Re: A juicy situation which I don't have permission to post about

1

Maybe she can refer girlfriend to that NASA study.

I dunno, I think she should let girlfriend in but that's partly because I think people with strong work ethics should be punished for Ruining Everything.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:25 AM
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Obviously the girlfriend should volunteer for the NASA project described in the bedrest post.

She's gainfully employed, everybody's happy.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:26 AM
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3

Pwned.

I suppose it's what I get for going for the low hanging fruit.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:27 AM
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4

Fair, sure. A good plan for continued good relations with son? probably not.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:30 AM
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5

Hard to reach the other fruit from a prone position.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:30 AM
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4 is right. And from a practical point of view, it just isn't going to work.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:31 AM
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I had a roommate who used to play "Here They Come to Snuff the Rooster" at top volume, every single friggin' morning. I think that would solve the "sleeps until 3" problem.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:33 AM
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I'd think that the no overnight visits policy might be justified as a means of getting the son to move out of the house and that getting the son out would be best for long term good relations with the son.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:40 AM
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Does your friend have a partner? If so, they should have sex loudly enough to wake the dead girlfriend in the morning before she goes to work. Alternatively or additionally, bang on the son's door as soon as she gets up to ask if they want a cup of tea, vacuum the passage outside their room, ask for help in some mundane domestic choice...

She'll move out soon enough. Whether the son goes with her will be the interesting bit.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:40 AM
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I believe that song is just called "Rooster".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:41 AM
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8 is right

1.1 may be hanging low but it's still full of win.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:41 AM
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If you only have sons, it is very important to be nice to your daughters-in-law, because they will very likely wind up handling all of your elder-care. For this reason I advise being nice to her, if you think the relationship is going to last at all.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:44 AM
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I'm with Moby in 8. Alternatively, Friend can make a rule that overnight guests need to be out of the house by the time she leaves for work. Friend can also chat girlfriend up every time she comes over about how the job search is going.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:48 AM
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Can't your friend say "Totally fine to stay over but house needs to be empty by when you leave for work/9/10/whatever"? I assume the sleeping in is either due to staying up late (which could be solved by putting a limit on when the son and gf arrive for the evening) or depression-related sleeping. I don't know any 20-ish people who sleep that late.

I do feel a little sympathy for the 'lazy' partner as I have been accused of something similar. In my case, I was more of a night person than the other person so while they went to bed early, I stayed up for another hour or two. Then they would begrudge me sleeping an hour or two later in the morning and would turn to solutions like 9. Except not sex.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:48 AM
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12: That same reasoning would also support trying to drive her out as fast as possible.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:48 AM
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derp


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:51 AM
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I agree with 13 and 14. That's a simple, moderately reasonable rule, which would actually address the issue that pisses off your friend.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:52 AM
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I'm going to skip a hundred comments and say that the person I have the least sympathy for in this anecdote is the friend himself.

"Places a lot of value on work ethic and ambition" is a red flag. Nobody dislikes work ethic (except maybe us right here, competing to show off who has jobs that let them spend more time online, but anyways), so saying that about oneself implies a value judgment of other people, either particular people or in general. Son? Other family members? Friend sounds like a workaholic at best, quite possibly worse. And placing a lot of value on ambition? Not determination, or some particularly worthy goal that one is ambitious toward, but ambition is general? Very bad sign. Is Friend an ass-kisser?

I think the best way to solve the problem would involve rent somehow. (This is not in tension with helping Son save money: assuming Son has a job at all, Friend could charge, say, a third to a half of the going rate for an equivalent place and Son would still save a lot by comparison.) Maybe Son should be charged no matter what, maybe it should be an either/or choice - "if you want an adult sex life, you'll have to have a lease like an adult" - or maybe they could just charge Girlfriend. And this depends on how regularly Girlfriend really winds up staying. If she lives there full-time, I'd be more and more inclined to suggest charging rent. If Son and Girlfriend pay it, oh well. A little extra money pays for a lot of destressing alcohol or massaging. If it's just a weekend thing, though, Friend might have to just grin and bear it. Occasional feelings of resentment might be a fair price if it really does help Son get on his feet.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:52 AM
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I can't imagine how the types of rules discussed in 13/14 would possibly lead to less resentment than just saying, "go live somewhere else." That may be my personality, not a general thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:53 AM
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To be clear, absolutely none of this is getting relayed back to Friend. This is just for your hyper-analysis pleasure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:54 AM
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21

Wait, why would you ever have to be OK with overnight visits from a kid's girlfriend you don't like in your own home?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:55 AM
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I mean, it might or might not piss off the son, but it certainly seems more than "fair."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 11:56 AM
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21: Because actively meddling in other people's romantic life is rude and asshole-ish.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:09 PM
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But how is having a guest you don't like in your own house actively meddling?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:11 PM
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I'm with 8 and 21, but in part because I have a very low tolerance for house guests even when I love them.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:12 PM
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The problem with 18 is the sheer number of other details that I've omitted. (And "ambitious" was the wrong word. Think blue collar farmer holding down several jobs.)

Both Friend and Girlfriend have lots of poor conflict-resolution strategies that will definitely escalate the situation disastrously over the next month or two, and I'm just going to nod and smile. I just thought it was a an interesting premise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:15 PM
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Friend should be nice to the gf. Friend isn't the gf's parent, and has no role to play at all in getting the gf up at a 'decent' hour. If Friend gives out rope, gf will probably end up wrapping herself in enough of it for the relationship to end at the son's initiative (he is, after all, looking for a lifestyle change).

