Friend charges for condo stay

The Commercial Appeal - - Advice & Games -

My friend bought a condo in Florida. She wants me to come stay for a week while she is there but thinks she needs to charge me $350 to stay with her. Why would a friend need to charge you if she is there, too? If I chip in for some food, what am I pay­ing $350 for? Is this fair?

It does not seem right to me to ask that of a friend. If it were a vacation rental and you were split­ting the cost, sure. But this is a condo she owns, and she’s in­vited you to come visit. Per­haps the strain of the cost of the condo was more than she fully re­al­ized it would be; that’s the only plau­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion I can think of for her charg­ing a fee. Re­gard­less, treat­ing friends like customers is no way to pay the mort­gage. If she is look­ing to make $350 a week off house­guests, she should open a bed-and­break­fast.

Dear Feel­ing Used:

I read the let­ter from “Fam­ily Mat­ters,” whose son and daugh­ter-in-law have not yet in­vited her to their new home, and I re­lated com­pletely. You are ab­so­lutely right; giv­ing the ben­e­fit of the doubt is very im­por­tant in this sit­u­a­tion, and I love what you had to say. But time may not change much, ei­ther. I have a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion. My son and daugh­ter-in-law spend virtually

Dear An­nie: Dear An­nie: — Feel­ing Used

ev­ery hol­i­day with her fam­ily. I have also got­ten very blue over this and felt very slighted and had my feel­ings hurt. But I fi­nally de­cided that is com­pletely point­less. Dwelling on hurt and anger breeds more hurt and anger. My hus­band and I have started our own tra­di­tion of com­bin­ing Christ­mas and Thanks­giv­ing and hav­ing a fam­ily din­ner at our home be­tween those hol­i­days. We try to plan it early and give all of our fam­ily mem­bers time to work it into their hol­i­day sched­ules. I don’t ever fix turkey and dress­ing, be­cause it’s a lot of work and ev­ery­one’s had it re­cently. So the meal is sim­pler, which saves work and stress, leav­ing time to en­joy the day. I in­vite ev­ery­one to bring a dish, but I let ev­ery­one know it’s not nec­es­sary.

My per­spec­tive has changed. I no longer fo­cus on be­ing slighted or alone with my hus­band dur­ing the hol­i­days. It’s our time to do what we want and give to oth­ers through char­ity or good­will. Our din­ner with the fam­ily is all about stress-free fun — en­joy­ing the fam­ily, the grand­kids and the day, guilt-free. I have a much bet­ter at­ti­tude, I get to host in my own home, and I get to make our own tra­di­tion. And there’s a lot less work. It’s fun, and I am all about fun at this age. Happy hol­i­days!

Your good spirit is con­ta­gious. Thanks for serv­ing up some per­spec­tive with an ex­tra help­ing of hol­i­day cheer.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ To find out more about An­nie Lane visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate web­site at www. cre­

Dear Work­ing on Me: — Work­ing on Me

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