Ruffling feathers OK when child misbehaves
Dear Annie: I was at my brother’s home for my sisterin-law’s birthday a few weeks ago. My sister-in-law, “Jess,” had a stroke some years ago and can only say a few singlesyllable words at a time. She has an 18-year-old bird that she loves and takes care of.
My nephew’s fiancée, “Becky,” and her daughter, “Emily,” came over during the party, and Emily started to tease the bird. Jess looked at me and said, “Cover bird.”
I went over and politely put the cover on the birdcage and said, “I think it’s time for the bird to go to sleep. When there are a lot of people in the house, the bird gets stressed out. The cover helps him calm down.”
Everything was fine for about 10 minutes. But then Emily went over, flipped part of the cover off the cage and started to tease the bird again.
Becky was sitting right there and did not say a word to her daughter. I looked on silently because I felt it was not my place to say anything, and Emily sat down after a few minutes anyway.
But then she went over to the cage a third time. She began teasing the bird. At this point, my brother politely told Emily to stop because she was upsetting the bird, and she did. At that point, Becky got upset.
She told my brother, “She’s only playing with the bird.” She and Emily left the birthday party early because of this.
My brother and I would like your opinion on whether it was inappropriate for him to tell Emily to stop. Birdy-guard
Dear Birdy-guard: Of course it was appropriate of your brother to speak up. If that ruffled Becky’s feathers, she should have stepped in before he had to. The next time you’re all together, set some ground rules right from the start, and make them clear to Emily, Becky and your nephew: no ifs, ands or squawks about it.
Dear Annie: I couldn’t agree more with your reply to “Wondering Why at the Y,” who complained about the odour of his fitness classmate. But this isn’t just a problem at the gym.
In today’s offices, people are often crammed into small areas to save money. If one inconsiderate man or woman puts on too much fragrance, it can give headaches to everyone around them.
If you wear scents daily, you must be careful. Over time, you become immune to the smell. Bottom line, if you put on enough that you can smell it, it’s probably terribly strong for everyone else! Glad I’m Retired
Dear Glad I’m Retired: Let this be a public service announcement: The perfumes and colognes you wear could ruin a co-worker’s day. Spritz responsibly.