DEAR ABBY: I'm wondering how to approach a situation following a visit with some relatives. We enjoyed a wonderful visit and they were very nice to put us up in their guest room. A few days into our stay, I woke up with strange and very itchy bites on my legs and shoulders. When I mentioned it to our host, she quickly supplied me with some itch cream and changed the subject.
After we returned home, we met a few of our relatives and they mentioned that this particular household was experiencing a bed bug problem. I was shocked and a little hurt that they didn't mention the infestation or warn us ahead of time.
We're in the process of making sure we didn't bring any of these critters home, but if we must hire an exterminator or replace furniture, we will be in a bind financially. What would be the proper way to address this, and should our host feel some responsibility for what costs we may have to incur? -- ITCHY AND IRRITATED IN ILLINOIS
DEAR ITCHY: That these relatives would knowingly allow you to stay in a room they knew was infested with "critters" is appalling. Could they have been too embarrassed to speak up?
If you must replace rugs, mattresses, bedding, etc., ask them to reimburse you. If they refuse, you could take them to small claims court and get a judgment IF you could prove you picked the bugs up there. But first you should let your relatives know that other family members told you about their "sin of omission." In the future, if you plan to visit this couple again, stay elsewhere. Once bitten, twice shy.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "George" for 20 years. We have a solid relationship except for one thing that drives me crazy: He insists on having his ex-wife cut his hair.
I have told him over and over that I really dislike it and I wish he would go elsewhere, but he refuses. Now he's going behind my back and waiting for me to notice that he's had a haircut. He used to at least tell me beforehand. It would take an entire column to describe her past behavior, but it's not all that different from many exes.
I think what he's doing is disrespectful to me. I would never continue doing something he asked me not to if it bothered him. There are a lot of hairstylists in this town, and her haircuts aren't that great. Am I being unreasonable? -- BOTHERED IN IDAHO
DEAR BOTHERED: Your husband has been doing this for 20 years and you are only writing to me about it now? Because it bothers you, the next time he goes over to get his hair cut, volunteer to go with him. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em -- and maybe get a manicure in the process.
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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