Originally published Sunday, February 11, 2018 at 05:58a.m.
Dear Annie: About a year and a half ago, the absolute love of my life and I broke up. I was going through some hard times and suffered from major depression and wasn’t taking any medication for it. I accused him of cheating, not loving me, etc., to the point where he’d had enough. I don’t blame him, really. We still talked afterward, and I have been on medication for over a year now and see how wrong I was. I explained that to him and also how I have been faithful to him in hopes of getting back together. On our calls, we would talk about the good times, and he even called me the nickname he had for me. I thought, “OK, this is it. Finally time to get the love of my life back.” Then he told me he has gone on coffee dates and is on a dating website. Today I finally decided I can’t do it anymore and blocked his number. Was I wrong to do so? — Lost in Love
Dear Lost in Love: No, you weren’t wrong. You blocked his number because your heart was telling you that it won’t be able to heal while he’s in it. Listen to it. As paradoxical as it sounds, you need to cut off contact with your ex until you no longer have a desire to contact him. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Eventually, you’ll be able to move on, just as he already is.
Dear Annie: I am a young woman who received a job promotion almost a year ago. My boss and mentor, an older man, is an expert in our field. Having this experience on my resume will be invaluable in the future. Professionally, he is everything a mentor should be, in addition to being a kind man who makes long hours and sometimes stressful work almost fun.
All should be good, but there is one issue that is about to put me over the edge. He blows his nose constantly, using and reusing the same visibly full-of-mucus handkerchief, and he rarely washes his hands. The constant loud noise of all that mucus dislodging is stomach-churning. We often work in the same office or conference room, and we pass documents back and forth. We often have to eat meals together, with or without clients, and his nose-blowing is even more disgusting at the table. I have seen others quietly put down their forks until especially loud, rumbling nose-blowing moments pass. Of course, once he has handled the bread basket or other communal dishes, no one else takes from those dishes. I keep a large, visible bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk. I sometimes offer it to him and others, but he always declines. It’s the same when we enter a restaurant and I excuse myself to “wash my hands”; he seems oblivious and never follows my lead.
I feel that it would be disrespectful for me to speak up, and I’m not sure what I could say. I’m writing in hopes that he and others with chronic sinus issues will take care of their business in the privacy of a bathroom or their own office and then wash their hands each and every time they blow their nose. Not to mention that the flu is rampant across our country. — Disgusted and Grossed Out
Dear Disgusted and Grossed Out: Some people with chronic sinus issues have such frequent need to clear their noses that if they went to the bathroom every time, they wouldn’t get much else done. That said, everyone who’s able to go to the restroom when clearing his or her nose absolutely should. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing our hands with soap and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds is one of the best ways to avoid getting ourselves and others sick.