The not-so-fresh dugout part­ner

Antelope Valley Press - - VALLEY LIFE -

Dear An­nie: I play in a ladies se­nior soft­ball league. One of the women who plays in the league has re­ally aw­ful un­der­arm odor. It is dif­fi­cult to stand any­where near her with­out gag­ging from the smell.

She is a lovely per­son and a good ball player, but stand­ing in­side the dugout with her or even next to her out­side the dugout is dis­tract­ing, to say the least. She’s sin­gle and some­times com­plains about not be­ing able to keep a boyfriend. I won­der if this is part of the prob­lem, and she is just un­aware of it.

I have known peo­ple with a body odor prob­lem that can­not be reme­died be­fore, but this isn’t the same smell. This is the un­der­arm smell that hap­pens when one sweats — some­thing like spoiled veg­etable soup.

Do you have a sug­ges­tion for how to let her know with­out hurt­ing her feel­ings or em­bar­rass­ing her? I don’t want to dam­age our re­la­tion­ship, but I think that if she knew and did some­thing about it, she may do bet­ter with prospec­tive part­ners.

— Bat­woman Dear Bat­woman: The in­gre­di­ents you need in or­der to make this a pro­duc­tive con­ver­sa­tion are kind­ness, di­rect­ness and clar­ity. You are cor­rect that she prob­a­bly does not know that she smells, and you are be­ing a good and brave friend for hav­ing that con­ver­sa­tion with her.

Make sure you do so in pri­vate and try to keep your tone very light. Try not make a big deal of it so as to save her em­bar­rass­ment. You could even sug­gest a brand of de­odor­ant that you like and have had suc­cess with. Best of luck. I ap­plaud your courage in hav­ing an awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion with your friend that could change her life for the bet­ter. Dear An­nie: This year, my sis­ter and her hus­band wouldn’t give any specifics when asked what they wanted for their birth­days. They are min­i­mal­ist and aren’t re­ally into phys­i­cal things.

When I asked about gift cards or cash, they didn’t give a de­fin­i­tive an­swer. What do you do when this hap­pens? I don’t want

to be rude and just give a card or noth­ing at all.

— Con­fused

Dear Con­fused: If your sis­ter and both­erin-law are not into things, then give them the gift of an ex­pe­ri­ence, such as tick­ets to a sport­ing event, a nice din­ner or play. Ide­ally, it should be some­thing they can do to­gether. It’s the thought that counts more than try­ing to give some­one the per­fect thing.

Dear An­nie: The let­ter from “Old What­shis­name” about us­ing the same fake name at restau­rants and cof­fee shops brought a smile to my face. Be­cause we have a dif­fi­cult last night to spell and pro­nounce, my late hus­band and I al­ways gave the name “Olsen” when wait­ing to be called for a ta­ble at a restau­rant.

One evening, our name was called, we were seated and eat­ing din­ner when an­other cou­ple stopped at our ta­ble and said, “We are the Olsens! Do you spell it ‘en’ or ‘on’?” I think the look of puz­zle­ment on our faces told the tale!

— Busted Dear Busted: What a cute story! Sounds like the Olsens found out about your fam­ily se­cret.

Dear An­nie An­nie Lane

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