Blake’s Advice Column
We bought our first home seven months ago. We love it, except for one major issue. Our neighbor, who’s the same age as I am, is the biggest hypochondriac and laziest person I’ve ever seen. She was training to be a police officer, but she had a headache every day, so she got let go last year. Ever since then we have been supporting her (food, Wi-Fi, meds, gas, and so on). I finally cut her off for about a week until she Facebook-messaged me saying she was starving and hadn’t eaten for two days, so I gave in. I gave her a job last week, and she didn’t show up the first day. What should I do? It’s causing arguments between my husband and me. I hate to think she’s hungry.
From Hartford, Connecticut
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I think it’s terrible that your next door neighbor is negatively affecting your marriage. So, I believe you should view her as the enemy and you should treat her accordingly, no matter how ruthless. First of all, stop worrying about her starving. People get lost in forests all the time, and they survive be eating, insects, small rodents, or even some of the other people that got lost with them. You can tell her you don’t have anything and you’re also starving, and you can enhance that illusion by buying clothes that are too big for you, to make it appear that you’re losing weight because you’re not eating. If she needs donations regularly, give her the book called “Art of Panhandling” and drop her off downtown. But probably the best thing you can do for her, is to help her get rid of the home she obviously can’t afford. Encourage her to give you power of attorney to sell her home, with you keeping any portions of the proceeds that repays all the money you gave her in the past, plus any upgrades you want to make on your home, and a long vacation you can go on to emotionally recover from the neighbor from hell. And so you won’t appear to be insensitive, you should also regularly visit her in the homeless shelter she’ll be living in. But don’t bring her any toiletries, because that might begin the cycle all over again. I hope this helps.