Dear Moneyologist,

I recently bought a home with my husband. We lived in an apartment before this. We have a new baby, and this is our first home with a back door and a yard. We are ecstatic. I invited one of my oldest friends over to view the house. She lives in a big town house in San Francisco with her husband and three children, and I have always been very happy for her and supportive of her choices. I don’t like her husband and have bitten my tongue on occasion in order to preserve our friendship. Her first reaction to seeing my house when she walked in the door was, “It’s so cute!” Isn’t that another way of calling it small? It felt like a slap in the face. Is there any etiquette about what you should or shouldn’t say when visiting a friend’s home for the first time?

Sasha in Oakland

Dear Sasha,
Is there a doctor in the house? It looks like somebody might have come down with an acute case of competitive-itis. The bad news: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not come up with a vaccination for that. And if it had — much like this year’s flu vaccine — I’m not sure it would work on everyone, including your friend. Your friend may have been finding a way to tell you who wears the trousers in this friendship or — giving her the benefit of the doubt — she may simply have chosen her words badly. In another context, from another friend, you might have reacted differently. Still, a dog is cute. My friend’s pet hamster Shrimpy is cute. Your new baby? Beyond cute. I know to say that — and I haven’t met him. Continue reading HERE.