There's nothing wrong with assigning the son a series of domestic chores, telling him that Friend doesn't care which are done by son, and which by gf. But feeling aggrieved by the gf's work ethic? That's a bad hill to choose to die on.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:16 PM
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24 -- Because adult children who live there live there too.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:18 PM
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18.2 makes me wonder how often the gf is staying over. If she's not actually living there, but just visiting now and again, Friend should STFU. You don't get to pick your son's girlfriends, and the 'in my house' part of 'sleeping late in my house' sound like it's just rhetoric.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:21 PM
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28: If they're living with their parents rent free, they're houseguests, and don't have an independent right to have houseguests of their own who annoy the people who live there. I mean, 'right' is a funny way to say it, but "You can stay here rent free, but your friends and girlfriend can't, just you" is a perfectly coherent position to take.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:21 PM
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Come to think, my reaction is assuming the girlfriend would either be living there, or basically living there. More nights than not. If she has a place to live, and we're talking about one or two nights a week for sleepovers, sure, I'd be with Charley.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:23 PM
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32

If you're not willing to let a houseguest's SO spend the night, then you shouldn't have them as a houseguest.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:26 PM
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33

I presume a higher bar for parenting decisions than coherence. Difficult as even that is to achieve on occasion.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:26 PM
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31: Which is part of why I like the suggestion in 13 and 14. It says "yes you're allowed to have guests including overnight guests, but no she's not allowed to live here" in a way that's reasonably clear.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:29 PM
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32: Shouldn't that be up to the houseguest in question? "If she can't stay, I'm not living at home" is also a reasonable decision for an adult to make, but I don't think having the parent offer the option of houseroom to their kid but not their kid's SO is wrong.

33: Well, at that point it all comes down to how bad is the girlfriend? There are possible girlfriends where I'd think the parent was being a jerk, and others where I'd agree with their decision completely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:31 PM
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35 gets it right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:34 PM
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35 -- In the OP, we see that the distaste for the gf is generic, and not based on conduct. Why does Friend care if gf is sleeping away the hours Friend is at work? Because of a belief that son can do better. The potential negative consequences of going non-judgmental at this point, seem a lot less than those of intentionally being difficult.

(I'm assuming that space isn't really a critical issue, that we are not talking about NYC real estate.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:36 PM
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I may be associating the girlfriend with people I've known who've habitually slept past noon as unemployed twentysomethings, few of whom I'd want as housemates. She might not be annoying at all, but I think there's a good chance that she is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:39 PM
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I also object to the word 'houseguest' as applied to (newly) dependent children, or any children at all, for that matter. Most of you would be perfectly welcome to come visit me, and stay over. If you think the same rules apply as when my daughter comes to visit, you're deluded.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:41 PM
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Sure, that's your option, and it makes perfect sense because your daughter is closer to you than Joe Random Internet Acquaintance. But I don't think you're obliged to let her install someone who makes you uncomfortable in your own home as a temporary housemate simply because they're dating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:46 PM
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41

She's allowed to make analogies?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:47 PM
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Let her stay or don't let her stay, but don't "manage her" for purely values-related, no-harm reasons if she does stay, because that's obnoxious.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:48 PM
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Right, that's what I don't like about 13, 14. "She can't stay here" seems much less intrusive to me than "She can stay here if she obeys me". Rousting a grownup out of bed and kicking them out of your house for the day sounds like an unpleasant process, if there's even a hint of non-voluntary compliance.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:50 PM
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Uncomfortable because you're afraid she's going to steal the silver or set the house on fire is completely different from uncomfortable because my son is dating a loser. Invoking the rights of property ownership might be coherent in the latter case, but sounds like bullshit to me.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 12:58 PM
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What about "Uncomfortable because I dislike her (the things she talks about, the music she listens to, the TV she watches) and it makes me unhappy finding her in my kitchen when I'm trying to make myself dinner"? You can be made unhappy by someone's presence without being afraid of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:02 PM
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I'm betting the sleep till 2pm thing is serious hyperbole (also known as fibbing.)If she is going to bed at 6 in the morning she has a night shift job. It really is extraordinary unlikely. I think hard-working friend just doesn't like girl friend lifestyle. If I were her I'd just groan and (very verbally) bear it.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:08 PM
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47

Right. But that's all subsumed in not getting to pick your kids' SOs.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:09 PM
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45, 47: Seriously? "I'm not going to pick your SO's" to you is the same as "Anyone you date has free rein in my home"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:12 PM
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Free rein, no. Sleepovers, yes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:15 PM
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46: I do not think the girlfriend has a job.

I certainly knew plenty of people in college/in their twenties who were capable of not having a job, and sleeping in till 2 or 3 pm. It often involved a lot of pot and/or depression.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:15 PM
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Free rein to sleep as long as they want, yes. Free rein to have their own ambitions for their lives, yes. Free rein to complain about the noise make by the normal (and not intentionally assholish) operation of the household, no.


Posted by: CCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:16 PM
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Maybe the interested parties should sit down for a talk. Friend can say "When you hang around sleeping til 2 pm, I feel angry and disgusted. If you are going to move in and continue on with that behavior, things will get very, very unpleasant, very quickly. I'd like to preserve a good relationship with you, and I don't think I will be able to do that if you live here you brazen hussy.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:17 PM
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This all depends on the answer to the question "who is the psycho," girlfriend or parent.

If the answer is "both" then I think the default on the part of the parent to "you can live however you like, but you can't do it here" is fine.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:23 PM
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This may be more misanthropy on my part. Letting anyone in my home is a serious intrusion. I don't really enjoy houseguests that I'm very fond of -- I really want to be able to make everyone who isn't family go away for the day by going home and shutting the door.

The idea that I somehow had an obligation to let a person I disliked stay in my home because they were dating my kid (barring short visits -- I'm not talking about letting a kid bring an SO home for the holidays) gives me the creeps. That would have the potential for making me seriously, seriously miserable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:26 PM
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I wonder how the differences expressed here are based on the age of the commenter's children.

CC: has kids this age.

LB, Di: younger kids.

If the gf is staying there as her main place to live, then I think rent and rules are appropriate.

I kind of like Di's 13 of saying everyone is up by 9am if you want to stay in my house.

