What Size Snow Shoe Should I Get For My 7-Year-Old Excuse Me, Are You Visiting or Have You Moved In? The Freeloader Nightmare

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Excuse Me, Are You Visiting or Have You Moved In? The Freeloader Nightmare

Spa towns or squatter communities known as “Hooverville” during President Hoover’s term as President (or back in the day as my son might say) began to spring up all over the United States due to the fallout from the Great Depression. These patchwork “communities” were composed of people who had been evicted from their homes or their farms. These individuals, labeled hobos, were forced to live a degrading existence among grotesque piles of accumulated waste, made of discarded public scraps of food they had to eat or of various valuables they could sell. The poor and squatters would cook their meager rations of food in cans over open fires, covering themselves with old newspapers while wearing Hoover shoes with holes in the soles. The only landscape was clouded by dust in the summer and mud in the winter as they breathed in the stench of all the garbage and the extremely unhealthy dilapidated outhouses. These poor Depression-era hobos, however, are no comparison to today’s modern freeloaders, lazy, selfish people who calculate in their tactics, and who suffer nowhere near as much as those displaced victims of the Great Depression.

Yes, we suffer, and indeed the times, they do change, but eating banana peels and carrying newspapers is not the same as eating all your family or friends chips while watching a rerun of Friends on their cable TV. . With today’s economic crisis, many people have had to depend on family, friends and relatives to help them until they overcome their financial setback. However, the point is that too many find this life of “luxury” very gracious, and so they remain as permanent guests taking advantage of the hospitality of a loved one. This isn’t a new occurrence, it’s happening more often these days thanks to our lovely crumbling economy, but I, for one, think freeloading is wrong, and it needs to be stopped. There is a difference between visiting a loved one and commandeering their home.

Here, an example. Several years ago my husband and I moved to Florida. Every year we would return to New Jersey to visit family and friends. Well, my husband always invites everyone to come down to Florida and stay at our house, so they don’t have to spend money on a hotel, forgetting that we only rent a small 2 bedroom apartment. Of course everyone jumped at the chance, including his drinking buddies who came in a car loaded with suitcases and booze. I worked the graveyard shift at the Post Office and had to sleep during the day. Well, one time, it seems our bedroom was offered to his drinking buddy and his buddy’s wife, while I had to settle down locked in my two little kids’ room. These mockers came empty-handed and ate, because there was no tomorrow. One week turned into two weeks that looked like it was going to stretch into more. I told my husband to kick them out, which he refused to do saying they were his guests and that would be rude of him. I was furious, working nights, and not sleeping properly. During the day, they went down to the beach or explored the area, having a grand old time. The woman did nothing to help me. I couldn’t take it anymore. I called around hotels in the area and asked what their prices were, and when the couple returned that afternoon, I told them they had to leave, it had been two weeks, and I needed my room back. The man said he was paying my husband $20.00 a week for the room which was ridiculous… Imagine thinking that $20.00 a week would cover the cost of 3 square meals a day plus my room for two people. No way Jose, did he have to be crazy. Well I have to say once they saw how mad I was they got the message loud and clear and immediately called a nephew who lived in the area. This annoyed me even more, knowing that they had a nephew who lived nearby, and I had to be bothered by this pair of scofflaws. So instead of going to a hotel where they had to pay, they ended up at their nephew’s house. Good riddance, finally, but that still hasn’t stopped the flow of guests coming and going and free from us. This created a lot of animosity between my husband and me. Finally, after 7 years of operating as a drunken bed and breakfast, we moved back to New Jersey. This prevented the family and friends from visiting.

The thing is, all the moochers and freeloaders acted in the same rude, selfish way. No one understood why I would get angry, work, sacrifice a place to live, cook, do all the shopping and push myself for too long. I guess there’s a mocker’s guide they all swear by.

The Moocher’s Guidebook:

Law Number 1: Find a nice, giving, trusting friend or relative and arrange a “short” but indefinite visit.

Law Number 2: Convince these brands to become your personal ATM.

Law Number 3: Always manipulate others into not paying your fair share, stiff drinking buddies with the check, bum rides, sponge cigarettes, meals, etc.

Law Number 4: Never, under any circumstances, clean up after yourself. This sets a dangerous precedent.

