Dear Margo, We have a small house which I would like to keep uncluttered. The woman who cleans for us insist on buying us gifts which we don't need, and don't have room for. Since she's in the house on a regular basis, I feel like I need to display the items. However, the clutter really gets on my nerves. How can I approach her without hurting her feelings, and what can I do with the stuff I don't want? We do have a condo/office she doesn't visit. - Marge
Dear Marge, Oy! That is a predicament. Your decorating preferences should not, however, be dictated by your cleaning person ... nor should your small house become tchotchkerama out of concern for her feelings. (First of all, it is odd for someone in your employ to shower you with gifts.) I would gather your nerve and tell her the following: You are uncomfortable with her spending her hard-earned money on gifts for you and you would like that to stop. To spare her feelings you can say you are moving the presents to your condo/office because you like your living space to be spare. When you gather the unwanted items you can regift them to your local Goodwill. - Margo
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:
Dear Readers, , My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.