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Alice, My Friend Wants to Stay at My House…In My Bed…With his Girlfriend — Ask Alice: Advice for Life at Home

Hi Alice,

I have a friend, who was my flatmate, but now lives with his family. His girlfriend lives in a different city and now they want to meet up with each other and stay over at my apartment in my room, asking me to sleep on the couch outside for a night. He’s a good friend of mine, but I do not want him to stay in my apartment and in my bed with his girlfriend. How can I say no in a way that does not make him feel bad?

Thanks,

Hesitant Host

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Posted on Sep 19, 2017

Alice, Do I Really Need to Replace a Wine Glass Broken While I Was Housesitting? — Ask Alice: Advice For Life at Home

Dear Alice,

This past weekend I was house sitting for some very well-off friends. I got the go ahead from them to have people over for dinner and one of my friends broke one of their wine glasses. He offered to pay for it, but I also know he is about to move, doesn’t have a ton of spare cash and the replacement glasses cost kind of a lot ( and you have to buy a set of two). Do I go ahead and accept his offer? Do I replace the glass myself? Do I tell them and hope that they’ll say, “don’t worry about it, we’re RICH!”? I know he feels terrible, I feel terrible that he feels terrible, but I also know these people don’t need two more fancy wine glasses. Ugh!

Thanks,

Sorry to Wine

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Posted on Sep 12, 2017

Alice, I Found My Dream Apartment But it Makes My Mother Nervous, Should I Take It Anyway? — Ask Alice

Hi Alice,

I’m currently renting in a new city and have found what I’d like to call a dream place. I’ve been for a viewing and have already started visioning the interiors and imagining life in my new home. It’s a lovely flat with lots of light, large windows and an amazing view.

Only issue is, it’s on the 16th floor. There are lifts and fire safety stairs, and although my mum originally thought the space was delightful, she is now opposed to my moving in due to it being so high up.

This will be the second home I’ve rented, and although she won’t be living there, my mum’s approval is important to me. I’ve spoken to friends who have given me a pretty 50/50 split on the place and I’m not sure what to do — should I follow the advice of others who may be more experienced in house hunting, or trust my heart/gut and prepare myself for eating dinner with a beautiful view?

Kind Regards,

Lost in Translation

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Posted on Aug 29, 2017

Alice, My Mom Refuses to Attend Events If My Dad’s Girlfriend Will Be There

Dear Alice,

My parents have been divorced for nearly 20 years, and my dad is now remarried to a lovely woman. My mom refuses to interact with my dad and his wife, making for very uncomfortable/stressful moments when we are forced to all be in the same room (graduations, weddings, etc.).

A few of my mom’s friends are throwing me my baby shower in a couple of months. My dad recently ran into one of the shower hosts and asked her to include his wife. I don’t want to hurt my dad’s wife’s feelings, but her presence at the shower would upset my mom, cause the hosts to tiptoe around this painfully weird situation, and I’d end up having a miserable time.

Do you think I need to just get over it and invite my dad’s wife? If I blackball her, how do I explain to her that she is still important to me and will have a relationship with my daughter, but I’d prefer she not attend my shower?

Thanks for the advice,
Stuck in the Middle

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Posted on Aug 9, 2017

Alice, My Sister Mocks My Home and Refuses to Visit — Ask Alice: Advice for Life at Home

Dear Alice,

My husband and I live in a small (800 square foot) bungalow. My sister and her family refuse to come visit us because, “my house is too small” and will insult my home at every opportunity. She dismisses my hurt feelings because “it’s not insulting if it’s true.” What can I do? Help!

Sincerely,
Bungalow Blues

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Posted on Jul 22, 2017

Alice, How Do I Keep My Bridal Party Small Without Hurting My Cousin’s Feelings?

Dear Alice,

What’s the decorum for having someone in your bridal party only because you were in theirs? I’ve been in two weddings, one for a couple where I’m good friends with both of the people in the couple and one a cousin that I’ve known since birth. While I love all these people dearly, I’m not looking to have a huge bridal party. Any more than four people makes me feel overwhelmed, and the four I’ve chosen are my dearest friends that I’ve been close to for many years. I’ve thought about having the couple be ushers or maybe some other position but what about the cousin? I hate that I’m going to have to break the news to her eventually, especially since she was very forgiving when I was her bridesmaid (I live across the country from her and was not the most tactful with responding about the dress, etc.).

Should I make her a bridesmaid just because I’d hate to hurt her? Or should I give her another job like the couple?

Best,

Baffled by Bridesmaids

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Posted on Jul 10, 2017

Alice, I’ve Got a Crush on My Tenant

Dear Alice,

Really I don’t even know how to say this, but I have to say it because I need your help: I have a crush on my tenant. This guy is great, he’s everything I wish to have in a partner. Help!

Thanks,
Lovelorn Landlord

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Posted on Jul 4, 2017

Alice, How Do I Ask My Demanding Neighbor to Move Her Stuff?

Dear Alice,

I’m having problems with a neighbor for the first time in my decade living in New York. She came upstairs to pointedly complain about my dryer being on at 3 pm on a Saturday. My response was to tell her we were willing to accommodate her as much as possible, but that my laundry also needed to dry. We heard from her again on a different weekend when she could hear a tray table moving while my husband was cutting food during dinner. I was told she was nicer about it this time, but I also know she’s complained about noise to every other apartment on the floor. We are insanely quiet neighbors because we are aware that we aren’t the only people in the building; we keep our tv down, we don’t shout, we don’t stomp, and I’m allergic to making noise after 10 pm. We also live on a busy street in Queens, so the expectations of absolute silence seem off.

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Posted on Jun 26, 2017

Help! How Do I Place Furniture in This Strangely Shaped Studio? — The Room Layout Doctor Is In

One of the most perplexing things about moving into a new place, especially a small place, is where to put the furniture. This apartment, with its curving wall of windows, presented a unique challenge. How do you create both a bedroom and a living space (and maybe a dining room and a study, too) in a place that’s so small, and so unusually shaped? We went to the drawing board to come up with a few ideas.

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Posted on Jun 20, 2017

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