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by Abigail Van Buren

Mood Swings Cause Young Teen to Question Emotions

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I attended a party hosted by a well-respected couple who love to entertain. They have a spotless, beautiful home and are the essence of what you would hope to find in party hosts. Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the door, but before we could step inside, the stench of cat urine overpowered us. It was overwhelming, and we have to assume that everyone else smelled it, too.

My wife and I are torn about what to do. We have great respect for this couple. They are pillars of our community.

I say, to save future embarrassment, that an anonymous, carefully written note alerting them to this odor should be sent to them, saying that a problem "may" exist and providing them the opportunity to resolve the smell. My wife says absolutely not. Your thoughts? -- FELINE BLUES IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR FELINE BLUES: If you lack the courage to sign your name, do not send the letter. It isn't unheard of that pet owners become so used to the odors in their homes that they no longer smell them. Either address the problem head on -- politely, of course -- or refuse further invitations and invite the couple out instead.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics