Ask Eliza – “How Do I Tell My Friend Her House and Clothing Stinks?”
I have been friends with Wendy for years. We work together but I occasionally visit her outside of work hours at her house. A few months ago during our lunch break she bought a deep fryer from Target to cook her fussy eater kids nuggets and chips and fish fingers etc.
The problem? She must be using that thing constantly. The smell of greasy fish ‘n chip shop oil is in her hair, it’s on her clothes, even her car smells like it. The last time I was at her place I didn’t even want to stay because even though her house is spotlessly clean, her entire house REEKS of cooking oil.
She gave me a bag of baby clothes she had stored in a plastic bag in a cupboard and they smelled too. I was collecting them for a friend but I had to wash them all before I could pass them on.
I can only assume she hasn’t got proper ventilation for this thing or it’s being used relentlessly night after night and the oil droplets are in the air and landing on everything.
She is fastidious about her cleaning routine, her hygiene and her personal appearance and would not have a clue that this has happened and she would absolutely die from mortification if I told her.
As I really mainly only see her at work I would literally have to tell her “Hey Wendy, I can smell oil on you and your clothes, a lot.” Or something along those lines…. I have wracked my brain trying to think of a way to bring it up but I just can’t do it! Help…
I understand your predicament. It’s never easy letting someone know they have something stuck in their teeth, a bit of mucus hanging out of their nose or a glob of mascara in the corner of their eye.
But think about how you felt when you get a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and see something is amiss? Horrified, I’ll bet. Your mind races back to all the people you’ve been speaking to since eating lunch and you die a little bit inside the whole time thinking why the hell didn’t someone say something?
Would you want someone to tell you? I would. The solution could be as simple as placing her fryer under her extraction fan on the stovetop, opening a nearby window (or better still, throwing the damn thing on the hard rubbish pile because that’s a pretty crappy diet).
Maybe you can say something along the lines of: “Wendy, if there was something about me, my hair, my clothes, or my hygiene that you thought I should be aware of, would you tell me?” She’s going to say yes of course. Then you say, “I hate to be the one to tell you but I think you might be unaware of the fact that the deep fryer you bought must be permeating your home and clothes with the smell of oil because I can smell it on you.”
I’m sure she will be initially shocked and embarrassed but eternally grateful that you let her know.
What do you think? What advice would you give to our reader?
If you have a question for Eliza, send it to her at [email protected]