Also, if they are living there, then they get a chore list too.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:33 PM
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Even a misanthrope has to open his/her heart to SOs of offspring. One is free, of course, to ignore this obligation: the penalty is self-executing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:34 PM
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But that's not happening. Ideally, you'd love your kids SOs as if they were family, and this wouldn't be a problem. If you can't manage that sort of openheartedness in a particular case, though, either because you're awful or they are, your obligations to them seem limited.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:37 PM
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@56
the penalty is self-executing

Suicide seems like an extreme response to not liking your kid's SO.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:38 PM
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53 -- I'm not saying that the contrast between 'I don't need to get up, so I'm going to sleep in' and 'everyone must be awake, even though I am out of the house, because that's a principle worth making a scene about' is enough to make a diagnosis. But I think the person being self-righteous about the second ought to at least own up to their motivations.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:38 PM
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I am ok with opening my heart to SOs of offspring.

It is a balancing act. I would want them to stay with me for the summer as opposed to being somewhere else. So I would want to be welcoming.

But, if it is something longer than 3ish weeks, then I am going to ask them to help out.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:38 PM
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55: I think that's it to an extent -- maybe CC is thinking of actual, lovable, SOs of his actual kids, and I'm thinking more of 'anyone on the planet'? I'd expect to be fond of anyone Sally or Newt was fond of -- I generally like their friends fine -- I'm just focusing on the general case.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:39 PM
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57 -- No one said it was going to be a bowl of cherries. They did tell you it was going to be work, though, and this is some of the work that parenthood can be.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:40 PM
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61:
Agreed. Plus, CC and his wife love guests. They encourage people to come stay with them.

It is more difficult to host guests in NYC.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:41 PM
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derp.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:42 PM
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I was told that after I left for college, I could only come back home for summers and dire emergencies. After I finished college, the offer of summers went away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:42 PM
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61 -- It has not been a bowl of cherries, I can tell you that. The good news is that daughter manages a significant upgrade with each new fellow. The son, with a much small n, seems to be going in the wrong direction, but it's too early to say we have a trend. (I did tell him when he broke up with n=1 that he may never do better in his whole life. I hope it ends up not being true.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:44 PM
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I haven't read the whole thread but in general classing children living at home (even rent-free adult at-home-livers) with houseguests rankles in the same way that public agencies calling members of the public who use their services "customers" rankles.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:45 PM
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One thing I've noticed as I've gotten older, is that what it means to be a good guest or good housemate has really changed. When I was in my late teens/early 20s, I would not have seen the problem with sleeping late, camping on the couch all day watching tv, etc. Now that I'm older, I'm a lot more sensitive to how fucking annoying those things are. And it's something that has to be learned. If Friend could have a productive discussion about norms and expectations of staying over (I could not), I think this could be an occasion where the gf learns (yeah right).

My examples - having my roommate's mom camping on the couch all day when I was an undergrad (she was only around for a visit but we had one common area and she was ALWAYS THERE with the TV ON); living with a 23 year old guy as a 30 something (and I camped out in the living room with the tv on all the time (I was writing my dissertation but still felt guilty)). He wasn't bad really but we definitely had different expectations as roommates.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:47 PM
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More and more I like my idea of charging some significant fraction of whatever the fair rent would be. Especially if Girlfriend would be staying there, and maybe regardless. It gives Son a push to make this temporary (I assume everyone involved wants this, but Son might need the reminder), it's a pretext to exclude the girlfriend with less emotional baggage than just not approving of Son's girlfriend, and if they do choose to pay it, well, getting a check every month should make it easier for Friend to remember that Son and Girlfriend are adults, for better or for worse.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:53 PM
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How big is the friend's house? My instinctive reaction was like LB's if not stronger, but I'm accustomed to little houses -- my house is 800 square feet, and my parents' house was about 1200, and at that size overnight guests get inside your personal space all the time. This is okay occasionally, but in general I really really like my personal privacy. In that situation, having a guest over on a more-than-very-occasional basis and staying in until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, sounds perfectly miserable, and it would be unreasonable for the son to expect his parent to tolerate it.

On the other hand, if the parent lives somewhere with a lot of space, the son has a outside entryway to his room, and he has his own bathroom, such that the parent doesn't have to interact with the guest constantly, I don't think the parent has a reasonable basis to insist on her exclusion.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:53 PM
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Both Friend and girlfriend sound like assholes, and it's cool that they'll be punishing each other.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 1:57 PM
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67: That's sort of my issue -- the difference between houseguests and family. For houseguests, you cater to their every (reasonable) whim and desire, and expect nothing of them: you don't have any authority over their behavior because they're in your home. (Good houseguests are helpful, but you don't have a right to expect them to be.) And this is tolerable because you chose them, you invited them, and they're staying for a limited period of time.

Family, OTOH, is responsible for obeying reasonable house rules and pulling their weight with chores and such, and expectations get negotiated on that basis. It's not always going to be smooth, but the relationship is deep enough that it's workable.

This situation sounds like having someone in your home who isn't interested in taking on the role of being a helpful family member, but never has to leave -- The Man Who Came To Dinner, extended indefinitely.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:03 PM
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I keep thinking that I would enjoy having an entertaining layabout live in the house. But in reality it would probably suck to an extreme degree.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:06 PM
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Derpy derp derp derp.


Posted by: derp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:07 PM
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73: The most shocking part of the OJ Simpson thing to me was that he left a guy live in his house for shits and giggles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:09 PM
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left s/b let.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:10 PM
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derp


Posted by: derp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:10 PM
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You have a cite for 72.3?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:12 PM
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No? And I don't really understand what a cite would be, in context?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:16 PM
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In Victorian novels wealthier people are always having guests in their country houses for weeks/months/possibly forever. Poor relations, someone's governess, whatever. Apparently in the pre-TV era it was helpful to have people around to vary the conversation.

