Dear Amy:

My parents have accumulated savings through the years and occasionally help my wife and me financially. They lived frugally throughout their lives and saved and are comfortable but not millionaires.

I earn about $80,000 in a salaried job, have two kids in public school, and we live in a house that we bought for $150,000 seven years ago.

My parents give us a gift of approximately $5,000 a year, which we usually put into savings or use if unforeseen expenses come up. We do not waste it.

I recently found out that whatever gifts they give us during the year, they also give to my brother.

My brother has a very successful business, has recently become a millionaire and purchased a house for more than a million dollars. He and his wife are major spendthrifts, have three kids in private school, college funds for each child are paid off, etc. In addition, they go on numerous expensive vacations as well as buy several fancy cars every year.

I understand that it is my parents' money and it is their decision as to how they want to spend it, but this hurts me. I truly appreciate the money given to my wife and me by my parents while my brother and his wife just blow it. It even bothers my parents -- how much my brother spends.

It seems strange to me that my parents give each of us the same amount. One son is rich while the other is smack in the middle class. Should I be upset or am I just being greedy?

Jeffrey

For the life of me, I can't understand why two adults who make good livings would take money from their parents. I further can't understand why one of these adults would complain about it.

The thing about receiving money from people is that when you accept it, you also have to accept the terms attached to it. In your case, your generous parents only ask that you accept their equal generosity to your brother. Your job is to take their five grand, be gracious and keep your greed at bay.

It really isn't any of your business how your parents or your brother spend their money, though it seems to me that if your brother has three kids in school and their college funds paid off, then at least some of his money is going in the right direction.

Please rethink your position. Be grateful. You're a lucky guy.

Dear Amy:

I met a guy about two months ago. One night, I went to my friend's house because he was having a few people over. This guy was there and he was nice and we got along well.

We both had a lot to drink that night and we ended up sleeping with each other, something I fully regret, but unfortunately you can't go back in time.

About a week later I found out that he's married but getting a divorce. You can only imagine what I was thinking.

I am not that type of girl at all.

I ran into him about two weeks later and we talked, and he apologized for what happened, and I explained to him that I am not the type of girl who sleeps around and that if he was only looking for a "booty call" that I wasn't interested. He swore to me that he knows I'm not that type of girl. He said he really enjoyed hanging out with me and that he wants to hang out again.

We have talked on the phone a few times, haven't hung out yet, but I am going to hang out with him tonight.

I just don't know what to do. Do I trust him? I'm just so tired of being used and being treated so badly. For once, I want to meet a nice guy.

Am I wasting my time on him?

Completely Confused in N.Y.

Let me guess. You aren't that type of girl.

But wait. You ARE that type of girl.

Hey -- we all make mistakes, but I get the feeling from your statement that you get used and treated badly -- that you've made more than your fair share.

If you no longer want to attract the type of bad boys who use you and throw you away, then you need to change your actions.

If you don't want to be "that type of girl," then you could start by choosing a better class of guy to hang out with. So far, this "nice" guy you chose to sleep with is a married guy who, like you, gets drunk and sleeps with people he barely knows.

And, call me crazy, but your plan to "hang out" tonight sounds like a booty call to me.

So, can you trust this guy? No.

But you can't even trust yourself. That needs to come first.

If you want to "hang out," then do so over a meal, coffee or on a stroll through the zoo. If you want to get to know a nice guy, then see what he's like while both of you are sober. Then say goodnight at the door. Then have many more phone calls, dates and strolls through the zoo. Then say goodnight at the door again. Don't talk about not being a booty call -- don't be one.

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