DEAR ABBY: Please settle a dispute I am having with my roommates. The four of us "girls" have separate bedrooms, and mine is messy. I admit it is covered with clothes and papers. But there is never food, food wrappers or anything lying around that could attract "unwanted guests."
My roommates are always after me to clean my room, but I feel I shouldn't have to. I'm an adult. I work 20 to 30 hours a week, and my major requires that I have class for another 30 hours. On top of that I have homework, and I try to have a social life. I keep my door closed so my roommates and their guests won't see the mess.
Now, here's the zinger: I am the only one who keeps the rest of the house clean. I am the one who does the dishes, takes out the trash, cleans the bathroom, vacuums, etc. I have to beg my roommates to do anything, and many nights I come home to three stacks of dirty dishes and two bags of trash.
I don't expect you to say it's OK to have a cluttered room, but what do you think about people who barely lift a finger to help around the house telling me what to do in my room? -- THE MESSY ONE, HINESVILLE, GA.
DEAR MESSY ONE: Talk about a case of the pot calling the kettle black! Frankly, it seems rather selfish for your roommates to keep their private spaces neat as a pin while ignoring the need to contribute to the upkeep of the common areas.
The time has come to hold a "roomies" meeting and offer "the girls" a proposition. You will find the time to straighten your room when they agree to post and abide by a "chores chart" so you no longer have to play Cinderella.
DEAR ABBY: My darling grandmother, a selfless pillar in our community, died just over three weeks ago. Her death hit me extremely hard, but I was lucky enough to see her one last time before she fell into a coma.
In my kitchen is an amaryllis plant that my husband received as a gift more than 10 years ago. It hasn't bloomed in the last seven years, but we kept it going because the fronds are so pretty. In fact, I liked it so much I bought one for my grandmother as a Christmas gift a few years ago.
Well, after seven years of being dormant, my beautiful amaryllis began blooming on the day of Grandma's funeral. This amazing, stately flower stands tall and reminds us of her. There is no reason why this plant should flower now. I haven't fed it in ages, it gets watered only when I can remember to do it, and I have never "conditioned" it to bloom out of season. I think it's Grandma telling me she loves me even though she is gone. -- JENNIFER IN LINCOLN, MONT.
DEAR JENNIFER: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your grandmother. She may be sending you a message of love, reminding you that in death people of faith enjoy a new beginning, or telling you that you should not grieve for her, because wherever she is, she, too, is "blooming."
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