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home : columns : dear harriette May 24, 2016

2/13/2014 12:41:00 PM
Lack of money doesn't excuse lack of hygiene

DEAR HARRIETTE: My grooming habits have taken a serious nosedive as of late, and I think it's affecting the office climate at my place of work. I'm aware of what I need to do to take care of myself, but my current financial situation tells me I have to pick and choose what I can pay for. For example, I used to go to the barbershop every two weeks, and now I go every two months. I welcomed the extra hair on my face because it's been beneficial bracing against the brutally cold weather we have had as of late. Secondly, I haven't been able to clean my clothes on a consistent basis. I am embarrassed because I really care about the way I look. I need some advice because I want to become better. -- Grooming is Important, New York City

DEAR GROOMING IS IMPORTANT: First, review your whole situation. If you are working at a place that does not afford you enough income to handle your basic hygiene, you may be working at the wrong job. That said, even with limited means, it is possible to stay clean, neat and tidy. Regarding your hair, you can purchase an electric razor and grooming kit and cut your hair yourself. Many men do so. It may seem daunting at first, but it can save you thousands of dollars over time. Second, you can wash your clothes at home. If you do not have access to a free washer, use good old elbow grease. Put your clothes in the tub with soapy warm water. Soak them, scrub them, rinse them and hang them.  

By paying attention to yourself before you leave your home, you can make a difference, even if you have limited resources. Bathe thoroughly, wear clean clothes and learn to do everything you can on your own to cut costs.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife is driving me crazy because she has not had our baby yet. The expected due date was last week, and she is ready for the baby to come out. My wife has become really cranky, and she wants to rip my head off if I bother her with any nonsensical questions. I will be so excited when this baby comes out because I will not have to worry about her mouth. In the meantime, how can I keep my wife calm during this waiting period without losing my mind? -- Any Day Now, Memphis, Tenn.

DEAR ANY DAY NOW: Anticipating an overdue baby is hard for both mother and father. Hormones are surging inside your wife. Anticipation is at an all-time high for both of you. Be a thoughtful listener through this period. Resist the temptation to tell your wife what to do. She does not need a lecture, even though this is often the way that men express their concern. Tell her you love her. Tell her you are happy to do anything she would like. Questions can be irritating. Observe her instead, and be ready to take action when you notice she has a need. Make sure the bag is packed and at the door, that you have your insurance card handy and that you are ready to drive to the hospital when the time comes.

(Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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