Dear Annie: I am an elderly bachelor and I have one sister, so I asked her to take care of my funeral arrangements when I go. I stressed repeatedly that that is all I want her to do. I set up arrangements to pay for everything.
Since then, my sister has repeatedly done everything I have asked her not to do. She has taken it upon herself to sign for my mail and call my doctors without asking. She criticizes my friends and other family members, and is rude, arrogant, controlling and greedy. Her own children won't talk to her.
I am totally capable of looking after myself. I thought that she had changed after all these years, but I was wrong. I have tried talking to her, but nothing sinks in. Consequently, I am going to have to change all the arrangements I made regarding the funeral, will, etc., which I hate to do, but I guess I have no choice. My sister is driving me up the wall. What do you think I should do? Sam in Fargo, N.D.
Dear Sam: Do you have a close friend, perhaps a lawyer or a banker, who can take care of these details for you? If so, arrange it and inform your busybody sister that she will no longer be troubled with these issues because you have removed her from the process. This may be extra work for you, but it will be worth it. Good luck.
Dear Annie: I read with great interest the letter from "Tired of Breathing Through My Mouth," who said his wife emitted an unusual scent. Consulting her physician was excellent advice, but the odor could be from a change in laundry detergent or fabric softener.
My father was an immaculate man but started smelling very strange. After some detective work, we found out that my mother had changed from her regular fabric softener to a cheaper one. It seems that his natural body scent, combined with the new softener, was worse than a skunk in a patch of stinkweed. After rewashing his entire wardrobe, Dad was back to his sweet-smelling self. Cheap Isn't Everything
Dear Cheap: Thanks for the suggestion. Here are a few more:
From Diamondhead, Miss.: I'm a retired chemist and can tell him his wife's odor is probably from her hairspray, mousse or makeup. I've noticed a similar smell on my wife and several other women in elevators and in church. As a test, his wife should wash her hair thoroughly and not put anything in it for a couple of days.
Taji, Iraq: For years, my wife told me I had this "cheap salami" smell. I tried many things, including internal breath and body odor remedies, but nothing worked. When I came home on leave from Iraq, she joked that the trip had been good for me, because I no longer smelled like cheap salami. The next day, we went to our favorite deli, where I ordered my usual pastrami on rye. Within hours, the smell was back. It turned out to be the fennel seeds in the rye bread. I now eat only wheat, and the smell is gone for good.
Watertown, Wis.: My odor problem was caused by using body powder that contained baking soda. When I switched to a pure talcum powder, the odor (sort of like stale crackers) went away.
Burbank, Calif.: After I changed my brand of facial moisturizer, my husband commented that I smelled so much better. I wish he had said something earlier.
Midwest: I'm willing to bet this woman is taking "odor-free" garlic pills. Both a friend of mine and my mother started smelling, to me, rather offensive. One day, I saw garlic pills at my friend's house and asked her about them. This is how I finally figured out why Mom smelled. They are both odor-free now.
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