Dear Miss Emily:

I really like my boyfriend.  More like IN LOVE WITH HIM.  But his house is disgusting, his car is filthy, and I just CANT STAND it anymore.  I have been telling him since we first started dating about it, and he knows how clean I am.  His hygiene needs work, his teeth are turning yellow, his toothbrush looked like it was scrubbed in the toilet. I finally changed his shampoo and conditioner to a better one.  I’m all about appearance. I love everything neat and organized.  But how can I be with someone who is the complete opposite?  I love his personality but his bad habits have got to go.  PLEASE HELP!
Neat Freak

-----------------------Miss Emily’s advice--------------------

Dear Neat:

Thanks.  The part about the toothbrush made me gag.  Ick!  I had a similar letter, many moons ago, when I first started my column.  This girl was mainly concerned about her boyfriend’s teeth. His were practically medieval.  I told her to print pictures off the Internet of people with gum disease, and tooth loss to scare the hell out of him.  Bad oral hygiene usually leads to conditions such as gingivitis, and bone loss.  It’s a potential nightmare in dentist visits and dental bills.  But as far as his other bad habits, this is a tough one.  The slobs of Slobania are often this way because of low self-esteem.  Think about it – why would he allow himself to live in such filth if he had any sense of pride?  That said, whether he’s screaming out to be re-raised, or he just doesn’t give a damn, you can’t really change him if his heart isn't into it, because even if he tried, at first, it usually ends up becoming a battle of wills.  His personality may be stellar, but you will never find true contentment with him if he’s a domestic screw-up, and you are Mary Poppins.  Marriage would be a definite no-no.  Enjoy him while you can, stay away from his home, and make him drive your car.  P S:  I once had a friend whose toilet was disgusting.  You would have thought, by first glance, that he ran orange juice concentrate around the rim of the bowl. His apartment looked like a bomb had gone off (and in his car).  When he set mousetraps, they went off in rapid succession.  He lived above a Chinese restaurant, but still!  I wonder what happened to him.