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December 28, 2012

Dear Abby: Photos trigger painful memories

(Continued)

Nonbeliever, but Grateful

Dear Nonbeliever: I’m sure they will, in droves. However, because nonbelievers physically resemble those who ARE believers, and nonbelievers don’t usually wear symbols indicating their nonbelief, it’s understandable that someone of faith would attempt to offer comfort that way. And most people battling a serious illness welcome a “blast of positivity,” whether it is couched in religious terms or not.

When someone offers to pray for you, it’s usually because the person cares about you, knows you are sick and feels helpless to offer anything more to help. Accept it for what it is, and say thank you rather than tell the person that what they offered is, in your eyes, worthless. That’s called being gracious — regardless of your religious or nonreligious convictions.

Dear Abby: My husband of eight years will not resolve his foot odor problem. We live in a small apartment, and it’s humiliating when we have company and half the apartment smells like stinky feet.

He refuses to wear socks, and his solution in winter is to open all the windows and turn on the fan as soon as he returns from work. The “airing out” never completely gets rid of the smell — and I freeze! How can I get him to change?

Fed up in Manhattan

Dear Fed Up: You obviously can’t change your husband, but you don’t have to risk getting pneumonia, either. Shoe repair shops sell deodorizing products in the form of sprays and powders. Or buy a large container of baking soda, and when your husband removes his shoes, dump a cupful into each one. The next day, the smell should be gone.

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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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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