Uncle Ony: Don't look at this as a problem, Rachel, but an opportunity to strengthen your bond through communication. Simply say: "Oh I bought you some mouthwash: I noticed your breath has been smelling lately," then put your arms round him and tell him you love him.
Auntie Ag: Ugh. Patronising nonsense which would mortify the poor fellow. What you must do, darling, is over-react. Next time he appears yell: "Oh my God, aargh, aargh, what have you been eating?" fling yourself on the sofa and insist on being brought something fragrant to sniff at until he's fumigated his mouth. That way you'll spare him the horror of thinking he's been breathing foul air over everyone and deflect attention away from his embarrassment on to your appalling behaviour.
Six weeks ago, after months of celibacy, I met a gorgeous Spaniard at a wedding who was only in England for the weekend and we had a fantastic one-weekend stand. This seemed to surround me with a sort of sexual charge field and I had two more flings in the same week, one of which has turned into a full-blown affair. My boyfriend doesn't know about the other two, which would be marvellous; except that I'm pregnant. I don't quite understand how it happened, because I used condoms with all three of them. I want to keep the baby but don't know which one is the father.
Lola, Notting Hill
Uncle Ony: Again we come back to the key: communication. Sit down with your boyfriend and tell him the whole story. It sounds to me as if this conception is a tiny miracle, meant to be, and that baby's father is the new boyfriend. Whatever, the truth and an honest meeting of minds is always the best policy.
Auntie Ag: Hmmm. It sounds to me as though you're not at your most clear thinking, darling, which is understandable. I would just take a little more time before rushing into any blurting confessionals with this chap. Are you quite sure you are pregnant? Check things out carefully with a doctor, force yourself to imagine the worst scenario - the boyfriend runs a mile - and think really hard about the reality of being a single parent with a child you may end up wanting to call Pedro. Make sure you feel exactly the same about your decision for at least a dozen mornings in a row before you make it: then write a very stiff letter to that condom manufacturer and take the first of a lifetime of big, brave breaths. Good luck, angel.
Our firm recently moved to new premises. I was on holiday, and when I got back I found that everyone else had bagged the best offices. Everyone else at my level is installed in nice, big ones and I'm stuck in a cupboard.
Uncle Ony: The issue here is not the office, Caroline, but your dysfunction. You have clearly been thinking win/lose in your professional relationships which is why your colleagues have forced you to ''lose" over the office. Put up with it, allowing them to "win" by having the offices they choose, and winning yourself by behaving in a noble manner. You'll soon find yourself so popular you'll be offered a super office next time one comes free.
Auntie Ag: (Oh for heaven's sakes, Ony, they'll just think she's a doormat and before she knows it she'll be fetching their dry-cleaning). Point out the size disparity to your superior, darling, and say unless you have your office kitted out with a stylish storage system, dainty desk and chaise-longue you won't be able to function and will have to spend more time working at home. Remember size is never so important as finesse.
You are invited to send your problems to: Auntie Ag and Uncle Ony, Real Life, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. However, Auntie Ag and Uncle Ony regret that they are unable to enter into any personal correspondenceReuse content