Dear Annie: When company comes and snacks are put out, I always include a small spoon so that treats like candy and nuts can be removed without a person touching the entire contents. But many guests don’t get the point.
One person came in saying he had been suffering from the flu and was still feeling under the weather, so we should keep our distance. He then proceeded to pick through the nut bowl, even though there was a ladle in it. I threw the rest of the nuts in the trash and hoped other guests hadn’t been contaminated.
Please remind people that their hands don’t belong in a shared bowl unless they’ve just scrubbed for surgery. – Staying Healthy
Dear Healthy: Many people, sick or well, don’t consider that sticking their fingers into a shared bowl of snacks can transmit the germs on their hands to the next person. (So can a frequently handled serving piece.) You can ask your guests to please use the serving pieces because it’s cold and flu season, etc., but some folks will pay no attention. Another option is to serve snacks that do not require that your guests reach into the same receptacle.
DEAR ANNIE: I started to cry when I read the letter from “Heartbroken in New York,” whose husband drank. I made the choice to end my marriage of 21 years because I could no longer take the Jekyll and Hyde man I was married to. Nothing I did was “right.” I was “boring and unspontaneous.” He would drink, decide I was dull and then leave to go to a bar. Many of our fights were because I hid the car keys from him. Eventually, he stopped coming home and went directly to the bar.
I finally asked him to leave and not return unless he agreed to counseling. It was then that he admitted he is gay. I was relieved. It’s better to be alone than to have someone who treats you like this. – The Grass Is Greener