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by Abigail Van Buren

Bare Skin Everywhere Is Hard for Reader to Bear

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Herb," and I are middle-aged and have been married four years. Herb is a wonderful husband, and we are very happy. I cook, and he usually cleans up -- including washing several dishes and cooking utensils by hand. (He doesn't like to use the dishwasher.)

Abby, this sweet man doesn't get the dishes clean! I'm talking about lipstick on glasses, oil on pans and food left on plates. He doesn't use soap or hot water, either. I rewash everything the next morning after he leaves for work. I'm afraid to say anything because I'm happy Herb makes the effort, and I don't want to ruin the nice gesture. Should I keep this up, or tell him my concerns and ask him to try harder? -- IN LOVE WITH THE DISHWASHER, AUSTIN, TEXAS

DEAR IN LOVE: Your sweet husband may have poor eyesight -- so start pointing out what he's missing on the dishes. Then explain that, in the interest of hygiene, you would be more comfortable if, instead of just rinsing the dishes, he would place them in the dishwasher so you can be sure they are sterile the next time you use them.

P.S. Because you are having to wash the dishes twice, you may find that by using the dishwasher you will be using less water!