DEAR ABBY: Four months ago, a guy I know from work asked if he could stay with me for a few weeks until he finished saving for his own apartment. Two weeks later he was fired from his job. When I told him he could stay, I said I wouldn’t charge him rent, but that he would need to buy his own food, toiletries, etc. He did at first, but has since started helping himself to mine.

I have a 7-year-old son who lives with me, and I was recently laid off from my job. I am now living off savings and unemployment, and things are tight.

Abby, this guy isn’t even looking for work. All he does is sleep all day and watch TV. Not only that, he tries to dictate what shows I watch and even turns the channel in the middle of a show when I go to the bathroom. How can I get this freeloader out of here? – AT MY LIMIT IN GRAND HAVEN, MICH.

This man will not leave until you insist upon it. Remind your “houseguest” that he was supposed to stay with you for only a few weeks, the “visit” is now over, and it’s time for him to relocate. Do not expect gratitude for the hospitality you have extended, and you will not be disappointed.

If he is not out by the date you set, get some friends together to pack his things for him and put them outside. And if he gives you any trouble, call the police.

DEAR ABBY: I am a senior in high school, and my friends and I are all looking at different colleges. I have one friend whose parents are all about deciding what is right for him and won’t let him make the final decision as to where he should go. They believe that choosing a college is all about connections and what careers make the most money.

Shouldn’t my friend be able to pursue his dream of becoming a writer and attend the college of his choice? Should his parents be able to make the decision about where he should go? – FRYEBURG, MAINE, SENIOR

Theoretically, your friend should be able to make his own choice about what career he will pursue and what college he will attend. However, if his parents are paying for his education, he will have to abide by their rules.

The question is, what is your friend willing to sacrifice in order to pursue his dream? If he’s willing to work and take out loans for his education, there is nothing stopping him.

DEAR ABBY: My sister has two grandchildren, whom I adore. I would like to take them places and do things with them, but my sister, who has a severe weight problem and is unable to walk, won’t let me unless I’m willing to push her around in her wheelchair and take her, too.

I feel bad for the kids because they rarely get to do anything. I have thought about going around my sister to their mother, but it would probably make my sister mad. The children’s mother has little money, and the father is not in the picture. Do you think I can justify putting the kids before my sister? – GREAT-AUNT WHO CARES IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR GREAT-AUNT: Your mistake was in allowing your sister to make those children part of a package deal in the first place. You should not exclude her permanently, but there is no reason why she must be included on every excursion. By all means talk to their mother.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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