DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Last month, I moved in with my boyfriend of four years. We get along great, and plan to get married within the next two years when we save some money. I am basically happy with the decision. But, I will now be going to visit my family's farm; we are a good Catholic and religious family and I now worry what they will say about my "living arrangement" as pre-marital living is not allowed in our faith. All these fears have made me doubt myself and my actions and I am worried my family will think less of me, preach to me and scold me without rest -- or even disown me. I feel like I made the right decision, this man is a great partner and we made this decision together, but I fear that their influence (or attempt to ruin my happiness with guilt and orthodox Catholic preachings) will destroy my relationship. We are a tight family and I now question if I should tell them at all. Any advice from you or others in this situation? -- Family/Religious Baggage
Dear Family: If you're adult enough to live togehter, you're adult enough to tell the folks your address but not tell them about your room mate unless they ask. One also has to wonder why you have to save for a big wedding. If you're together four years now as a couple, and happy, why not get married in a small creative intimate wedding now, reception at the new place? It seems silly to go to a big white wedding two years after living together and to spend all that money to announce something that's been happening happily for two years already. Buy the princess dress, if you want, and have everybody come and have a party with you afterwards at your new place, or somebody's back yard. Two years of hiding what you're doing anyway -- common law marriage -- while fighting about what you're doing with your parents doesn't make any sense, just to have a $10,000 $20,000 deal in two years. Marraige is about the relationship not about the party. If you're as happy and sure as you seem to be now, why not a surprise wedding now.?
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: OK, I slugged my brother and bascially broke his nose, it's a big honker and I think it's an improvement. He broke two of my ribs and it still hurts like hell. Our parents have told us to move out NOW, but we don't have any friends ready to move out. That leaves the two of us as available room mates. That's two guys who tried to break each other's faces last week. We are both working at jobs that pay mimimum wage with tips. Help! -- Fist Fighting Brothers, West End
Dear Fists: You two have enough money together for a one bedroom apartment where one person's living space (bedroom/chairs to seat friends) is the living room. The other person's room done the same with a curtain across the door opening You flip a coin to see who gets the bedroom with the door for the first six months. Then you set up each room with a computer and a TV, and share the kitchen and bathroom. With two jobs you can get a place in an apartment block or in a house with suites. . . . .These rules will avoid fights: 1) Both your names go on the lease, so no one's left holding the bag. 2)To get some privacy, make sure you're not working identical shifts. 3) To avoid big fights, hang a white board in the ktichen where you leave notes like "Do the dishes today; it's your turn" 4) Each guy has to do his own dishes, BUT if that doesn't work you get paper plates, so the apartment doesns't stink. (Girls hate that.). 5) No questionable guys who may be peddling drugs are allowed in the house 6) Make sure your place does not become booze-up central for friends living at home, or you'll get kicked out. Your place should be safe, and other peoples' places can be party spots. Good luck, bros!
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