Dear Maxy ,
I am a high school student , and I have been playing the piano for 10 years . It is something that I enjoy .
I got a new piano teacher this year , she is a smoker , and her breath is the worst smoker's breath I have ever smelled before . It never used to be this bad !
She sits next to me while I play , and when she talks the smell is nauseating . I try to hold my breath but this makes me mess up . When I mess up , she yells .
How do I tell her that her breath smells so much that it is impacting my piano playing without hurting her feelings ?
I think there is a diplomatic way to handle it .
Drum up the courage to speak to your teacher before you sit down at the piano .
Apologize for having difficulty playing properly sometimes . Tell her that you want to share something with her that makes you uncomfortable.
With her blessing , tell her that you have noticed that she is a smoker , and that, unfortunately , the strong smell of smoke on her breath distracts you when you are playing .
She will likely be embarrassed . Hopefully , she will either brush her teeth before you come to class or not smoke close to your arrival . As good as this teacher may be , you may need to look for someone else to teach you who is a nonsmoker .
Dear Maxy ,
My son is getting married , my husband and I are paying for the rehearsal dinner . My mother is adamant that all out-of-town guests be invited .
My son and his fiancee prefer to keep the guest list to the wedding party , parents and grandparents . Otherwise it risks becoming too large . And if we include out-of-towners from our side , we also have to include those from the bride's side .
Is it normal protocol to invite out-of-town guests to the rehearsal dinner ? Could we invite only some of them ?
Dear Blues ,
If there are large numbers of out-of-town guests , you do not have to invite them to the rehearsal dinner , although you should provide some type of refreshment when they arrive , either in their hotel rooms or by way of a hospitality suite . If there are people traveling a great distance who are special to the family , you may invite them individually , but I don't recommend including most of the groom's side and none of the bride's.
I was at my friend's house the other day and saw a medication he was taking that is used for venereal disease . I was shocked . Then again , I don't know anything about his sex life . What I do know is that he recently started dating a girl and is super excited about her . I have a feeling he is going to have sex with her soon . I like this girl he's dating and I know her a little bit . I wonder if I should talk to her about what I found or tell the guy to take it slowly? I would hate to be the person who knows a terrible fact but didn't do anything about it . How should I proceed ?
Dear In Doubt,
Your friend's sex life is now your business . That you saw medication does not confirm his health status .
It is best to mind your own business .
If you feel compelled to find out , tell your friend directly . Tell him you saw a medication of his that made you concerned about him and his new date . If you want to step in his business , you could ask him if he has the disease in question and if he uses protection .
I do not recommend that you go to the new date . In these times , people should know to use protection . You are not the protection police and it is not your role to try to get your friends to behave responsibly . It is up to them.