My stepmother and her sister have a relationship like that with their brother and sister-in-law. The sister in law is very wealthy and my step-mother and her sister are, well, not layabouts, but let's just say that they are specialists in activities that are not well rewarded in the market. They stay with their her for months at a time. It seems to work out well enough. That may be because the sister-in-law has multiple houses to work with. But I can see the benefit to an extended-family feel of just a lot of people around.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:19 PM
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Cite!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:19 PM
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Maybe some small hint in the OP, or any followup, that the gf isn't interested in pulling her weight, in her own way, around the house. The grievance here isn't that she's surly or uncooperative, that she won't do taks asked of her. It is that she is, by her lack of ambition and diligence, making a mockery (passively, so far as we know) of ambition and diligence.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:22 PM
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It's a good thing no one's responded to 71, because it's threadkillingly exact.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:22 PM
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Ah, my 38 was intended to address that point. Maybe she's helpful and compliant and non-annoying, but in my set of stereotypes, that doesn't go with "Sleeps past noon".

But so if the reason for disliking her was that she wasn't helpful with chores and such, it'd be okay to not want her around then?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:26 PM
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They could trade back and forth between his mom and her mom/parents. That way everybody gets a change from time to time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:32 PM
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84 -- Well, sure, you can make up facts that would make even me willing to seek remedies. What we have here, though, is a specific grievance: F resents that gf sleeps in while F has to go to work.

The son is living at home as a transition to help him get on his feet. That's the ball. Worrying about whether the gf loaded the dishwasher right (or at all), or stayed in bed too long while Friend was at work, these are taking the eye off the ball.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:32 PM
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but really, my derp.


Posted by: derp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:33 PM
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Is the son working or staying in bed all day with gf?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:34 PM
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It sounds to me like: 1) Son chose to move home to avoid getting mired in the bad influences of the Party House; 2) GF is essentially relocating (some of...) those bad influences to Friend's house when she stays there; 3) Friend, like many a parent would, resents what she sees as someone undermining Son's efforts to get his shit together. I think it is fair for a parent to tell even a grown child -- if that child is living there and not just dropping in for a visit -- "my roof, my rules." Sort of, "Hey, I know you are trying to get your life on track, and as a parent I feel an obligation, so long as you are living under my roof, to keep you accountable."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:36 PM
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89 -- The son apparently thinks some aspects of the party house are worth leaving behind and some aren't. I don't have any problem with having house rules that relate to safety and comfort: no one gets to smoke in my house, or engage in possession of illegal substances. But that's a long way from 'I resent the guest because she's not internally driven to work at something.' Why does the mother care whether the girl is sleeping, or writing a screenplay? Because her value system drives her to care. And if you want to impose that sort of rule, you can expect consequences.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:42 PM
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I would attribute the negative consequences to trying to live in my boyfriend's mom's house, not to the mom having any particular value system.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:50 PM
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||

I'm considering taking a free online course on computer programming from an outfit like Coursera or Udacity. I'd like to learn enough to write little scripts that do things like generate tests by selecting questions from my existing question base using a random algorithm. Creating a proof engine that goes with the propositional logic system in For All X would be fun, too. I'd also like to see one of these online self paced courses in its entirely from the student side. What should I take? Coursera and Udacity both have intro to CS courses where you learn some Python. Is Python the language I want to learn? If I'm interested in putting stuff on the web, would it be better to learn Java?

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:52 PM
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herp derp


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:55 PM
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derp


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:57 PM
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I want to be the parent in 90. My parents were mostly like that. Somewhat laissez-faire.

But, I end up parenting more like 89.

To a certain extent, this harkens back to our conversation about enforcing table manners.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 2:58 PM
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Charley, who coincidentally has kids nearest the age of Friend's son, is correct.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:01 PM
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(I, having no kids, am obviously ideally situated to make this judgment.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:01 PM
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"my house, rules" is usually assholish, with very limited exceptions for ruling out dangerous (or other assholish) behaviour.

Have someone (adult) stay or don't, but don't try and leverage that into making choices for them.


Posted by: delurking | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:03 PM
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96 pwned by 55.2, proving that it's a really good point.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:06 PM
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A couple of counterfactuals to consider: one, what if you replaced "son" in the OP with "brother"? Same? Different? Two, what if you replaced "girlfriend" in the OP with "wrecked snowmobile"? Food for thought!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:07 PM
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i would surely handle this poorly, because i can't think of many situations that would be better designed to elicit a maximally disproportionate response. this reads to me like the son and the gf are partying all night and sleeping all day. if that's the case, then they should return to said party house; at the very least, the gf to whom Friend has no familial obligation should GTFO.


Posted by: extexan | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:07 PM
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100 -- Oh man, don't open your hearts to snowmobiles, my friends, hat way lies only tragedy.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:12 PM
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Maybe it'll be like East of the River and the girlfriend will be like Brenda Marshall's character and find that she likes getting things done and helping out while the son drifts back into his wayward ways.

(Why yes, I have seen a bunch of John Garfield movies recently.)


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:27 PM
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Not quite the in-laws on the couch end times, but close enough.

I am conservative enough to think that son and gf don't get 'they have to take you in' status without more commitment, and liberal enough to be unhelpfully vague about what that commitment could be.

Grace-and-favor relatives in Victorian novels were usually miserable -- Miss Mackenzie, etc etc.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:28 PM
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It's annoying enough to have a rent-paying roommate who sleeps until 2 in the afternoon and doesn't work. I can't imagine how much it would grate if the person didn't pay rent and had neither status nor responsibilities.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:30 PM
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A cow-orker lives in a 3 bedroom trailer with her husband and 3 kids (14, 11, 8). Her aunt (mother's sister) moved in with them last fall. She'd moved 1,000+ miles from where she's alienated her own children and ex-husband to the extent of having no place to live there, in order to live with her sister, cow-orker's mother, who was undergoing some difficulties. They fell out, and so the aunt has no place else to go.

