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An allergenic assumption:

I recently took a road trip and spent several days visiting old friends.  One of them had a cat, and I’m allergic.  Before I left, I asked every person I was going to stay with about their pets, offering to stay in a hotel, and no one else had a cat so it wasn’t an issue.  He assured me he would vacuum and what have you and that the guest area would be hair free.  Needless to say, this wasn’t the case.  I had to cut my visit short and inconvenience another friend who wasn’t expecting me.  What could I have done?  Should I have cleaned his house?  Offered to pay for a maid in advance?  Put the cat up at a pet hotel??


Blah blah blah something something… “…offering to stay in a hotel…” blah blah blah – there you go.

Like the good fairy in The Wizard of Oz, you had the power all along, or whatever.  The fact is that you knew this person had a cat, and you obviously knew you were allergic.  No one can vacuum that up.

Next time, stay in a hotel.  If there is a next time.

In the meantime, send them a combination apology and thank you note.  It should read something like:

Dear Marveline,

Thank you so much for putting me up that one night on my way through.  I’m so sorry I had to cut it short – I guess I’m more allergic than I thought.  Next time I’ll stay in a hotel, and we can meet up and run around together.  It was lovely to see you, and little Sneezles, too.  I miss you so…

Yours most sincerely,


That way the blame is squarely where it belongs – with you – and you indicate that you will try harder next time to make your trip a success.

Bless you.  Have a tissue.


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