Dear Annie: Are my hygiene standards too high?

Advice columnist Annie Lane
Advice columnist Annie Lane [ Creators Syndicate ]
Published March 4

Dear Annie: How can I get people who visit me to wash their hands after they use the bathroom? I have provided pump soap so they don’t have to use a bar of soap. I have put in decorative paper towels so they don’t have to use a cloth towel and a sign that says “Wash your hands.”

What else can I do? What can I say to them that won’t be insulting or hurt their feelings?

I know they don’t wash because they are too fast about coming out, and if I go in after them, the sink is dry and nothing is in the garbage.

I hate it that they then touch everything in my house, and I have to go around disinfecting when they leave.

I am not a fanatic, but this really upsets me.

— Grossed Out

Dear Grossed Out: If it bothers you that much, then don’t invite them back. Or make a comment just like you did in the letter talking about the importance of washing your hands.

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Dear Annie: You have printed letters from grandparents who are considering moving away from their grandkids, and I have some advice based on personal experience: Don’t do it!

My husband and I lived in the busy boroughs of New York City, where I was happy, and then moved to a less populated area. Our move took us only one hour away from our grandchildren, but it might as well be a million miles away.

My husband loves it, but I feel isolated and bored. There’s not a great selection of things to do without factoring in a long drive. The few things that I find enjoyable are seasonal and short-lived. Almost no one comes to visit, so I find myself on the constant driving end, which is draining in itself when you want to participate in daily or weekly events.

Before moving, couples should pay attention to what they enjoy about where they live, especially the little things. We live far enough that we can’t get R&B radio reception; I never realized how much that small thing affects me daily.

I miss the proximity of what I call “civilization” and family and neighborly neighbors. The new neighbors are not neighborly. The entire community keeps to themselves and basically stays indoors; there are no kids playing outdoors.

Put serious thought into upending your life to move a plane ride away, or even a one-hour drive away.

— Regretful

Dear Regretful: Thank you for your letter. I do hope that you and your husband can go to counseling or come up with a better compromise than the one you have now. You should not be that miserable where you are living. Please talk to him. You can always move back somewhere closer and more urban.

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