Law Number 5: Always raid any unattended refrigerator. Leave nothing.

Law Number 6: Never be polite. Assume it is yours by natural law, consume and destroy.

Law Number 7: Have fun while the marks work. What are holidays for?

Law Number 8: Make yourself scarce when time comes.

Frankly, freeloaders are a menace to society. People who have problems with freeloading rightfully become depressed and angry. To make matters worse, moochers often don’t bathe, flush the toilet or wipe the seat when done or don’t wash their own clothes. What moochers actually do is use the phone all night, leaving it off the hook when they’re done. They leave the TV on all night and are loud while you try to get some sleep to avoid them. If subtle hints and veiled innuendo won’t work, then throw all their belongings outside and change the locks. The following is my own manual, listing problems with moochers and ways to deal with them.

Miriam’s Handbook:

PROBLEM: A friend or loved one shows up uninvited, looking for sympathy and a place to live.

SOLUTION: If someone shows up uninvited, you can politely tell the person that you just left and don’t have time to chat. The strongest weapon a freeloader has is using guilt to get what they want from you. Be prepared for this. Don’t feel guilty. Always resent those who love to tag along but always seem to forget to bring their wallet. Always mention before you go anywhere with a cost that if the other person has their wallet with them. Or you can just say best that you are going Dutch. If the person then says he has no money, you tell them: ‘I’m sorry I don’t have enough to pay for you too, so we’ll have to skip it.’

PROBLEM: A friend or loved one always wants to visit you but does not invite you to visit them. Always try to exchange home visits.

SOLUTION: If someone was at your house this week watching the game and eating all your goodies and drinking your beer, then you recommend doing it at their house the following week. If they are uncooperative, don’t bother them. If they are taking advantage of you, start monitoring your dealings with them or stop it altogether. You want to tell them that you are not a money tree or their restaurant, hotel or waitress. You need to nip this behavior in the bud, because the longer you wait, the more stressed you will become, and the harder it will be to get rid of these people. Then it becomes the rights of a squatter. They have all the rights and you squat.

PROBLEM: Your relative wants to stay with you until they ‘recover’. If they live with you, you should give them some time to get out of your house.

SOLUTION: One way to prevent moochers from staying in your home is to keep the fridge or cupboards as bare as possible. Hide your supplies somewhere; give them a list of tasks to do. If they complain then tell them to buy their own food or they can leave.

PROBLEM: You feel like a maid with all the mess left behind and get sick of things like your guest leaving dirty linens, wet towels on the bed or the bathroom counter.

SOLUTION: House guests must clean up after themselves. If they are there for a week or more, then they should offer to take the host out to dinner for their trouble. If they plan to come back, then tell them that you already have plans for that time and that no one will be home. Try to make your apology seem sincere and convincing as best you can.

PROBLEM: Relatives will come to your house and stay as long as they want to save on hotel expenses. So the longer they stay, the more resentment builds, which will eventually damage family relationships.

SOLUTION: Relatives are not allowed to block, because they are family, they must call or write first. If they show up unexpectedly, then take them to a hotel or drive them to the nearest transport. Don’t let moochers have the run of the house; they have to help by cooking, doing their own laundry and throwing in some money. They have no right to take advantage of you to save expenses because somewhere up in the family tree, you inherited some of their blood or your wife did.

PROBLEM: The guests who won’t leave when it’s late.

SOLUTION: If you feel like your eyelids are getting heavy or like you have a severe case of the hives, start yawning, scratching and getting up calmly and politely; mention that you had a nice evening, that you should repeat the visit at ANOTHER, more convenient time. If you keep standing, they will get up, at least you hope, then start walking towards the door. If they don’t take the hint, then walk right out and tell them you have to go to work the next day and that you’re tired and want to go to bed. My mother swears by the broom. She said when you wanted the company that overstayed its welcome to leave, flip the broom by the door and you’d see it work. Yes, that’s right mom, like in your dream, that won’t happen.

PROBLEM: The friend or relative who always sponges money from you and never pays it back or who considers you their personal, unpaid taxi service.

SOLUTION: Just say you don’t mind taking them where they’re going, but that you don’t have gas in your car or money to pay for gas to get there and NEVER lend money to someone who stiffed you twice.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll be free of freeloaders in no time. Good luck!

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