Dear Willie D:
I’m a 23-year-old female grad student. Me and six girlfriends planned a trip to Aruba months ago for spring break. We got a package deal that included two rooms, flights, food and activities for six.
Now one of my friends is saying she doesn’t want to go because her finances are tight since she got laid off from her job, and she wants the rest of us to refund her portion of a room ($283) since it’s too late to get a refund from the travel agency that booked us. I don’t think it’s fair for her to cancel and make us pay extra, and then play the victim.
Now she is saying nasty things about us and telling other mutual friends that we are taking advantage of her. None of the girls are willing to come off any more money for the trip, as we all saved to go in the first place. How do we rectify this issue with our “shaky” friend without causing additional damage?
Gimme a Spring Break:
You can’t. Your friend wants her money back, and you and the other girls are unwilling to fork over the cash. In the world of no-refund policies, no means no, unless of course your travel agent was eBay. In that case, money would miraculously leave your account and be paid to your shaky friend.
If I were you, or your friends, I would seriously question my friendship Manual of Requirements after dealing with that chick. She don’t have enough brain cells to tie her own shoes.
HOW DO I GET MY KIDS TO CLEAN UP AFTER THEMSELVES?
Dear Willie D:
My household is not necessarily rule-oriented. For years, I tried to get my kids to clean up behind themselves until it got to the point where I thought it would be easier to just do it for them. Now I realize in doing so, I may have done more harm than good.
I have two boys, 14, and 17, and two girls, 11 and 12. Any advice to get them to clean up after themselves would be welcomed.
Clean Up Woman:
I have a friend who picks up anything he finds on the floor that belongs to his kids, and puts it in bags that he keeps in large plastic bins. If they want the items back, they have to pay $1 for small items, and $5 for large items. Needless to say, his house is spotless. Taking away privileges worked better than anything to get my kids to be responsible, and avoid bad behavior.
When a person commits a crime (break the rules) in the real world, someone is responsible for making sure that the person is punished for breaking the rules. This is done to grant justice to the victim(s), and to deter future bad behavior.
If you want your kids to clean up after themselves, you have to lay down the law and punish them whenever they break the rules in order to dissuade them from doing it again. It’s as simple as that.
MY BROTHER’S GIRLFRIEND IS ALWAYS HANGING AROUND OUR HOUSE
Dear Willie D:
I’m a 28-year-old female. My brother is 22, and his girlfriend is 23. Me and my brother live at home with our parents. The house is large enough to accommodate all of us easily. Often when my brother is away from home at work, or something, his girlfriend comes to our house and waits on him.
She’s always around. My parents are retired and enjoy their time alone when we’re out for the day working. But that’s hard to do with my brother’s girlfriend lounging around all the time. I told him that she doesn’t need to be at our house when he’s not there, and he said, if my parents don’t like it, let them tell her. But they are too nice to do that.
How do I get this girl to stay away when my brother isn’t around?
Tell her straight up, “My parents are too nice to tell you they don’t want you hanging out at our home when my brother isn’t home. So, I’m telling you. My parents don’t want you hanging out at our house when my brother isn’t home, and neither do I.”
Since technically it’s your parents’ house, and they don’t seem to have a problem with the girlfriend, there’s nothing you can do about it, uuunless you don’t mind playing dirty. In that case, the next time she visits, and your brother isn’t around, here’s what you do:
- Walk into the room she’s in singing a Taylor Swift song.
- If she’s watching TV, dance in front of her, and change the channel.
- Sit next to her and pick your nose.
- If you don’t have a dog, get one and make it bark at her for no apparent reason.
- Ask her was she born a girl.
- Repeat these words over and over: I see dead sister-in-laws.
Let me know if any of those don’t work for you. I got plenty more.
MY BOYFRIEND JUST LEFT ME AND OUR BABY
Dear Willie D:
My boyfriend just walked out and left me with a baby on the way. This isn’t a letter to complain, though. I realized that if he had stayed it would have been worse for my child to grow up seeing his parents fighting all the time. So, I’m relieved that he’s gone.
My boss and coworkers have been helpful in cheering me up. Their love and support makes me appreciate how important the simple joys of life is in having people around me who care about me, and release positive energy. I’m just venting. Thanks for reading my letter.
It’s rare that a woman can move on so quickly after a man leaves her pregnant with his child. But you seem to have the right spirit to get through this difficult time.
In addition to your support team, kudos to your rationality, self-awareness, and maturity. Hold your head.
Ask Willie D anything at willied.com/ask-willie-d, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.