Oldest kid sleeps on the couch, aunt has his room. Aunt has finally gotten a job, to which she needs to be driven to and from.

Sainthood for cow-orker and family, says me.


Posted by: Martin Van Buren | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:31 PM
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92: My sense is that it's easier to learn Python as a first language than Java.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:35 PM
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106. Sainthood is gross. So much better to just set reasonable boundaries and enforce them than to let people walk all over you and then (says me, unfairly, based upon no facts presented by MvB) lord your sacrifice over them. Blech.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:39 PM
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92

I'm a big Python enthusiast, mainly because I'm a self-taught amateur when it comes to programming and Python's perfect for that.

I suppose Java could be more useful depending on what applications you have in mind.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:42 PM
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92: I said this over at the other place too, but 107 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:43 PM
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92: Python is awesome. Even an idiot like me can learn it, and YouTube runs on it. It's massively general purpose, and the syntax is designed to be easy to read. A huge amount of websites are built on it.

The only objection would be that the Android world is basically Java-driven - it's possible to run Python code on Android devices, but only via a second-class wankabout - and iOS doesn't do it as far as I know either. so if you want to do a mobile app, you'll need one of Java or Objective-C, or else just make a web site and point your mobile phone browser at it.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:47 PM
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One more for python.

Saying something like 105 to the son seems pretty reasonable, along with an expression of loving support for his getting control of his own life.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:48 PM
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On the OT, why not get a job in the growth industry of barking at the unemployed if you feel so strongly about someone sleeping in who doesn't have to get up early? They'll throw in a subscription to the Daily Mail.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:51 PM
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Nthing everyone else. Python was originally designed as a teaching language and it's in a nice sweet spot between "just crank out a shell script to do some stuff" and "serious apps run on this". Further, it has a very deep base in the scientific and stats community (although not to the extent of something like R).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:52 PM
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(I mean, he's 23; being half-jocularly aggressive about girlfriends/boyfriends is something for about 16 if you must do it, and it's still not a requirement although a lot of people who you wouldn't expect it of get that way.)

on the python subthread, an extra awesomeness is that it has a lot of advanced stuff that you might not expect in what is pitched as an easy language - so you're picking up idioms that will help in others.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 3:55 PM
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108 -- If the aunt wasn't living with her niece, she'd be in a homeless shelter. Would I be as generous in the same circumstances? I'd hope the answer would be yes, which is what I meant by sainthood, not that anyone is lording anything over anyone.


Posted by: MvB | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:00 PM
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To me the OP did not sound like the girlfriend was even potentially going to move in full time. It sounded like Friend doesn't want the girlfriend to sleep over, ever, for whatever amount of time the son is living at home. Forbidding the occasional (or regular, whatever) sleepover seems much jerkier than not wanting them both to live in the house. And likelier to mess up Friend's relationship with his/her offspring.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:04 PM
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98: The problem is that what counts as actively dangerous to some counts as an unreasonable restriction to others. E.g., whether it is permissible for one's father to smoke in one's house, and whether one wants to open up a debate on whether smoking is really bad, or just something the liberal media tells you. "My house, my rules" has the advantage of being simpler.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:06 PM
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106 describes a decent chunk of my rural relations' domestic arrangements.

Having recently had some experience with taking on non-paying guests to the point of extreme annoyance, I'd say that not having a working television set is probably the only thing that allowed me to maintain my sanity.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:12 PM
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"My house, my rules" has the advantage of being simpler.

Simpler, sure, but it's not an adult way to solve any underlying problem, and is often just a proxy for passive aggressive nonsense.

If it isn't possible to have a real conversation about, say, smoke damage in your house or the unclear health impacts of second hand smoke with your father and come to some sort of reasonable agreement (e.g. I'll smoke on the porch instead) then you have deeper problems that aren't going to be fixed by "my house my rules"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:14 PM
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I'm with "My house, my rules". You set them out ahead of the move-in, it's a package deal.

(And there is no way I'd have another otherwise functional adult living here who didn't do anything except provide sex/whatever for my son. However, I'll make a compassionate old fart's exception for her, she can sleep on my lawn.)


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:17 PM
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whups, 120 was me again.

In case it wasn't clear Cala, the assholish aspect isn't "I don't want you to smoke in my house" part, it's the "we are not discussing this, it's my way or the highway" aspect. "My house my rules" is generally a short hand from "I'm going try and use a power imbalance to force you to do something rather than engaging in solving our problem"


Posted by: delurking | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:18 PM
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but the fact that the gf wants to sleep until mid-afternoon and spend the night partying, turning tricks, or watching re-runs of Mama's Family isn't "our" problem. It's Friend's house and Friend doesn't want such things going on. Why should Friend have to engage with gf so that they can work out a mutually agreeable solution. It seems that gf wants to stay at Friends house; Friend wants gf not to. I don't see where the need to engage with the problem arises.


Posted by: extexan | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:26 PM
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Yes, but, delurking, not everyone will have a reasonable conversation or will hold up to something they agree to in a reasonable conversation. That's two `deeper problems': inability to communicate, and (e.g.) a smoky house. 'My house my rules' fixes one of them, and you propose no fix for the other.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:26 PM
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To Rob -- this is not directly responsive, but if you're interested in programming/logic/proof, Haskell and Prolog are pretty interesting places to poke around.

To 113 - you don't even have to get up early yourself.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:34 PM
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120: No argument about the existence of the deeper problem. But sometimes the problem is intractable, and I think it's okay for someone not to have to defend their own preferences for their own living space. I would find it very stressful to have a houseguest (the girlfriend, not the kid) doing nothing in my house every day, because I'd feel like I'd need to entertain them.

That said, I'm not sure whether the problem is intractable here, because it wasn't clear whether this is a case where she'll be over a lot or a little, and Friend might do well to talk to his son first.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:43 PM
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124: I don't think I've been very clear.

People should of course feel comfortable in their own homes. People should not try and manipulate others choices, and especially not by using any leverage they may have. Support them or not, but don't try and steer.

