Q: I am a community college sophomore (age 20) in an international honor society, double-majoring in biotechnology and biological sciences. My dream is to become a cardiologist.
I have worked hard and excelled at my studies, as well as in my friendships and sports. However, my brothers have not. My older brother, “Aaron,” barely graduated from community college, and my younger brother, “Greg,” dropped out after his first semester.
I know it’s not healthy for me to think this way, but I am afraid I am going to be the one who has to support them. Aaron plays video games all day, while Greg does nothing. I’m afraid I’ll be stuck playing “Mommy” for my adult brothers for the rest of my days.
How do I get across to them that they’re not children anymore and they need to take their education seriously? — Nobody’s Mommy in Maryland
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A: Where are your brothers living now? With your parents? If that’s the case, and I suspect it is, that message should come from them. That your parents would allow Aaron to sit around all day playing video games rather than become independent means they are his enablers.
There is truth to the saying, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” Warn the boys that unless they start preparing for their future, they could wind up living in the street, because when your parents go, you have no intention of supporting them financially. That responsibility is not and should not be yours.
Q: I just got married to a beautiful woman. She’s tall and elegant. The problem is, she’s addicted to taking pictures of herself. She takes at least 100 of them a day.
When we’re driving, she’s busy taking selfies. When we go out, she asks me to take pictures of her. If I tell her I don’t want to take more pictures, she pleads with me to take “just one more,” which really means five.
When we are out to dinner and I get up to go to the restroom, she asks total strangers to take her picture. When we were on vacation and we went to the pool, she wore full makeup for two reasons, she said: (1) She’s not putting her head under water, and (2) she wants some pictures taken of her.
I have told her many times how much this annoys me, but she says I am preventing her from what she enjoys. What can I do to help her? — Too Many Photo Ops
A: You have married a beautiful (tall, elegant) piece of arm candy. Because you did not mention even one other positive quality about her, I assume this is what you wanted. Her vanity/insecurity about her looks is the “accessory” that goes with your trophy.
It will take effort on your part to help her recognize that what she has to offer beneath the surface is at least as important as her looks. (It may also take the services of a psychologist, if she’s willing.)
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.