Dear Harlan:

My roommate acts like she's my mother. She constantly texts and calls me when I go out to ask me when I'll be home. She then tells me what time I should come home. How do I explain to her that I already have a mother? I try to be patient with her, but I can't stand her constant nagging. I'm ready to move out. Please help me.


Dear Maternal:

Maybe if you get sick she'll make you chicken soup, let you watch cartoons and scratch your back (I like that). Listen, you're lucky this is your roommate problem. There are so many horrible roommate situations. She could drink and vomit, do drugs and steal from you, sleep with your boyfriend and then bring over strangers (all things that have happened to others). She also could never talk to you or care about you. Having her as a roommate is not such a terrible thing. How about telling her that you appreciate how much attention she gives you, but sometimes you wonder why she's so curious about your arrival and departure info? Maybe she doesn't realize she's doing it. Maybe she secretly has people over while you're gone (wonder what she's doing?). The bottom line is that she might be annoying, but she could be so much more disruptive in your life. Give her permission to care about you and just make sure you're home by midnight. You don't want her to ground you for being home after curfew.

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