Crit­i­cized for need­ing some help

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - MOVIES - Annie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time edi­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn.

Orig­i­nally pub­lished in 2013.

Dear Annie: I re­cently had to move back into my par­ents’ house due to fi­nan­cial hard­ship. I’m 23 years old and have rarely asked them for any sort of help. But I re­ceive a lot of grief, sar­casm and jokes about my cur­rent po­si­tion — from my en­tire fam­ily.

Mean­while, I have two older brothers who rely and de­pend on my par­ents for ev­ery­thing. One lives at home, and the other is strug­gling with a drug problem and di­vorce. Yet in my par­ents’ eyes, they are com­plete an­gels, and I am the “trou­bled child” be­cause I asked for help when I ab­so­lutely needed it.

I don’t want to feel like a dog with his tail be­tween his legs any­more. What can I do?

The Boy Who Cried Help

Dear Boy: It’s likely that you are be­ing picked on be­cause it makes those on the low­est part of the totem pole feel su­pe­rior. It’s the only way your brothers have of feel­ing bet­ter about them­selves, and your par­ents back them up be­cause they fully ex­pect you to move out, and they still have to deal with their other sons. We know it’s not fair or jus­ti­fied, but this is what hap­pens when peo­ple think they must drag you down to their level. Ig­nore your brothers, and ask your par­ents to stop treat­ing you so poorly. Do your best to get back on your feet, and find other living ar­range­ments as soon as pos­si­ble.

Dear Annie: I re­cently at­tended a vol­un­teer ap­pre­ci­a­tion lunch for my lo­cal Meals on Wheels. This is a great or­ga­ni­za­tion and once a year they in­vite the vol­un­teers to lunch. We buy raf­fle tick­ets, and there are gen­er­ous door prizes.

Sev­eral mem­bers of our city coun­cil were in­vited. I was shocked when sev­eral of them won raf­fle prizes. One coun­cil mem­ber had his name called three times. I re­al­ize any­one can buy a raf­fle ticket, but this lun­cheon was for those of us who do­nate our time and money to de­liver meals to those in need. I think they should have re­turned their prizes to be awarded to a vol­un­teer. Most of my co-vol­un­teers agree with me. What do you think?

Shocked Vol­un­teer

Dear Vol­un­teer: We agree that giv­ing the prizes to peo­ple other than vol­un­teers was tacky, but we as­sume the or­ga­ni­za­tion was try­ing to raise money through the sale of raf­fle tick­ets, in which case, who­ever bought them can win, and what they choose to do with those prizes is up to them. Yes, it would have been gra­cious to do­nate the gifts back to the or­ga­ni­za­tion (or to the vol­un­teers), but they are not ob­li­gated to do so. The problem is, this sort of thing leaves a sour taste for the oth­ers and can have a neg­a­tive im­pact on fu­ture vol­un­teer work. Please talk to the or­ga­niz­ers of the event and let them know how poorly this went over.

Dear Annie: I read the let­ter from “RLS,” who doesn’t like to ask for sep­a­rate cheques when out with friends at a restau­rant.

When we go out with re­ally good friends, we get one bill and di­vide the cost by the num­ber of peo­ple. If one buys a much more ex­pen­sive meal or drink, that per­son pays a lit­tle more.

How­ever, some­times one per­son will or­der an ex­pen­sive bot­tle of wine and still want to split the tab evenly. I think this is rude. I get the im­pres­sion that th­ese peo­ple pur­posely or­der more ex­pen­sive items so they don’t have to pay the en­tire cost.

RLS should not be so quick to judge friends be­cause they want sep­a­rate cheques. I know I do not like to pay for other peo­ple’s ex­trav­a­gances, nor do I ex­pect oth­ers to pay for mine.

Paid My Fair Share

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