he would get upset and stop speaking to me for months. And then he comes back and speaks to me as if everything is peaches and cream when in reality I'm hurting.

I need to move on from him. The problem is I don't know how, but I cannot continue this toxic relationship. It’s draining me, physically and emotionally.

Queenie, how do I move on from this?—Emotionally Drained

Dear Emotionally Drained,

Try to concentrate on other things – and people – than this friend (who does not seem to me to be that good a friend, from your description of his behaviour). Get involved in activities that will also involve you with other like-minded people. Volunteer work is always a productive option.

With any luck, you will meet someone else to whom you are attracted, in which case be open to a new relationship. At the very least, you can keep so busy you will not have time to dwell on your feelings for Mr. Already Has A Girlfriend.

And, as I always recommend, if you cannot cope with your feelings without help, get professional counselling.

Dear Queenie,

I started dating my boyfriend while he was going through a divorce and now we are planning to get married. The problem is my family will not accept him because he was still married when we got together, even though he had been separated from his wife for quite some time.

Queenie, is my family being unreasonable or was it wrong of me to get together with him before the divorce was final?—Divorce-dating Etty Ket

Dear Etty Ket,

If your boyfriend was separated from his wife and in the process of divorcing her when the two of you got together, it seems clear to me that the marriage was over for all practical purposes and your family is being unreasonable.

However, that is just my opinion. Obviously your family has stricter standards than I do. Hopefully they will come around, given time to get to know him.

Dear Queenie,

I received an invitation to a party that included a request to bring a certain dish for the dinner. I have heard from other invitees that they received similar requests.

Queenie, is this some new custom or am I right to feel imposed on?—Guesti-Ket

Dear Guesti-Ket,

Such an invitation is totally inappropriate. A situation like this makes you more of a co-host than a guest. Feel free to decline the invitation, or to accept on the condition that you will not be responsible for helping to feed the other guests.

Dear Queenie,

When you’re talking on the phone and another call comes in (I have “call waiting”) should you answer the second call and tell them you will call back or just ignore it? And if you answer the second call should you put the first caller on hold or tell them you will call back?—Telephone Etty Ket

Dear Etty Ket,

It depends on how important the second call is.

Generally speaking, the person to whom you already are talking takes precedence, so if you take a moment to answer the second call to tell them you will call back you should not keep the first caller waiting for more than minute or two.

And if you absolutely must take the second call immediately, you should apologise to the first caller and then be sure to call them back as soon as possible.

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