Q: My husband and I have a 22-year-old son who has moved back home due to his relocating. His girlfriend of six months has done some suspicious and devious things. We have tried to overlook them, but the latest involves a car our son asked us to sell her because she was in a bind because of some stupid financial decisions she had made.
We felt sorry for her, so we sold her the car for less than half of what we could have gotten on a trade-in since we were going to purchase a newer car. Now, one month later, she has taken the car and traded it in on a different one, no doubt gaining the extra equity. I’m angry to the point that I no longer want her in my house. Are we wrong to feel taken advantage of?
I would add that we have always tried to help our only son as much as we can. The result has been that we have been taken advantage of or not treated the way we think a son should treat parents who are not exactly well off. Please don’t reject this letter as your advice is really needed. — Steamed in the South
A: It appears your only son and his girlfriend may be birds of a feather. Both have taken advantage of your kindness and generosity in one way or another, and you have every right to be upset about it.
While you can’t do anything about the past, that doesn’t mean you can’t open your eyes and watch out for yourselves in the future. If your son is planning to move the girlfriend in with you, put a stop to it now. If you don’t, I predict you’ll be taken advantage of as long as they’re under your roof and until they move out, which may not be for the foreseeable future.
Q: I have a question about something you don’t hear much about anymore. Do people still have mortgage-burning parties? If I had a party, do you think guests would feel like I was bragging because I have paid off my home and they haven’t? Any advice would be great! — Just Happy in Maryland
A: Congratulations for having paid off your mortgage. However, unless your guest list is short and includes only people you are very close to, I’m not sure it would be appropriate to throw the kind of party you describe for exactly the reason you mentioned.
Q: My family doesn’t seem to approve of my taste in who I date. I prefer to go with older guys, but I’m 14. My parents actually reported my last boyfriend to the police when they found out his real age. I am now with another guy in high school who respects me, but my parents don’t approve of him either. What should I do? — Confused in Missouri
A: Start concentrating on school, sports and group activities. In other words, wait to date until your parents agree you are old enough and you can find someone of whom they approve.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.