Q: My wife has always been well groomed, with an obsessive interest in her fingernails and toenails. Every three or four days, she spends an hour trimming them.
Recently, I discovered that she has been keeping the nail trimmings. She actually has three large plastic containers full. When I confronted her, she claimed it soothes her to see her “collection.” Now she has begun openly displaying them inside a glass table lamp.
I’m afraid she needs professional help. What do you think I should do? — Nailing It
A: Your wife appears to suffer from a form of OCD, a hoarding disorder. (Are nail clippings the only items she can’t let go of?) Overcoming her compulsion may take professional help and possibly medication. Start by discussing this with your doctor. In the meantime, because her display bothers you, ask her to keep the lamp in a less conspicuous place.
Q: My wife and I just bought our first home. It’s in a very nice neighborhood, and the neighbors seem friendly. There’s just one problem. My son, “Abner,” who will soon be 3, goes to bed between 8 and 9 o’clock, and that’s when our neighbor decides it’s time to mow his grass. Getting Abner to sleep becomes difficult because the man mows right outside our son’s window.
Initially, I didn’t think it was a big deal because the first time he woke Abner up, my son had gone to bed at an unusually early time for him. But last night it happened when Abner went to bed later than his normal bedtime.
We have talked to our neighbors a few times in general. But since we’re new to the neighborhood, I don’t want to cause problems. I don’t know the man’s schedule, but would it be out of line to ask him to mow earlier in the evening? — Bedtime in Illinois
A: Not at all. If you explain the problem, your neighbor may be willing to modify his mowing time. However, if he isn’t, then look into the noise ordinances in your community because there may be rules about mowing after — or before — a certain hour.
Q: Recently, my boss told me she had asked me to do something, but I am 100 percent positive that she didn’t. I don’t feel like I can contradict her because I’m afraid it would make me look bad. It has happened only once or twice in the last few months, but what should I do if it continues? I don’t want my employee reviews to suffer because of it. Please tell me how to handle it. — At a Loss in Florida
A: I wish you had revealed more about your relationship with your boss and mentioned how many people work there. Could she be stressed? Or having problems with her memory? Or could you? If there are more employees than just you, did anyone witness your boss ask you to do what she claimed? If not, and this happens again, you may need to talk to her about it because of your concerns about your work performance.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.