Dear Annie: I am a 65-year-old widow. My husband passed away last year, and I am still grieving.

The problem is my 45-year-old son from a previous marriage. "Gordon" never married and is planning to move in with me. He is an abusive drunk, has problems managing his money and doesn't like to work. At the moment, he lives in an RV and is renting a parking place from a friend. His vehicles are not registered or insured.

Gordon has been telling people he is moving here to help me. I don't need his help. I have earned the right to a quiet retirement. I supported my son and daughter until I was in my 40s. My daughter is married and on her own. I live 600 miles away and can see them when I want. I do not want to live any closer.

What would you suggest I do about Gordon? I've thought about leaving the country, but I can't afford it. I love my son, but I don't like him very much. — Mom

Dear Mom: Tell Gordon right now that you do not want him moving in with you. Period. If he threatens or hurts you in any way, call the police and Adult Protective Services. Meanwhile, if your home is large enough to accommodate Gordon, you might consider selling it and moving into a smaller place in a retirement community where you will have nearby friends and there will be less incentive for Gordon to hang around and take advantage of your vulnerability.

Dear Annie:"Jasper" has been my hairdresser for the last seven years. I've always been happy with the job he's done and have recommended him to many people who are now his regulars. I feel loyal to him, but I have found someone else.

I won a gift certificate to have my hair cut at another salon, and I have never had a better haircut in my life. I thought it would be a one-time visit, but now, nothing else measures up. I would like to leave Jasper, but I don't want to hurt his feelings. I'm sure if I just stop going to his salon, he'd eventually figure it out, but don't I owe him an explanation? — In a Hairy Situation

Dear Hairy: First, you might want to go back to the new salon once or twice to make sure the cut is consistently better than Jasper's. Still, we can't imagine any nice way to tell him you're leaving because his technique doesn't measure up. You can simply stop going to him (such things happen to hairdressers more often than you think), or you can let Jasper know you've enjoyed his services, but you're ready for a change. It's up to you.


Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailboxcomcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.