Everything you need to know

Dear Prerna,

I live in a lovely off-campus apartment that I used to call home, until the “attack of my roommates.” My apartment has now taken a new shape — it has become gross, with clothes everywhere and unwashed dishes — basically, a living disaster. I keep telling my roommates to clean, but they don’t seem to listen anymore. I have to clean everyday, and it really can get tiresome. How do I get them just to clean their own dishes or just to pick up after themselves?

—Obsessive Compulsive Distressed Roommate


I know exactly how you feel: You always want things to be perfectly clean and organized—why can’t everyone around you just feel the same way? Well, believe me, there are people out there who can eat off a dirty plate.

Maybe you can set some boundaries — request them to do whatever they wish to their room, but not the common area. Just don’t expect the moon from them on day one. Let them take it step by step, maybe picking up their clothes first, then doing the dishes, then cleaning up every other time. If it still doesn’t work, ask a neutral friend to speak to them and explain the situation. Hope it works out; after all, cleanliness is next to godliness.

Keep it clean,


Dear Prerna,

Let me get this out there: I am not a bad matchmaker. Anyway, I have this friend and she’s a decent catch, so to speak, but she just refuses to fall for the boy I chose for her. What can I do to make her willing to see this boy, or at least stop thinking about her silly ex and test the waters? I think you, giving advice like me, might understand where I am coming from.

—Hitch II

Dear Hitch II,

Did you know that the original Hitch (from the movie Hitch) also faced many problems while setting people up? First, find out why this friend isn’t willing to forget about her ex — usually most people try to distract themselves with new eye candy. Does she still have strong feelings for her ex?

Also, most importantly, is this new boy worth the effort and is he her kind? It must be hard enough for her that her heart is broken — you don’t want to put her in a situation where it might break again. If the new boy is worth it, and the ex and your friend are definitely not going to work out, maybe invite them both for lunch and then, suddenly, remember that math homework that is due in an hour! But, remember: You are the friend first, matchmaker second.

Best of luck,


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