DEAR AMY: I live in a shared apartment with two other women. We are all in our 20s. One of them has a boyfriend and spends a lot of time at his house, so she frequently has him come in when she stops by to pick up clothes. I don't know him very well, and it makes me uncomfortable when she brings him into our home with absolutely no warning. I have told her this multiple times, but she continues to do it. We will be parting ways at the end of our lease in a few months, but this really bothers me and I feel it is inappropriate. Am I out of line in expecting some warning before bringing a guest into the apartment, even if it is only for a few minutes?
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You are out of line in expecting your roommate to give you "advance warning" of bringing her friend into your (and her) home for something as benign as picking up her clothes.
It would be quite another matter if she gave him a key and he popped in alone and unannounced. But you don't get to choose the people your roommate associates with, especially if they intersect with your life for brief moments -- and always are accompanied by her.
DEAR AMY: There is a kid at school I have become friends with. However, I don't know if I should be friends with him because a lot of kids hate him (including my best friend). He can sometimes be annoying, and a while ago he smashed my other friend's pencil sharpener. In general he is funny and is nice to me, but the way other kids react around him shows me that he is mean to others. Should I be friends with him -- or not?
Indecisive in Seattle
DEAR INDECISIVE: You should be nice and kind to everyone. You don't say if you know why your new friend has lashed out at others, but your friendship with him presents you with an opportunity to model kindness and inclusion, and it gives him the opportunity to learn from you how to treat people with respect. This is a challenge, and I give you credit for being willing to try.
DEAR AMY: "Confused in Colorado" refused to be in the presence of her partner's ex -- the mother of his children. As a stepmother of two beautiful young adults, I agree wholeheartedly with you, Amy. A stepparent's job is to help their spouse/partner create a safe and loving environment for the family. Regardless of how you feel about the ex, that person is still the kids' mother and they love her, flaws and all. If you set yourself up in a "her versus me" situation, you will lose. The children will always choose the bio parent (as they should). Taking the high road is often a steep and winding path with lots of rocks to trip you up, and it's sometimes painful and exhausting. It's also the only way to create a healthy environment in a blended family.
DEAR HAPPY: Exactly. Thank you.
DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the letters from folks about the question from "Revolted," who found her husband urinating in the bathroom sink one night. First of all, urine is sterile (unless you have a sexually transmitted infection). I have a congenital deformity of my urethra in which I splatter a bit when urinating over the toilet bowl. Having to clean up the drops on the floor or the bowl (mostly by me), my wife suggested going in the sink. She also is not a fan of the sounds of splashing, particularly in the middle of the night. Also for the water savers out there (and we all should be), a rinse of the sink uses far less water than a regular flush, even with water-saving toilets.
DEAR NOT: If the sink works for you, then great -- or you could urinate into a mason jar (or portable urinal, such as hospitals use) and pour it into the toilet in the morning.