Fig­ure out how to live fam­ily-free

Albany Times Union - - ADVICE / GAMES - ABIGAIL VAN BUREN ▶ 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 http:// or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: Ia­man un­em­ployed (and look­ing) 24-year-old male who is the old­est of four. My three sis­ters are a 20-year-old who has a part-time job and goes to col­lege, a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old.

We all live at home with our physi­cian par­ents.

Our long­time clean­ing lady re­cently quit, and my par­ents seem­ingly have no in­ter­est in hir­ing a re­place­ment. My sis­ters and my fa­ther don’t help with the chores be­cause they are seen as ei­ther too young or too busy. At most, they will un­load gro­ceries or as­sist in cook­ing a meal. My mother en­cour­ages this and does a fair amount of the work her­self, but she has a job, so I’m fre­quently told to han­dle the dishes, cook­ing, pick­ups and dropoffs for af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties, garbage and re­cy­cling, gro­ceries, mis­cel­la­neous er­rands (usu­ally pick­ing up things at the phar­macy) and oc­ca­sional child care.

I get no sym­pa­thy or

help. My sis­ters don’t even bother to rinse their plates prop­erly. They just leave them piled in the sink for some­one else, and my mother re­cently yelled at me for “giv­ing her at­ti­tude” when I hadn’t said a word.

This sit­u­a­tion is mak­ing it harder for me to get a job be­cause I’m tired all the time, and my par­ents don’t lis­ten to a word I say.

I’m not un­aware of the fact that as the old­est, more is ex­pected of me, but I think this is well past the point of what’s ex­pected. What should I do? — Over­worked in New York DEAR OVER­WORKED: Start re­view­ing your op­tions. The first thing you need to do is un­der­stand why you are un­em­ployed. If there are no open­ings in your field, start con­sid­er­ing other kinds of jobs you may be suited for.

If you want to be some­thing more than an un­paid do­mes­tic worker, you may have to fig­ure out what it will take for you to live on your own— per­haps with a room­mate or two. Even if you don’t find the ideal job, em­ploy­ment will solve your prob­lem be­cause you will be too busy work­ing to do the things you’re be­ing re­quired to do now.

DEAR ABBY: I am get­ting mar­ried soon, and I’m thrilled to have found love. I have ex-co-work­ers I want to be there. I also have long­time friends who still work with me. The prob­lem is they gos­sip at work all the time. I know if they at­tend my wed­ding, there will be trou­ble in my work life and friend­ships.

How can I tell them not to gos­sip at work about who was at my wed­ding or who I ex­cluded? How ca ni tell them this is my day and I should be able to have the plea­sure of be­ing sur­rounded by friends and loved ones without wor­ry­ing about at­ten­dees be­ing mean? Please help. — Tired of gos­sip

DEAR TIRED: You are fo­cus­ing on the wrong thing. Con­cen­trate on en­joy­ing your spe­cial day. You can’t con­trol what other peo­ple will or will not do. If you are asked af­ter the wed­ding why some­one was ab­sent, re­spond that bud­getary lim­i­ta­tions pre­vented you from in­clud­ing every­one you would have liked to in­vite. If you do, it will ap­pear to be less of a pop­u­lar­ity con­test.

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