DEAR ABBY: I have a dear old friend whose company I enjoy. She is one of those stylish women who wears a lot of perfume. I have a hunch she bathes in it, uses a lotion next, then sprays it all over. You can smell her coming from 10 feet away. She may not realize it, but everyone notices it.
How I can tell her without her feelings being hurt is the issue. I’ve considered pretending I’m allergic by having a sneezing fit when I’m near her. I value her friendship, which is why I’ve kept my mouth shut. Any advice? — PERFUME OVERLOADED FRIEND
DEAR PERFUME: This may seem like heresy, but there are times when a little white lie is kinder than the truth. Many people DO have allergic reactions to scents, which can bring on headaches and sometimes attacks of nausea. My longtime personal trainer once told me that when people work out in the gym, the smell of their body lotion, perfume, etc. could bring on a migraine.
I don’t think it would be a cardinal sin to tell your friend you have developed a “reaction” to artificial scents and ask her to refrain from using them when she’s going to be with you. Either that, or see her only outdoors.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend is 60 and has an autoimmune disease. He’s dependent on oxygen and suffers a great deal. He can drive, walk and care for himself, although I assist in his care quite a bit.
I was invited to take a trip with my daughter and my sisters to London next month for a week. He doesn’t want me to go and won’t say why, other than he’s frustrated because he can’t travel abroad. (He would never want to go on a girls trip to London.) He actually told me, “If you really loved me, you wouldn’t go.” I responded, “If you really loved ME, you would be happy for me to go with my family and enjoy the trip for a week.”
I cook and clean for him every day. I am the breadwinner and pay for everything. I treat him like a king. What should I do? — YEARNING FOR TRAVEL
DEAR YEARNING: You do plenty for your boyfriend. He is trying to guilt you into not going. With the load you have been carrying, you deserve a break. Ensure that a friend or family member of his can keep an eye on him in your absence. Then ignore his comments and go on that trip. Please!
DEAR ABBY: My oldest daughter is getting married and has asked my former father-in-law to walk her down the aisle. I have been there for her her whole life. My wife and I were divorced during her senior year of high school. Should I go, stay at home, sit on the groom’s side of the aisle or something else? — FATHER OF THE BRIDE
DEAR FATHER: Have you been invited to this wedding? If the answer is yes, talk to your daughter and ask her what she plans to do about the seating arrangements. Take your cue from what she tells you. You should not be seated on the groom’s side of the aisle. As the father of the bride you should be with the bride’s family, and ideally, you and your ex-wife should bury the hatchet if only for one day.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)