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Section: relationships, money, manners

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a 42-year-old man, married with two children. Things are just fine within my immediate family. The problem is my mother. She wants me to buy her an automobile. Not just any automobile. She wants one exactly like mine. Mother has a comfortable lifestyle and can certainly afford to buy any car she wants on her own. However, for some reason, she thinks I should give her one. And, of course, she doesn't want anything as moderately priced as the neighbor's car. She feels entitled to a car just like mine -- the expensive variety. No other car will do. Ann, I have worked hard for everything I have, including my car. I paid my own way through college and am reasonably successful in business. I do not feel that I should deprive my children of the money we are saving for their college education in order to satisfy my mother's expensive taste in automobiles. I have told her that money is tight at the moment, but this hasn't stopped her from nagging. My relationship with my mother has never been terribly close, and now, her pressuring me to buy a car is straining it to the breaking point. I don't want to destroy the good will that I have slowly and carefully built up over the years. I need some advice. -- No Name, No City, Please

Dear N.N.N.C.,
Does your mother have a hearing problem? Tell her, in a voice slightly louder than normal, that you cannot afford to buy her a car, and you would appreciate it if she would quit asking. Let her know it pains you that you cannot give her everything her heart desires, but that your children's education comes first. Repeat as often as necessary.

Tags: parents

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Reader Comment
I would also put it in writing

Debra's Comment
Sounds like a scam to me!

sirpaul391's Comment
Keep reminding your mother about boundaries and the answer is no new expensive car.

Reader Comment
It always amazes me that adults allow their parents to "nag" them and worry about "destroying good will" if they stand up for themselves. It sounds to me like this son has given in far too many times to his overbearing, grasping mother, and she has become an expert at wearing him down to get her way. He needs to firmly and consistently establish a new pattern now. No means No. If she gets angry, too bad. It is interesting that "takers" always know just who will give them what they want and they gravitate to them.
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Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies."
-Ann Landers