DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My boyfriend's parents are very sweet. Unfortunately they've become far too "comfortable" with their kids, a.k.a their two old little dogs. They let them eat food off people's plates and their hands before handling food. I can't watch them cook. I must look like a total bitch, but I just can't watch them touching my food. It puts me off. And don't get me started on the dog hair I find everywhere. I love my boyfriend and of course I care about his parents, too. The other day I walked away only a couple bites into my meal when I noticed some stuff in the food because I thought I was going to be sick. Just minutes earlier I'd seen the dogs lick the spatula, which they had to clean again to flip our food. I went to lie down upset, sick and unhappy. There are a list of things unhygienic going on in that house, where he also lives to help his folks out, so I wash my hands and keep to his bedroom. The food stuff, though, that's not very avoidable. What should I do or say? -- Grossed Out, Winnipeg
Dear Grossed Out: This boyfriend may be great, but this may not be the right family for you to join. Look at the whole situation now and decide what you want to do. These folks are not going to change their ways for you. In some ways, what you say and do depends on how old you are. If this is the time in your life when you want to be marrying and having babies, you may not ever want his parents to babysit your child as grandparents love to do. Is it a serious relationship for you and this boyfriend who still lives with his folks? If it is, remember you marry the rest of the family, too, especially if you live in the same city.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I've noticed, especially in this warm weather, the men in this city who enjoy staring at other women, even while with their wives or girlfriends. It seems some women don't appear to mind and kind of ignore it, or perhaps they hold the hurt in and take it out in other ways. Or, maybe they enjoy the same viewing of hot guys as they please. I'm just wondering if this is acceptable or rude? As the object of some of these stares, I've thought about going over to the guy and saying "Hi," to see what his reaction is then. Occasionally, I will see a guy who you can tell is completely in love with his woman and it wouldn't matter if the most beautiful woman in the world walked by -- he would glance at her and then look back to his woman. This is what I want. Am I unrealistic? -- Sensitive To Gawkers, Winnipeg
Dear Sensitive: Because you're sensitive to this brand of rudeness, let any new guy you are dating know this is one of your foibles, right off the top. You can sound him out on the topic by saying you've seen it happen to other people and you know how it feels when someone's boyfriend ogles you. That should start an instructive conversation. If the guy is adamant he can mentally undress any great looking women who goes by, you will now he's not the sensitive and considerate guy you want. As for saying hi to gawking guys, don't bother engaging in that little game.
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