It's perfectly fine to say if you come and stay in my house, I'm not ok with you smoking here. It's something quite different to say "then you have to quit smoking". And nobody should expect anyone to put up with things in their home that make you uncomfortable, they should be aware that beyond fairly constrained health, safety & comfort issues this are not things the are "correct" about and that others are "wrong" to want them differently. Recognize your hangups for what they are and move on. Everyone has them.


Posted by: delurking | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:44 PM
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126.first: comity!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 4:44 PM
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Apparently I have a hangup about the word `hangups', as the word makes me think `this person will casually destroy everything around them'. Leaving cast-iron to soak; smoking under the kid's window; letting water stand on a wood floor -- all `hangups' of mine. Come to think of it, it was a *good* day when those housemates were invisibly asleep until 2PM.

Worst trait among my new housemates: someone is practicing the lute. I may be the awful housemate (I am the here-all-the-time one, I think. If not, they're really, really silent.) There's a cleaning rota. So far, it's followed.

Now we can quibble about whether cast-iron is too SWPL to look after, or something. Also: are there induction stoves that don't have interfaces designed to turn the stove off rather than cook the food? So far they seem like an excellent idea packaged for incompetents.

delurking, I don't get where you draw the line between `feeling' comfortable in one's dwelling, supporting someone by letting them in, and using leverage. If X is unacceptable in my house, do I get to say that or not? Because, if I do, there's no way of getting around the implicit trade that staying with me is only possible for someone who doesn't X.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 5:05 PM
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I think CC at 90 is heading in the right direction. First address Friend's personal safety, then address any mental health issues and finally set up boundaries and expectations that balance her needs, her son's needs and the financial options available to each of them.

The one-year objective should be for both Friend and the son to be stable, self-sufficient and healthy. If having the gf in the house threatens Friend (she'll burn the house down, steal things, etc.), then Friend should ban gf and possibly son from being in the house.

If Friend just wants to break up son's relationship, she's wasting her time to try treating the adult gf like a child. Instead, she should set boundaries that balance her sense of comfort, her budget and son's options. If son can afford to live elsewhere, then Friend should charge son rent and set boundaries on how many nights/week gf will stay over. If neither son nor gf can afford to live elsewhere, Friend should first figure out whether any mental health issues are at play with either of them and get them into treatment if needed. Next, Friend could set up requirements for 2 job applications/week, further education, household chores, etc. that must be performed as a condition of living at home, with an understanding of timeframes for what happens in one month, six months, one year.

On Python, I fourth the support for starting with it and making sure to learn theory and best practices. Once you know language-independent theory and best practices, learning another language is trivial.


Posted by: Sentar | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 5:11 PM
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130.3 winds up way more persnickety than I would be -- the schedule of job apps in particular. Trying to imagine what I would do for my brother or my best friend, I think I'd offer a year of free living, and try to be helpful during the year, and inquire within about what to do if a year didn't get him back on his feet. Could be enabling, could be the job market's fault, could be losing pans but keeping someone out of the homeless shelter.

Come to think of it, best friend and I are both wallowing in this-is-hard gloom this year, I need to call him. Possibly he will have helpful advice for me! Laters.

(Python is fun and useful. I think your first language should be one designed for CS and not IT, because I am *still* fighting the terrible habits from my introductury mixture of Basic and C. Python qualifies.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 5:25 PM
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Man, I just don't get this idea that Friend has any obligation to let GF sleep all day at her house or that saying so is somehow manipulative or unfairly leveraging power. GF can sleep as long as she wants in her own home. In Friend's home, she needs to respect what makes Friend comfortable. I don't get that it's somehow rude not to let a houseguest be rude to you.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:19 PM
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I've skipped the middle of this thread, so maybe this has been said, but the OP sounds to me like a question of etiquette on the girlfriend's part. The son is not a houseguest, no, but the girlfriend is, and as such she should observe the basic rules of houseguestness: you don't sleep in until 2 p.m. (barring, say, jetlag) when you're a guest in someone's home, just as you don't strew your clothing around their house, or leave dirty dishes in the living room, or talk on the landline to a friend for two hours, or come to dinner late. Etc.

Probably the girlfriend needs to be told this.* She may just be clueless on the matter, or may suppose that she's a daughter of the house, since her boyfriend is the son.

* I well recall being told by my college boyfriend, some time when I'd stayed -- again -- at his parent's house, that you know, I should really offer to help wash the dishes after dinner. Because it's kind of annoying mom. Oh!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:20 PM
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parent's s/b parents'


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:24 PM
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I just noticed that the phrasing in the OP suggests that the girlfriend has not yet actually spent the night in the house, so this "sleeps 'til 2 or 3 in the afternoon" and so on may be a guess on Friend's part, and the girlfriend may not actually do that if she's a houseguest.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:36 PM
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I'm only up to comment 40, but CharleyCarp is sounding super-reasonable, and I'm surprised on how unreasonable I find LB's position. Perhaps this is because I'm an un/deremployed 30-something still getting financial support from his parents, who knows at least one mid-30-something who still lives with her own parents.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:48 PM
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Yeah, I'm probably speaking more from the perspective of having dated the jobless 30something drifter and being a little bitter about the days he'd come over after I got home from work and we'd make dinner together. For real, you got nothing on your agenda all day other than catching up on Storage Wars? You can have dinner prepped before I get home. (Rory liked him, but I started to get uncomfortable with the possibility that she'd have a job before he did... Also, he hosted a really horrible houseguest in my home. Which is wholly unforgivable.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:54 PM
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I keep thinking that I would enjoy having an entertaining layabout live in the house.

You know, Halford, it's been really cold here lately, and I've been thinking of all the good things I've heard about LA...


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:56 PM
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129: I am obviously not communicating well. Statements like "my house, my rules" are rarely about the house or the rules, but maybe we have different experience of the usage. The original story reads to me like friend just doesn't like her sons girlfriend, and instead of being adult about that, is projecting it.


