Ever since I can remember, my mother has asked me for money. Sometimes I even go without just to give her cash for the little extras she wants. Don’t get me wrong—I love my mother and love to splurge on her once in a while, but lately I’ve been feeling that she thinks of me as a personal banker. She has a husband who is a good provider and two adult children living with her who work but don’t give her a dime. The few times I’ve refused, I felt so guilty I ended up giving her the money anyway. How can I say no to her without offending her or hurting her feelings?
—My Mother’s Mother in CA
Dear My Mother’s Mother:
Next time she asks you for money, be firm and say you don’t have any. I guarantee that the earth will NOT immediately open up to devour you. But if guilt gives you bad hair days, think of the future, both yours and hers. Also talk to the mooching siblings who still live under her roof and encourage them to chip in for Mami’s allowance.
—Una hija buena must say no sometimes, D