Helpful Hostess Hints

Having people over? Even if it’s just a work buddy who’s going to your place for the first time, there’s lots of easy stuff you can do that’ll make your Auntie proud without either taking all week or breaking your piggy bank.

The simplest is also arguably the most important: Put in a fresh roll of toilet paper.

This may sound trivial, but if you’ve ever had to pee at a friend’s place and there were only six squares left, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

We’ll go back to the bathroom in a minute. Next in importance are beverages. No, I’m not going to suggest a must-have list of mixers and booze. That’s up to you.

My must-haves include decent drinking water (tap/filtered/bubbles optional) in the fridge and either iced tea or coffee. Yes, you have to have milk, sugar & some kind of diet sweetener if you offer coffee, but you probably already have milk and if you have a day or two to prep, you can lift a couple of packets of sweetener by then. Auntie doesn’t really approve, but you’re gonna do it anyhow so I’ll look away.

That’s pretty much it. The bare minimum is a choice of hot or cold drink, and plenty of toilet paper.

From there, in order of importance:

Windex™ the bathroom mirror. A wise but busy hostess once taught me that if your guests can see themselves clearly, they won’t look at the mess.

Fancy little cookies keep for months, and when you put them on a plate you have an instant tea party. For those of you who aren’t so inclined, a bag of chips & a jar of salsa keep just as long, except that they don’t because you’ll have eaten them before you need them.

Don’t have time to get milk for the coffee? Drive through the closest Drive Thru and order one. It’s the perfect size.

Food really isn’t an issue. If dinner is expected by mutual consent (this does not include someone who just hopes to be fed), stay local or order pizza. Your treat if you want to be the host. If dinner wasn’t part of the plan but so much time has passed that you’re both hungry, see previous about pizza.

If, on the other hand, time has passed & you kinda wish that your guest would go too, then here is my final tip: “Thanks so much for coming! I feel like I’m chasing you out, and I’m sorry about that, but I have a ton of stuff I have to do tonight. This was really fun, though.”

Your choice if you want to add, “We should do it again sometime.”

Playing For Keeps

Dear Aunt Scarycookies,

Why doesn’t my husband love me anymore?


Sad Somewhere

Dear Sad,

Oh honey. Auntie is so sorry for you. I really am. But there is so much involved here, starting with your feeling of being unloved (which is tragic enough no matter how often people feel that way) and ending with the fact that you went to a total stranger on the Internet for help.

Thank you for your implied faith in me, but this is a real-life problem, and it requires a real-life solution.

Talk to him. If that doesn’t do any good, find a qualified professional who can sit down with you and help. If you don’t want a counselor, then find a reputable lawyer.

Good luck!

Either, Or What?

Dear Auntie Scary,

What’s worse - to get offended, humiliated, fired and re-hired in less than 48 hours by a crazy boss (common definition by all of his employees) or to get robbed - your cell, day-to-day documents, bank cards and keys?
If you had a choice which one would you have preferred.

p.s. when I wrote robbed, no guns were involved, just a smart quick-handed thief.
Dear Victim,
I have to go with robbed. I should apologize for that, because it sounds like you were the one who was fired and your friend got robbed and I’m settling a bet between the two of you.
Then again, if that’s true, your friend needs to win more than you do so never mind.

Seriously, dude?

I sold my company after building a net worth of about $10 million but compared to my friends who have more money and power than I do, I feel like a loser. I am miserable. I can’t even have fun with my kids. What should I do?

Dear Millionaire Times Ten,

Honey, if I could, Auntie would slap you upside the head and tell you to wake up.

There will always be people with more money, power and just plain stuff than you have. They might also be better looking, smarter and more talented than you are at what you do best. So what? That’s true for all of us.

What do I, a random stranger on the Internet, think you should do? I think you should get a complete medical exam to make sure that there isn’t something physically wrong that can be repaired. Once that’s settled, I think you should step back and find some perspective. 

You already have more than what it would take for most of us to be happy. You don’t want those kids of yours to be grown and gone before you realize that.

Party Pooper

Dear Aunty,

So I told my friend I’d go to her birthday party but now I have a better offer for that same night. I can’t say I’m sick because she’d know it was a lie. What can I say to make her not mad that I’m not going to go?


Miss Popularity

Dear Not-Miss-Congeniality,

You could say, “There’s something I’d rather do than keep my promise to a friend” and let her react accordingly.

I’m sure you won’t have this problem again, at least not with her.

Phish Fry

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Thank you

Dear Click,

Thanks for writing to !

Second, since you’re obviously a spambot, you won’t have noticed that the Ask Auntie feature has been moved here from

Third, I haven’t made any comments on blogspot, nor do I click on links even if they’re not dubious. Ask my real-life friends who send me links all the time. Auntie just isn’t a clicker. 

Nice try, hope the phish are biting somewhere else.