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It's best to MYOB and not be a buttinski
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dear Carolyn • Two acquaintances are having an affair, one married, one single. They are not being discreet, and a LOT of people know. We live in a pretty small city, so I am surprised the spouse has not heard yet. I am so very much for a MYOB stance in situations that don't directly involve me. But I keep thinking, if I were the partner, I would be very grateful if someone told me. Mortified, for sure. But EVENTUALLY grateful. I was wondering if there was ever a situation where an anonymous buttinski note was appropriate?

Over Thinker

Dear Over Thinker • Your impulse is generous, but anonymous notes are awful. They deny recipients the chance to gauge the credibility and motives of the source, ask follow-up questions, and process how many people know, how much they know and for how long they've known — basically, all the paths a mind travels upon receipt of news like this. Hitting a brick wall on each one adds a helpless feeling to this jackpot of pain.

Dear Carolyn • I have a friend who lives in the suburbs, so when he plans a night out, he stays with a friend in the city. We recently attended the same party, and when it was over he was unable to get in touch with the friend, so he asked if he could crash on my couch. Apparently he overindulged, because in the middle of the night I was awoken by his throwing up. He was sick everywhere — in my living room, hall and bathroom. He watched me clean up some and then face-planted on my couch. He sheepishly apologized the next morning and left without offering to finish cleaning. I have spent over three hours cleaning/disinfecting my house and doing laundry. I also discovered that my couch is stained. Is it inappropriate to ask him for some money to help pay for the costs of all of this?

Sick of Cleaning

Dear Sick of Cleaning • It's hard to imagine a world where it's more appropriate to puke-stain someone's couch without taking responsibility than it is to ask the puker to reimburse you cleaning expenses. So let's not. He owes you whatever you spent in removing him from your worldly goods. .

Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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