Dear Ann:

I read your column about rules for visiting the terminally ill. I wonder if you have a similar list for those of us who are constantly besieged by company. As the only family members who live out of town, we have visitors every month of the year. I came up with a list of my own, and I hope you will print it.

1. For three days, you are company. After that, you are family. This means everything you do for yourself at home, you do here. This means /you/ wash dishes, clean your room, do your laundry, and so on.

2. Don't expect to be waited on. This is not a five-star hotel with room service. If you want room service, check into a hotel.

3. I am not your mother. I already have children. I don't need more.

4. I am not your tour guide. Want to see the sights? I've already seen them. Get a map. Rent a car.

5. If you want to stay somewhere for two weeks and do nothing all day long, go camping or take a trip to Bermuda or Hawaii. You can vegetate all you like, and no one will mind, as long as you pay your hotel bill.

6. Plan on going out or staying in? Kindly let the resident cook know your schedule so she (or he) can plan accordingly. Don't keep us in the dark unless you like a lot of pizza.

A lot of people would appreciate seeing this in your column. Sign me . . .

Driven Nuts by Company, No City Please

You spoke for a lot of people today, and I thank you on behalf of those who have been taken advantage of because they were too timid to say anything. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll repeat--no one can take advantage of you without your permission. Wake up out there.

Dear Ann:

"John" and I have been married 49 years. Thirty-three years ago, he had an affair with another woman. He ended it, and we never discussed it again. In my heart, it took me over a year to forgive and forget, but I wanted to save my marriage, and felt my harping on it would only send him back into her arms.

Two years later, I became involved in an affair myself with a married man. I ended it after two years, and to my knowledge, John never knew about it. Even after all this time, I am so filled with guilt and remorse that it is on my mind constantly because I've been living a lie all these years and I cannot forgive myself.

I believe a man is much less likely to forgive and forget about adultery than a woman, and that if I try to ease my conscience by confessing, I will be ruining a lot of lives. What do you think, Ann?

Needing Guidance in Philadelphia

After 29 years of being a faithful wife, I would say your conscience should be clear. Forget about digging up those old bones. A session with a counselor or your religious leader might be helpful, but beyond that, I don't think you need to do anything more.

Dear Ann:

Norman Clarke in Millen, Ga., is correct. Many prescriptions are impossible to read. A competent pharmacist will not fill a prescription unless he or she is absolutely certain the medication is correct. If any doubt exists, the pharmacist should call the physician to verify the name of the drug and the directions.

Too many drugs sound alike--yet are for different medical problems or have different side effects. Tell your readers if there is the slightest doubt, they should check with their physician.

B. Wayne Carmichael, R.Ph., Dietrich, Ill.

Thanks for the alert. I love the way my readers help one another.

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