ADVICE Ev­ery­body do your share

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Annie Lane

DEAR ANNIE » With the hol­i­days com­ing up, and peo­ple go­ing here and there for din­ner at oth­ers’ houses, I would like to know why some peo­ple feel they can just sit on their butts af­ter the big meal (or be­fore), while the oth­ers, al­ways the same ones, get up and clean up!

Don’t the ones who don’t of­fer to help re­al­ize how ex­haust­ing it can be — the days and weeks that go into plan­ning, mak­ing lists, shop­ping for gro­ceries, prep­ping, cook­ing, clean­ing the house, etc. I have a large fam­ily and was taught by age 8 that help­ing out is just the right thing to do. If I didn’t get up and help, I would have been scolded. I’m 65 now and still rec­og­nize the need to help.

I have many sis­ters-in­law, but one in par­tic­u­lar, a pro­fes­sional, has helped one time (that I can re­mem­ber) with the dishes af­ter the meal. All she wants to do is sit there and talk about how she is putting her kids through col­lege, what col­lege they are go­ing to, and on and on about her kids. An­other sis­ter-in-law is just lazy.

Most peo­ple know that af­ter the meal, there are not only the dishes to be done but also clear­ing the ta­ble of the dishes, sil­ver­ware, serv­ing dishes and glasses; load­ing the dish­washer (if you have one); fill­ing the sink to clean the pots and pans that can’t go in the dish­washer, etc., etc., etc.! Also, some­one has to take care of the left­overs. I re­ally don’t want to get in their faces and beg them to help. Maybe some­one will see them­selves in this let­ter.

Help, please... be­fore the hol­i­days!

— Suds to My El­bows

DEAR SUDSY EL­BOWS » In an ideal world, your fam­ily mem­bers would have enough man­ners to of­fer you help with cleanup af­ter hol­i­day din­ners. Un­for­tu­nately, we live in the real world, and you’ll need to ask them for help if you want it. A sim­ple “Would you please help me with the dishes?” will do.

Maybe Santa will bring them some man­ners and next year you won’t have to ask.

DEAR ANNIE » I read with great in­ter­est the let­ter from “Grandma Blind­sided by Men­tal Health Is­sue,” whose adult daugh­ter has Con­tam­i­na­tion OCD. For four de­bil­i­tat­ing years, I suf­fered from this (also re­ferred to as myso­pho­bia).

I lost prac­ti­cally ev­ery­one in my fam­ily (and so many friends) be­cause my OCD be­hav­iors were so an­noy­ing. I had been put on so many dif­fer­ent meds be­cause my doc­tors wanted me to be free of my ob­ses­sion with germs. But the meds didn’t work.

It turned out that my OCD was caused by a mas­sive brain tu­mor (be­nign menin­gioma).

When the tu­mor was fi­nally re­moved, I was free of the OCD be­hav­iors.

In any case, there are mil­lions of Amer­i­cans with this OCD be­hav­ior who, of course, do not have a brain tu­mor. I am writ­ing to you to share some in­sights with them, about what kept me go­ing when I was out of my mind and only thought about germs: 1) I saw a psy­chol­o­gist who helped me by not judg­ing me, and 2) I prayed to God ev­ery sin­gle day that one day my fear would be over­come. There is light at the end of this dark tun­nel when help is re­ceived.

— Janet John­son Sch­liff

DEAR JANET » Thank you for your hope­ful tes­ti­mony. And though it was not your primary pur­pose for writ­ing, your let­ter is also a wake-up call that such sud­den changes in be­hav­ior can in­di­cate un­der­ly­ing neu­ro­log­i­cal is­sues.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http:// www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing. com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for Annie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ators.com.

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