MS. BEHAVING has been hearing about a mountain of problems in the ski world.
A READER WRITES: We have a ski timeshare with another couple, alternating weekends. When we get there, the place is always a mess and we have to clean up after them. They always have an excuse … and the season has several weeks to go. How to clean up their act since our pleas have fallen on deaf ears?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Messy roomies know no age, alas. Only the excuses get more sophisticated. Ms. Behaving is always surprised to discover how many people skimp on cleaning service costs—especially when it comes to sharing the expense. When locking in a shared arrangement, don’t consider anything less than once-a-week maid service. Gently but firmly tell them that you should all hire and share the costs of a cleaning person who will have the sheets changed and place spotless for all of you whenever you arrive on your respective weekends. The cost will be tiny compared with your peace of mind, and they’ll be delighted to find guilt relief. Don’t bring up the fact that they’re slobs – they know it – but instead stress the advantages.
A READER WRITES: On our family vacation in Austria last week, we were surprised to see a friend from our town, sans husband, being extremely chummy with her ski instructor on and off the slopes. We can mind our own business, but how to explain it to our two pre-teens?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: Ah, Alfred: Teutonic, lithe … sorry, Ms. Behaving is having a long-ago ski reverie and is absolutely certain that these days Alfred is far too old to even leave the hearth. Minding one’s own business is the right approach to your friend’s Alpine friskiness, which may not be an escapade at all for all we know. As for the kiddies, that’s easy: it’s Europe! People kiss all the time there, get chummy in bistros and hug to keep warm. It would also be a good idea to pull your friend aside and mention that her behavior is confusing your children, then find out her and Rolf’s apres-ski plans … and go somewhere else to dine and play.
Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .
Photo above: Ms. Behaving at Royal Ascot.