Life Advice


Health & Spirit

This couple is in for a wedding 'Groundhog Day'

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a very good friend that I have known for more than 30 years. Over the last few years, we've really begun spending time together, doing girls' nights out, road trips, etc.

We've taken two recent road trips with our kids. Over the summer, during a seven-hour car ride, I noticed her teen daughter's body odor.

The three of us took a short overnight road trip this past weekend, and I (once again) noticed it. In my friend's home, she has a kitty litter and dog smell that would overload the senses of a bloodhound. Your nose is greeted with this as soon as the front door opens.

We're like sisters, but I am deathly afraid of hurting her feelings, or stepping on her mom toes.

We have a judgment-free friendship, and I fear that this would damage that trust.

Amy, how can I approach this subject with her diplomatically?

-- Severely Overloaded Senses

Dear SOS: This is one of the most challenging issues to deal with diplomatically. You should try, however, because being a true friend means that you occasionally have to deliver tough truths.

Doing this does not violate your "no judgment" relationship. You aren't placing a value judgment about how your friend lives; you are giving her a discreet notice about something she might not be aware of.

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People who live among very strong pet odors often don't seem to notice; the nose simply adjusts to noxious fumes.

You can say to your friend, privately, "Hey, I'm just giving you a heads-up that I noticed 'Julia's' body odor this past weekend. I noticed it last summer, too, but thought it might be a temporary thing. I know it's challenging with teens, but I thought you might want to go over some hygiene issues with her. Or I could try, if you think she would be open to that."

Dear Amy: I loved your answer to "Mother," who walked in on her son in a sexually intimate moment with his (male) friend. You are so right. No matter the sexuality, no young adult wants their mother to know this much about them, or, God forbid, witness it. Ewww! Mom, get out!

-- Mom Too

Dear Mom: This mother couldn't seem to unsee this, or stop talking about it.


(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)



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