I have had a friend since grade school, “Dennis,” and have maintained a friendship with him throughout our lifetime. Dennis never married and lived with his parents until both died about 10 years ago. He now lives alone.
Dennis does not seem to want to take care of himself hygienically, and since we work together it is becoming a serious problem. Some of the other guys don’t want to be around him. He doesn’t bathe often enough or appear to brush his teeth daily.
I have tried repeatedly over the years to talk to him about his apparent lack of cleanliness, and now that he is almost 60, it is becoming unbearable. People are starting to avoid him.
Dennis is a good person and will do anything for anyone, but this lackadaisical attitude is something we can’t overlook. How can I get it across to him? He just doesn’t listen or take me seriously. — In Need of Fresh Air
DEAR IN NEED:
Because Dennis’ poor hygiene is affecting his relationship with his co-workers, the person to address the issue is his supervisor or boss. While Dennis may ignore or dismiss your attempts to help him, when he hears from his employers that he has to clean up his act, he may pay more attention.
Share the pain?
For the past year I have been an old friend’s lover. I’m a widow; he is married. I don’t want him to leave his wife because she has been through a lot with him, including alcohol addiction. For the past few months he has given me excuses for not seeing me. We had gotten together on a weekly basis until recently.
I have all the emails and texts we have sent each other, along with pictures and a journal I have kept throughout the relationship. Should I send them to his wife? They have had a long marriage, and he has cheated on her repeatedly for the last 25 years.
I’m not ashamed or embarrassed about our affair. I just need to know if I should let his wife know what he has been doing. Yes, there is jealousy and revenge involved, and no, I haven’t talked to him about what I suspect because I’m not sure how to broach the subject. — The Other Woman in the Southwest
DEAR OTHER WOMAN:
I know you are hurting right now, but I see no reason to punish the wife for it. I’m sure after all these years there is nothing you could show-and-tell the woman that she isn’t already aware of, except that you, a friend, betrayed her. Leave her alone. If you want confirmation of your suspicions, take it up with your lover.
Skirt the issue
I’m entering high school. The one I’m transferring to is K-12, and my younger sister already goes there. She warned me that all the girls wear skirts and wearing pants is, basically, social suicide.
The problem is, I don’t like skirts. I never have. Should I go with the flow and wear something I’m not comfortable in, or should I wear pants and give up all hope of making friends? — Hung Up in Houston
DEAR HUNG UP:
Start by wearing skirts for the first week or so and let the girls get to know you. See if what your sister said is true. After that, make up your own mind.
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