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Posted on Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 5 a.m.

Noise from guest bedroom leaves host speechless

By Dear Abby


My son invited two friends to our home for the weekend. We had never met them before, but they seemed nice.

At bedtime, the young man was on the couch and the girl was in our spare bedroom. In the middle of the night, I was awakened to loud lovemaking noises. They grew louder and louder, and the headboard was banging against our bedroom wall. My husband and I were mortified. Finally, I banged on the wall and it stopped. We couldn't believe these kids would act that way in someone's home.

They left before breakfast, so we didn't have to face them in the morning. What was proper here? Would it have been appropriate to knock on the bedroom door and ask the guy -- or both of them -- to leave?

I told my son about it the next day. He was embarrassed and apologized for his friends. What should we do if this ever happens again? -- RED-FACED IN MICHIGAN


Unless you first required your son's friends to sign an abstinence pledge before bedding down at your place, you were right not to have evicted them before morning. Next time, keep this from happening by having your son tip them off at bedtime that you're light sleepers and prefer not to be awakened by "nocturnal whoopee."


When I'm reading a book, my husband chooses that moment to begin a conversation. If I don't immediately put it down and give him my full attention, he gets upset and says I'm being rude to continue reading and not talk to him.

I think it's rude of him to interrupt me when I'm reading. These aren't important conversations or even questions he needs immediate answers to. They are conversations we could easily share over dinner, or later when I'm not reading.

I love to read, but as a busy mom I rarely have the time. Being interrupted during those rare moments drives me crazy and makes me feel even crazier when I'm accused of being rude if I don't want to chat right then. Who's right and who's rude? -- TRYING TO FINISH MY BOOK


Frankly, I think your husband is right. He may not need the answer to his question as much as he needs your companionship at the time he's reaching out. If finishing a chapter is so important that you can't take a few minutes and talk with him, then suggest that in 15 to 20 minutes you can give him the rest of the evening to talk. If my husband is involved in a project, or I am, that's what we do, and it works for us.


How do you handle a relative who seems to think your house is her own personal garage sale site? She rifles through my closets, brings out clothing, and then asks, "What can I pay you for this?" She also looks around our garage for items that are being stored and asks the same question.

She would never act this way at a friend's home, but somehow it's different with me. By the way, she's my sister. -- NO SALE IN AUSTIN


Because it's your sister and not some nervy acquaintance, be light-handed in your response. Smile and say, "I'm not ready to let it go, but when I am, you'll be the first to know." Then get her out of your closet or garage and direct the conversation elsewhere.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)