DEAR ABBY: After a bad breakup, a good friend and her husband offered me a room in their home. They have two wonderful teenagers. Then the pandemic came, and we all became infected.
What started out as a few months’ plan for me to get back on my feet has lasted 14 months. I have offered to pay them some money, but they will accept only $200 to help with the groceries.
My problem is I have noticed that the husband is not very happy with my presence. I told my friend I’m ready to start looking for my own apartment, but she insists that I stay just a little longer so that I will be really stable on my own. She tells me how “I am family,” and I’m not bothering anyone, and they have no complaints about me. I did not tell her what is really driving me out.
I’m really uncomfortable with his attitude toward me, and I understand that perhaps I have overstayed my welcome. My question: Should I leave and tell her I felt that I was no longer welcomed by her husband? Or should I just leave without telling her? Thanks for your input. — UNCOMFORTABLE IN MIAMI
DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Do not sneak away. Do find a place of your own. Express to your friend that she has been a saint to allow you to live with them during this extended period, but it is clear the time has come for you to go. Tell her you will not only be fine but forever in their debt for their kindness to you.
P.S. As soon as it is feasible — not before — give them a nice gift for their home.
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DEAR ABBY: I recently have been dating a neighbor woman who is a cat lover. I assume she owns many of them. (I haven’t yet been inside her apartment.) My problem is, when she comes over to my place, the odor of cat urine is overpowering. How do I disclose that I’m disgusted by this cat smell without hurting her feelings or offending her? — HOLDING MY NOSE IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR HOLDING: You have to say something. While the odor of cat urine may be attractive to other cats, it has also been known to act as people repellant.
Start slow. Lead into the subject by asking her how many felines she owns. When she answers, ask if they are all OK. Regardless of her response, explain that you are asking because one (or more) of her pets may be spraying her furniture or her clothing, and it has left an odor. This will give her the opportunity to rectify the problem. However, if she finds the truth offensive, so be it, because the relationship would not have worked out anyway.
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DEAR READERS: I wish a very happy Mother’s Day to mothers everywhere — birth mothers, adoptive and foster mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren and dual-role dads. Orchids to all of you for the love you give not only today, but each and every day. — LOVE, ABBY
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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. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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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.)