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It’s Friday and it’s time for Amelia Hamilton to answer all your questions about stinky neighbors, soda pop, and staying above the fray!
Dear Amelia: I have downstairs neighbors whose apartment smells so bad I actually hold my breath as I pass by when their door is open. I can only describe it as the unholy marriage of incense, unwashed hippies, and too many cats. They constantly ask me to feed their cats when they go out of town. I keep finding reasons to decline, as I don’t think I could actually walk in there without vomiting. Plus, they keep a “pet spider.” How do I tell them “no” once and for all? — Grossed out Neighbor
Eww. Just tell them that spiders gross you out and that your active social life doesn’t leave you time to take care of their alarming number of cats. Okay, put that into your own words, but by letting them know that you just can’t commit to helping, they will probably find a petsitter or another neighbor who is able to help. You’ve tried to sugar coat it, but they’re clearly not getting it. Time to tell them simply that you’re not the neighbor for the job.
My husband says I need to take the high road in a personal conflict with some acquaintances. I think the low road looks more fun and personally satisfying. What should I do?
— Running out of Gas
Indeed, the low road is an enticing path, full of venting and short-term gain. However, it rarely feels better in the long-run, and then you don’t get to feel smug about taking the high road (a little-lauded perk to that option). However, the high road doesn’t need to mean that you’re a doormat. You can say what needs to be said, draw the boundaries that need to be drawn, and remain above the fray. Sorry … I’m sure your husband is wrong about something else.
Some days, I drink up to 2 liters of Mountain Dew to enhance drumming. Most women I know aren’t impressed. What gives?
There are a couple of things at play here. First, are you some kind of actual rock star? If not, do you have a day job? (IT guys drink a lot of Mountain Dew, but they have good jobs.) After college or thereabouts, the drumming thing will probably be less alluring to the ladies than it used to be. So, drinking yuck to make the drumming even better won’t have the return on investment you think it does but, rather, make you appear a little bit frat boy. Assuming you are no longer in college, this is another thing that is probably not helping with the ladies.
Now for my second point: Mountain Dew is yuck. Drink some water (Coca-Cola is acceptable, but not in those quantities). I’m assuming this wasn’t the answer you want, but my job is simply to help.
Agree? Disagree? Have something to add? Leave a comment!
Want to submit a question? Tweet using #AskAmHam or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.