DEAR ABBY: I have a close friend, “Renee,” whom I’ve known for several years. She often comes to my home in the evenings for an hour or so to get away from her house. She’s a single parent who lives at home with her mom and two children, so she considers it an escape.
While I don’t mind her coming over most days, a somewhat sensitive issue has come up. Renee often wears tennis shoes without socks, or shoes for a very long time without washing them. When she takes them off, they stink. She then tries to hide her smelly feet underneath the blankets I keep on my couch. It doesn’t help. I can still smell them, and my blankets stink when she leaves.
This issue is embarrassing, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings but, honestly, I’m sick of having to wash my blankets every time she comes over. Any suggestions on how I should handle this? — SUFFERING IN SILENCE
DEAR SUFFERING: Handle this by asking your friend to please keep her shoes on and her feet on the floor when she’s at your house. If she asks why, tell her the truth and suggest she start washing her shoes — and her feet — regularly.
DEAR ABBY: For 15 years I’ve maintained a close friendship with a wealthy older man who has become a kind of mentor. He’s 90 years old now and in failing health. He told me on several occasions that I was named in his will, but when we met for lunch the other day, he informed me his entire estate will go to his live-in caregivers.
I was never in this friendship for the money (he only recently became wealthy after inheriting his late sister’s estate), but it hurts knowing I’ve been eliminated from his will with no explanation. I earn a six-figure income and don’t need his money, but it bothers me. If I ask about it, I will appear grasping. If I say nothing, it will gnaw away at me. What do I do? — PROMISE WITHDRAWN IN TEXAS
DEAR PROMISE: Quit worrying about appearances and ask him the question you should have asked when he told you he had changed his will and eliminated you. Do it now. He’s 90 and in failing health, and you may not have long to get the answer to the question.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 9-year-old girl. Right now I don’t do chores or get an allowance, but I want to. How should I ask my parents? And how much money should I ask for? — KID WHO NEEDS CASH
DEAR KID: Tell your parents you want to talk to them about an allowance. Ask what things you could do to help around the house in order to earn one and how much they are willing to pay you for doing them. As to how much to expect, this will depend on what your parents may be able to afford. Ask them if you can negotiate to find an amount you all agree upon. And if you need more money, doing similar chores for a relative or neighbor might be a good place to start.
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.)