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Friend Is Passing Sloppy Habits to Her Teen Daughter

DEAR ABBY: I'm concerned about a friend of mine. When she was a child, her parents tried to raise her to be neat, but her bedroom, closets and bathroom were always a mess. Now that she has a home of her own and is married with kids, she's still the same. Clothing and towels are piled so deep on the floor you can't see it.

She has a housekeeper, and before the woman comes over to clean, my friend picks the stuff up. I don't know how they can tell what's clean or dirty when it has been walked on all week. The rest of the house is OK, but as you walk in the door, shoes are thrown here and there, like, "I'm home now. I'm free. Let it go. No rules." Her teenage daughter is now modeling the same behavior.

Is this some kind of disorder? To me, it would be just as easy to dump things into a hamper, on a shelf or in a drawer. Her husband is neat, and so is her son. I love her and it's none of my business, but is my way the wrong way? Am I the one with a disorder? -- ORDERLY IN ARKANSAS

DEAR ORDERLY: Your friend may have refused to be neat as a form of rebellion against her parents who, according to you, did not enforce the rules they set for her. It's not surprising the daughter is imitating her mother, which may come back to haunt her in a few years.

But none of you have a disorder. I do have a suggestion for you, however. Quit obsessing about your friend's sloppy household and parenting because there is nothing you can do about it.

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