Posted by: delurking | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 6:56 PM
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138: I would watch that sitcom.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:03 PM
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139: To a certain extent, I'm sympathetic to Friend being able to decide not to have someone she doesn't like staying overnight in her home. I am assuming Friend isn't just a generally unreasonable shrew, else Son would not have decided to move back home to her house. So I am giving Friend benefit of the doubt on disliking GF for plausibly good reasons. And seriously, even just an inarticulable "she creeps me out" may be good enough for me when it comes to whether or not you want someone spending the night in your house. I'd be tactful in how I told Son. More "I'd just feel more comfortable if she didn't stay here" vs "keep your skanky girlfriend out of my house." But man, you should get to feel comfortable in your own home.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:07 PM
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The original story reads to me like friend just doesn't like her sons girlfriend, and instead of being adult about that, is projecting it.

Yeah, given the fact that the way the OP phrases it, the gf hasn't even stayed there yet, if she ever will, this really sounds like a control issue (toward the son) on Friend's part. I mean, how dysfunctional was the party house? This may just be about Friend coming to terms with how the son's life may play out -- e.g. it ain't necessarily going to involve getting up at 6 a.m. every day (horrors!) -- which I imagine is a difficult thing for any number of parents.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:11 PM
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I would watch that sitcom.

The first episode would be about us trying to pitch a sitcom about our life together to network exec friends of Halford's--negotiations would break down, and the friendship itself endangered, over my insistence that the scripts be public-domain'd our at least Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike-licensed.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:16 PM
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141 but son isn't a houseguest in this scenario, and should get some if the same consideration to be comfortable in his home, shouldn't he? Or it cannot be his home. If Friend isn't up for that, that's ok, but it's something she and her son need to work out. It's nothing to do with the girlfriend at this level, and there is no use pretending it is.

It's not like we know these people. Maybe they'll work it all out fine, maybe son put up with a lousy situation for a while because he feels it the better alternative, and maybe Friend puts up with a lousy situation for a while because she wants to try and help her son.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:16 PM
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(And actually, LB's view makes perfect sense in NYC. But I was thinking suburban sprawl.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:27 PM
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Maybe some small hint in the OP, or any followup, that the gf isn't interested in pulling her weight, in her own way, around the house. The grievance here isn't that she's surly or uncooperative, that she won't do taks asked of her.

For the record, she sounds surly and uncooperative and uninterested in pulling her weight. I'm not that interested in sharing specifics of the situation, because I only have one side of a situation which is deteriorating and both sides sound fully ridiculous. The story is only interesting as a hypothetical.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:33 PM
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131: I wouldn't put down the the 2 job apps/week thing as set in stone, but if my adult son were healthy (not depressed or otherwise unwell) but could not afford his own place and was just sleeping and playing video games, it would be enabling unhealthy behavior for me to subsidize that indefinitely. I would need some game plan for getting him out of the house, and if I were supporting him, he would need some kind of accountability. If he were in a serious relationship and his gf also could not afford her own place, I would help her to the extent that it would help my son, but she would need show accountability too.

But do people really just loaf when they don't have mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being productive? I think larger structural forces are at play when mentally sound, able-bodied adults loaf, and my son would not be at fault for that.


Posted by: Sentar | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:36 PM
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But do people really just loaf when they don't have mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being productive?
I'm going to go with yes, he commented on the blog.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:41 PM
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mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being productive?

...


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:44 PM
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But do people really just loaf when they don't have mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being productive?

Yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:45 PM
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Personally I am all for loafing, so. I dunno, how long term are we talking? Also I totally don't buy moral disapproval of sleeping late.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:48 PM
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Son does have an 8-5 job which he gets up for every day. Girlfriend has only slept over when son has snuck her in, thus providing the impetus for the atomic-rage rant that was shared with me.

I guess I am providing details after all. It's been a super long day including an unexpected 4 hour round trip with the kids to visit another 3 year old in the hospital and I'm worn out.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:49 PM
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son has snuck her in

Oh for cripe's sake, son. Are we 16?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:51 PM
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147: I'd help the kid steal a shopping cart and look for a mostly dry alley. That's what parents do.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:52 PM
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I think the framing in 144.1 makes a useful point. In my mind, the Son is a houseguest. He's taking advantage (in a neutral use of that phrase) of an opportunity to save up some cash thanks to Friend putting a roof over his head. They don't have to compromise 50/50 or meet in the middle. It's okay that he's not completely comfortable there or perfectly at home -- he shouldn't be. He should look forward to getting himself stable enough to be out and independent and free to do as he pleases in his home.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 7:53 PM
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It's not actually as relevant to the situation under discussion as it sounds, but I'm reminded that I don't think I ever explained that this situation ended quite abruptly when my mom asked her to start paying rent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:01 PM
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138 -- the GF would probably kick you out after a few weeks, but in all seriousness if you want to come to town and need a place to crash, you're welcome to come over and enjoy the profits of evil.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:01 PM
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Provided you wear socks to bed, trapnel. Let's be clear on this from the get-go.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:03 PM
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Whoa, did we know your girlfriend had moved in?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:04 PM
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I'm not sure I'm ready for you to have a live-in girlfriend, Halford. I think we need to talk about this.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:05 PM
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When you say "ended quite abruptly", do you mean the friendship ended quite abruptly, subsequent to the linked comment, during a visit similar to the one mentioned in said comment, or that she moved out after the year of living with your mom, quite abruptly, after rent was demanded?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:09 PM
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147

But do people really just loaf when they don't have mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being productive? I think larger structural forces are at play when mentally sound, able-bodied adults loaf, and my son would not be at fault for that.

