DEAR ABBY: I am wondering if anyone else has ever asked about this. I have had the same cleaning woman for three years. She does an excellent job and works hard. I got her the last six or seven of her clients. However, she has made little changes in the past when I'm not home.
For example, she reorganized a kitchen drawer and laundry room cabinet without first clearing it with me. Yesterday, when I walked into my laundry room, I noticed two pictures had been removed from the wall and rehung in my living room. Furthermore, she used three nails to hang them and left the first nail in the wall because she had made a mistake. I removed the pictures and returned them to their original spots. The three holes in the living room wall remain.
I live in an expensive penthouse. The holes are like bullet holes to me. This is not my apartment. I am a renter. In addition, I do not have the paint that matches, and I am not handy with spackle and painting.
My cleaning lady is very sensitive. When I asked her to let me know the night before if she needs to cancel, I almost lost her for good. I had to call repeatedly, and I'm walking on eggshells now. -- RENTER IN NEVADA
DEAR RENTER: For your cleaning woman to have done what she did was wrong, and you need to explain it to her so nothing similar will happen again. Sometimes it isn't what you say but how you say it. Hang onto your temper while telling her she has created a problem for you. It's the truth, and she needs to hear it. If her response is to punish you by not showing up, you are well rid of the woman.
P.S. Visit a paint store or home improvement store and you may be pleasantly surprised to know that paint can be closely matched these days if you bring a small sample with you. They may also be able to recommend someone who can fix the wall for a reasonable price, or offer guidance on how you can fix it yourself.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 58-year-old woman, divorced for three years. I was in a loveless marriage for almost 20 years. Over the last three years I have lost 45 pounds and have started going to online dating sites. I'm attractive, so I get lots of attention.
I post nice pictures of myself, nothing sexy. But the kind of attention I'm getting is not what I want. I'd like to meet a man and try to have a long-term relationship. Most of the men "say" that's what they want, too. But to be honest about it, it's not.
How can I come across as a woman who wants an LTR and not a "friends with benefits" or a hook-up? I don't sleep around, so those things just are not my cup of tea. What do I do? -- LOST IN THE ONLINE DATING WORLD
DEAR LOST: If someone wants to move your "relationship" to the next level before you are ready, you need to say you are not comfortable in moving so quickly. It's straightforward and honest.
It occurs to me that there are many kinds of dating sites, and you may be on the wrong ones. If you have friends who are also in the dating world, ask them which they use. But if you have no luck there, consider meeting suitable men the old-fashioned way -- by being introduced by people you know and who know you well.
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