Where relative goes, the bugs soon follow

Published 8:24 am Friday, October 6, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: One of my family members is a loner. I’m the closest relative to them. They invite my children and me over for holiday dinners, but the house is dirty with roaches galore. The bugs even crawl on you during the day on the couch. I don’t want to go there for this
I’m also cautious about inviting them to visit here because I once asked them to housesit for me for four days, and I came home to roaches in my house. How do I break it to them gently that the sanitary conditions are troubling, and I don’t want to be in their home nor have them in mine? – BUGGED IN THE MID-ATLANTIC

DEAR BUGGED: You need to inform this relative that they have a serious insect problem. Roaches carry bacteria, funguses and molds, and also spread disease. Fortunately, with the help of a professional exterminator, an infestation can be handled – but not unless the problem is recognized and addressed.
If your relative is unaware that they caused an infestation in your home when they were housesitting, they should be told. And while you’re at it, recommend the name of the company you used to remedy the problem. You don’t have to say you don’t want to visit them or have them over, all you need to do is refuse their invitations and refrain from extending one.
DEAR ABBY: I just turned 22 and I have no idea what I’m doing! I want to go back to school, but school was so hard for me growing up, and I really don’t want to go through it all again. The only reason I didn’t quit was because of my mom, but, like I said, I’m 22 now, and I can’t depend on her forever. I feel like I should have accomplished a lot more by the time I got to this age, but I haven’t. What should I do to get my life on the track I want? – NO CLUE IN THE WEST

DEAR NO CLUE: You are no longer the unwilling student you were when you were younger. Now you are an adult, and you may find you are more motivated to acquire the knowledge you need to succeed and are better able to concentrate.
A way to find what you may be best suited for would be to contact the career counseling department of your local college or university and inquire about taking aptitude tests. It isn’t free, but it’s worthwhile because it may point you in a direction you hadn’t considered before. There is also the option of a vocational school, because, as you already know, people develop at their own pace.
DEAR ABBY: My bride of two months, whom I love dearly, is very negative every time we try to make a plan. Whether it be traveling or house projects, she puts roadblocks in the way. Nothing gets accomplished, so I let her take the lead, and then nothing happens. She reads her book and does nothing. If I start a project after waiting to see if she’s going to do SOMEthing, she wants to throw a monkey wrench in my project. What do I do? – STUCK IN PLACE IN FLORIDA

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DEAR STUCK: If you don’t want this to be your future, what you “do” is confront your bride before this destroys your marriage. The behavior you describe seems like passive-aggressiveness on her part – and it isn’t healthy. Marriage and family therapy to help improve your level of communication would be money well spent.
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.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order “How to Be Popular.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)