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I am a forty-something teacher. I recently bought a house, and given that I'm a single woman, I have a huge burden to carry financially. To counter those expenses, I put out an ad for two university students. As a result, I have two twenty-something young men living with me.

One of my "roommates" is pilfering things. I know he uses my facial cleanser and cotton swabs. I like to keep a store of food handy because I live in an area with ice storms, and he helps himself to my edible dry goods. He's gone through a huge packet of oatmeal and a container of cocoa.

My problem is I can't prove it, and in the one conversation I had with him about this, he denied it. Now I know this pilfering isn't the biggest problem in the world, but what do I do? I don't want to poison the atmosphere by making further accusations.

My feeling is the best thing might be to put temptation out of his way. I have built-in storage cabinets in my basement. I could lock one of them and keep the excess bulk goods I buy in that cabinet. I guess that's not the real problem, though. I just feel a bit violated. I welcomed these two men with open arms, and lately, every time I walk into the room, they shut up and stop talking.


Tess, new ideas are like ships. They need to be taken for a shake-down cruise to work out the bugs. You had a great idea for financing your new house, but it is an idea with a few problems. Locking up your property may be only a temporary solution.

You can't live as an outsider in your own home. You must decide who you want to share your home with. Do you want teachers with the same professional interests? Will you be more comfortable with men or with women? Would you like international students who might draw you into their activities, and who you might mentor?

Once you decide who you want in your home, you must determine how to attract those people. Of course, there need to be ground rules. There can be only one captain on a ship, and the captain sets the rules. On the next cruise, you will need a different crew.


Going Once, Going Twice…

I am entering a relationship with a man I care very much about. He has two grown children, and I do not have any. At this time in his life, he does not want any more, and I understand his reasons. We both agree I should determine if I want children before our relationship gets more serious.

I realize this must be my decision. There are many logical reasons to have or not to have children. How do I really know whether or not I want children?


Lea, it's almost as if you are at an auction, and someone has bid "One husband." You don't have a husband so the offer sounds pretty good. But you wonder if someone else will bid "One husband and one child." Perhaps someone may even bid "One husband, two children, and an ivy-covered cottage." How do you decide?

Only two things are certain. First, the man you care about does not want children. Second, if you decide you want a child after you marry, you will see this man, not yourself, as the problem. This is not to blame you. It is simply the way it happens.

Marriage is a gateway to having children, but by choosing this man your decision will be made for you. That is exactly the opposite of what you may feel after marriage. Some women know they should not have children, and wisely, they never do. Because you are not honestly there on your own, you should not proceed with this man.


Wayne & Tamara are the authors of The Young Woman’s Guide to Older Men and Cheating in a Nutshell—available from Amazon, Apple, and booksellers everywhere.

Photo Credit: Adam Winger


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