Yes. I was out of work for a while a few years ago and it is very easy to get used to not working. Employers know this which is one reason it is tough to find work if you have been unemployed for a long period of time.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:33 PM
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When you say "ended quite abruptly", do you mean the friendship ended quite abruptly, subsequent to the linked comment, during a visit similar to the one mentioned in said comment, or that she moved out after the year of living with your mom, quite abruptly, after rent was demanded?

The latter. I probably should have made that clearer. They remain friends.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:48 PM
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JAMES B. SHEARER IS A SHIRKER, NOT A WORKER!


Posted by: OPINIONATED TORY | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 8:56 PM
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160: Exactly. Because we're looking out for his best interests.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 9:49 PM
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This thread made me realize that despite dating only after graduating high school, I've never dated anyone who was neither a college student nor living with her parents. Circumstances varied - e.g., the woman in the longest of those relationships was as much a support for her mother as vice-versa - but 8-for-8 is either a remarkable coincidence or a sign of a pattern I need to think on.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-14-13 10:16 PM
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164

Nah, I am gainfully employed again like a good little worker bee. But I miss loafing around all day.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 12:00 AM
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I have in the past taken time off between jobs, and it gets unsatisfying after awhile to do nothing active and constructive, like completing a project, whether it writing or washing dishes or doing the 9-5.

149: I was trying to think of the best way to phrase that without implying physical or mental disabilities all necessarily lead to the same state. My intent was to use the "that" clause as distinguishing those disabilities that prevent one from being productive (severe, untreated depression or agonizing, unrelenting back pain) from those that do not (high functioning autism or blindness). The term "productive" might be problematic in context of the social construction of disability in our Puritan work ethic society, but I didn't know how to else to express the concept of doing something positive and healthy instead of playing video games and sleeping all day.


Posted by: Sentar | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 12:27 AM
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instead of playing video games and sleeping all day.

Damn it, how many times do I have to tell you, mom, that's research for my novel!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 12:53 AM
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I was going to come in swinging hard for the slacker girlfriend, but then I realized I have more been in the opposite position. in the full metal jacket 'my-mom-was-still-drinking/still-married-to-my-stepdad' phase, they had my HS/start of college boyfriend move into MY HOUSE in DC right after I broke up with him--well, as soon as he was able to extricate himself from the lease I had left him in with my new boyfriend. and then after my new boyfriend moved out and the nambla guy finished the rest of the lease. er. anyway, while I was in NYC. then when I called home I would have to talk to my stoned ex. because he was in a band with my brother. (!?)

I think the mom should charge rent if she wants the situation to be offishe like that but she can't have a veto on overnight guests if she genuinely has said to the son: you can live here at home. if you are living in your own home you have the prerogative of having overnight guests. the "sneaking her in" thing is ridiculous and just throws the whole situation back to high school for no reason when the mother presumably wants the son to be moving in the other direction, towards becoming an adult in his own right.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 1:26 AM
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170.last resonates with me emotionally but I am not sure there isn't some kind of space a relationship can occupy in between houseguest (where your privileges may be revoked by the host) and tenant (where what you and yours do is none of the landlord's business).


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:10 AM
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Still two views: "someplace where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in" versus "someplace you somehow haven't to deserve".


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 6:30 PM
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Definitely class/luck talking here, but the idea of moving back in with my parents is so alien I have no idea what rules would apply (Doesn't help the lack of intuition that both of them have moved, so there's no "my room" to be attached to).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 7:48 PM
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Definitely class/luck/age talking here, but the idea of moving back in with my parents is so alien I have no idea what rules would apply

Moving back in with one's parents at some point is so common among people my age that it's pretty unremarkable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 7:51 PM
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at one point both my mom's adult children were living with her along with my 12-year-old sister. and my brother and montana just moved out...in august or something. so. we have rooms, to be fair. well not assigned rooms, but rooms of a sufficiency such that everyone could be there in theory. two bathrooms in practice, though. my in-laws have lived with us for about 5-6 weeks of each year for the last...6, saving the xmas my whole family was here. they are here now. this is why I have infinity karma and can have my crazy family to stay.

I don't mind having them except I don't feel I have a good enough space for them. there is a huge room between the two bedrooms upstairs (my kids' and mine) but it is open onto the stairway and so not private/soundproof enough. we have put screens and try to be quiet but I feel like an inadequate hostess. the stupid chinese wedding bed was actually more convenient. they regard the grandchildren and live-in maid/cook services to be A-OK. but...if I had a guest room it would be so adorable! with narrow twin beds and padded headboards with cream linen and nailhead trim. and a chinese chippendale chair painted white and I have the best blue-and white seat-cushion ever from my grandad's, from an ex of his, needle-point. and this lamp I want to buy which is china and is a cockatoo in branches and then a pagoda silk shade. it's too expensive, but just one, for the guest room? totes justifiable. mirrored bedside table. alternately, mysterious crummy white one. alternately, walnut antique one with two drawers. jesus christ I have every single thing in the fucking world I want a giant lamp with a cockatoo, what the fuck. if my pain medication stops costing fucking 1K a month (not from insurance provider) maybe I'll get it.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 8:43 PM
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There's a tiny possibility that, without the pain medicine, you won't like the cockatoo lamp. Pictures?

When I moved back in with my parents, it was with my dad, since they had just divorced and he had the house. He actually wasn't there, having already moved in with his first online date*, so I was partly there to cover his absence when his parents called.

*They're still married; I'm pretty sure it was an entirely post-divorce relationship; and she and my mother manage friendly email conversations. All three seem unlikely from the outside, but there it is.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:39 PM
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There's a tiny possibility that, without the pain medicine, you won't like the cockatoo lamp. Pictures?

When I moved back in with my parents, it was with my dad, since they had just divorced and he had the house. He actually wasn't there, having already moved in with his first online date*, so I was partly there to cover his absence when his parents called.

*They're still married; I'm pretty sure it was an entirely post-divorce relationship; and she and my mother manage friendly email conversations. All three seem unlikely from the outside, but there it is.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-15-13 9:39 PM
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