DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Kevin," and I have been together for five years and have a 4-year-old son we are crazy about. For the past six months, I have been begging Kevin to have another child. Some days he's all for it, but then he changes his mind and starts asking me to give him a good reason why we should. No matter what I say, he always says I want another child "just to have another." What can I tell him to make him change his mind? -- SUFFERING WITH BABY FEVER
DEAR SUFFERING: A reason that occurs to me would be that you do not want your little boy to grow up as an only child.
However, your boyfriend may prefer not to enlarge your family because he doesn't want to be financially responsible for more than one child. Instead of trying to sell him on the idea, perhaps you should ask him to give you some good reasons why he's not as enthusiastic as you are about it. The answer may be that he's not as fully committed to your relationship as you are.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend, "Missy," who is "nose blind" when it comes to her pets. She has three enormous dogs who have the run of her house and car.
The first time we carpooled together, the smell in her car was repulsive. The passenger side was filthy, stained and full of dog hair. I don't have pets, so I suspect I may be a little more sensitive than the average person. But not wanting to hurt her feelings, I bit my tongue and got through the ride as best I could.
Lately, I have been driving us to the events we attend together, and I really don't mind doing so. In fact, I prefer it. But she has started asking me why and insists that she'll drive next time. What do I tell her without hurting her feelings? -- DOGGED IN COLORADO
DEAR DOGGED: Tell your friend the truth -- that although she is used to the dogs' odor and the hair they shed, you would rather drive than have to deal with it.
DEAR ABBY: We bought a vacation home last year and spent a lot of money remodeling it. The problem is, lots of our friends and relatives constantly ask us to use it. The upkeep costs us $400 per month (which goes up when someone uses it). We have never charged anyone to stay there.
We are getting tired of footing the bill for other people's vacations. We wouldn't mind so much if they would offer a little money to offset the extra expenses. Is there a way we can politely ask for it? We are not wealthy, and this was a dream of ours. Thanks for your advice. -- OUR DREAM IN TENNESSEE
DEAR DREAM: Yes, there's a way. The next time someone asks to use your vacation home say, "We'd love to let you do it, but the place costs $400 a month in upkeep, and the expenses go up if someone is staying there. How about splitting the cost with us?" You should not be expected to pay for these people's vacations, and what you are asking is more than fair.