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Roses Are Dead

Recently, I've been dating a man I like very much. He is sweet, sexy, intelligent, and talented. The problem is, well, hygiene. He doesn't smell so awful that I can't bear to be near him, but he doesn't smell very nice. I find myself wondering whether he ever washes his hands or his jeans. Both look as though it's been ages since they've seen soap and water. Yuck!

--Dirty Dating

YOU MUST BE tempted to ask him, "When you walk down the sidewalk, don't you notice all those people passing out in your wake?" But, no...you should be kind...right? You should rack your brain planning a romantic outing that somehow incorporates wine and cheese, a candlelight dinner, and a laundromat. WRONG! Too many people have been "kind" to this guy, probably starting with his parents, which is why he STINKS. It's one thing to treat your kids with respect; it's another to run your family as if it's a democracy where everybody's vote counts the same: "Would you like to take a bath, Johnny?"

"Um, lemme get back to you on that, Mom."

You can tiptoe around the sides of the stench, or you can do what must be done: Tell him that you wish he'd rub up against a bar of soap a little more often. Just before you let the awful truth fly, explain that you find him so sexy that you don't want anything coming between you. (Especially not anything that belongs in a petri dish.)

Copyright ©2001, Amy Alkon, from her syndicated column, Ask The Advice Goddess, which appears in 60 papers across the U.S. and Canada. All rights reserved.