freeloading lazy sister

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2002
freeloading lazy sister
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 1:26am
I'd like advice about what to do with my sister's attitude problem. We live rent-free in house owned by our parents, and my sister flatly refuses to do any housekeeping or grocery shopping. For example, she'll only buy junk food or the occasional bottle of milk or detergent. But when I buy the groceries, she'll eat all of it in a few days. She leaves food scraps and bones on the table or kitchen counter for several days, and accumulates dirty dishes in the sink and in the lounge (she likes to eat in front of the TV) and leaves them there for weeks. The only things she keeps clean are her room and her clothes.

I don't nag her about it but when I've asked her nicely to clean up after herself, she says "So what? It's not going anywhere" or "Clean it yourself".Sometimes, she tries to blow it out of proportion and starts screaming abuse, slamming doors and stomping around.She's even told me once "This is MY house and I do whatever I like here!" Which is strange considering the house is owned by our parents and was originally purchased as an investment, not for her.

Then she calls her best friend and tells her how badly I treat her. Her best friend is just like her. When she's at our house and she goes outside the front door to smoke, she leaves butts and ashtrays all over the entrance. And if she throws something in the bin and it misses, she won't pick it up. I've spoken to my sister about this privately, asking her to tell her friend not to do that, but my sister flies into a rage and tries to make the issue into "You hate her and you're looking for excuses not to have her in my house".

My sister's always talking about how she has no money, but she receives unemployment payments and doesn't want to look for a job. As far as I'm concerned, if she can afford to go shopping and clubbing and have a mobile phone, she can afford to chip in for groceries.

I'm not going to subsidise her "lifestyle".

My parents are aware of her behaviour and have told her off a few times but she isn't going to change. I think she's resentful that she couldn't have the house to herself, but she knew from the start she had to share it with me. If you're wondering why I don't move out, it's because I don't have enough money yet. Does anyone have suggestions as to how to make her pull her own weight in the meantime?

Avatar for goldie15
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 10:45am
I have no great solution to this but I can help with the food bill!!

Many years ago my Dh was rooming with his younger brother, they had an apartment together. My Dh was out of school and working fulltime, his younger brother was in his last year at the university and had a parttime job. My BIL, had it made. His dad paid for his car, insurance, upkeep. My DH paid for all the rent and utilities. All BIL had to do was pay for his gas and buy a few groceries. He made almost the same amount of money as my Dh,since he could pocket most of his money. He would not pay for anything, he thought he should not have to since he was a student.

He would bring his friends over and they would empty the refrigerator. My DH fought with him over it all the time. All he wanted was a few bucks for groceries every week.

Finally my Dh, went to a yard sale and bought a used refrigerator. He put it in his bedroom! Bought his groceries and put a lock on the refrigerator!!!! When he got home from work he would take out what he planned to fix, fix it and sit down to eat. He also solved the dirty dishes all over the place by doing nearly the same thing. He took all the plates, cups, and anything BIl left out dirty and after cleaning them packed them away in his bedroom!!! within 3 weeks there was not a single thing in the kitchen to eat off of, or to cook with. He also just started throwing away any dirty clothes or BIL stuff that he left lying around. He would warn him once or twice and then do it!!!

It took 2 months of this before BIl finally went out and bought some groceries. It took another month before he decided he better start cleaning up after himself. Gradually my DH brought dishes/pan/silverware back to the kitchen.

His parents were totally against all he did but he was the one providing the home for his brother and he told them to back off or get him a place of his own.

More than 20 years later, this story is the family holiday tale. My BIL get s so embarrassed when it is told!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Mon, 06-09-2003 - 11:21am

I had a similar situation. But with a little different twist. My mother got married and left a house to *me* and my sister. "Nice", huh? Actually what I didn't know was that their intention was to drive me out and leave the house to my sister. So then the parties began! Of course my sister didn't have a job, so she'd do things like invite the football team over for constant allnight parties when I had to get up at 6am for work. She would steal my clothes, eat my food, allow only her tv in the living room, etc. So my mother said to put a lock on the refrigerator or install a lock on the cupboard and put a lock on my bedroom door, use paper plates, hire a maid (had I been able to stick it out long enough, it may have been an option)! Well, also if I wanted to do laundry I'd have to stand at the washer to make sure she didn't steal anything from there. So it was so ridiculous I moved out. But she same solutions seem like they may work for you. Not everyone is as unreasonable as my family!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-22-2002
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 10:43pm
Goldie15 - Your story gave me a much needed laugh and it was good your BIL finally got the message. I hope that it won't come that (buying a separate fridge, padlocking doors, etc) with me and my sister. Cagirl - Thanks for sharing your story. Did it happen recently? I can't believe your sister would actually steal your clothes from the washing machine!

Actually my sister been behaving herself over the last 2 weeks - but that's probably because she has exams. She's done some pretty spiteful things in the past, so I always have to think twice about how to handle her. My parents are sometimes supportive, but recently my dad says I have to be more tolerant of her lifestyle, and be more understanding because she doesn't have as much money as I do. In fact, last night, dad told me I should financially support her. Nope, I don't think so. The reason she doesn't have money is because she refuses to work (she's already been fired from 2 jobs). She only has classes 2 days a week because she's a part-time student. Maybe the best thing for me to do is to hurry up and save for a home loan deposit so I can get a place of my own.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Fri, 06-20-2003 - 3:09pm
Hi again,

The incident with my sister stealing my clothes was about 15 years ago, she used to steal even my underwear! And when she had all the money in the world to buy her own! So I think it was done just to drive me crazy. (I have a separate post titled Mom gives $i$ter everything and me zero).

As for you tolerating your sister's "lifestyle", I've heard everything in the book too: like my sister isn't very smart so she needs "extra help". (She now has a master's in biology), although it *took* her 14 years to graduate from college, talk about milkin it for all it's worth! I've also heard, she isn't very pretty and nobody will want to marry her, so she "needs extra help". She's been married now for several years and with the same man over 10 years. Also, that she isn't in good health and may GO BLIND!!!! Can you believe that one???? Her eyesight is perfectly normal! I'm in health care, she isn't going blind! My stepfather even recently told me, "life IS unfair deal with it". And my mother said, "some people benefit at the expense of others".

So it seems you're the only one concerned with you, thank God you have a head on your shoulders!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2003
Sun, 06-22-2003 - 5:59pm
Not sure, but if you do move out, she will then be forced to fend for herself. No one will be around to clean up after her.