, Salem, MA


April 11, 2014

Dear Abby: Modern marriage mirrors disposable society


I would LOVE to hear what my readers’ — particularly my younger readers’ — views are regarding this. Click on the link “Write to Dear Abby” at or write to P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: We are fortunate to have great friends and relatives who invite us to their homes for parties, celebrations, overnight stays, etc., often. The problem is, their houses are cluttered and dirty. We see spilled food in the refrigerator, showers caked with grime and years of stains on upholstery.

Money and time are not issues for these folks. If this were a hotel or restaurant, we would leave immediately. My husband and I have been unnerved by the conditions in these houses. We would like to spend time with these people and don’t wish to offend. Subtle hints don’t help. We try our best to enjoy their company and ignore the rest, but it can be difficult. What can we do, Abby?

Neat In New York

Dear Neat: When you go to visit, stay in a nearby hotel or motel. If you know food will be served, fortify yourself beforehand and eat as little as possible without being rude. If you’re afraid you might soil your clothing sitting on their furniture, leave anything that isn’t washable at home.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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