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home : columns : dear harriette August 27, 2015

7/19/2014 11:34:00 AM
Sending cards is more about love than the date

DEAR HARRIETTE: I absolutely never remember my in-laws' birthdays or anniversaries. I hardly remember my own. On the other hand, they are always early sending cards and generally being perfect family members. After I realize that I missed a big day, I usually call and check in with them, but I know it must be disappointing that I never get it straight. Meanwhile, my husband doesn't remind me, nor does he call his parents on those special days. I think they consider me to be a negative influence on him. How can I become more responsible about these things? -- Slacker, Atlanta

DEAR SLACKER: Use a calendar to note all recurring special days. If you have an electronic device on which you can record these dates, all the better. Assign alarms to them so that the device will ring on the day in question, thereby forcing you to pay attention. Even if you didn't remember to send a card, you can at least call on the big day.

Shy of that, you can simply show your in-laws your love in other ways. Send cards and gifts when you think of them. Call when they are on your mind to check in and chat. What people want most is to experience love.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got my grades back from college, and they are not good. I knew I was having a tough year, but I didn't think it was quite as bad as my grades reflect. Now I am in jeopardy of losing my scholarship. I am so scared. I don't want to tell my parents, but I have to let them know. They are paying for the difference from the scholarship, but now they may have to pay more. I don't even know if they can afford it. I know they said I shouldn't take out student loans, but I really want to finish school. I don't want to be a bad student. It was just harder than I thought this year. What can I do? -- Bad Grades, Boston

DEAR BAD GRADES: Talk to your school immediately to find out about the status of your scholarship and to see if you can take any of your exams over during the course of the summer to possibly change your grade. Ask if there are any summer classes that you can take that would help you to strengthen your skills in any of the subject areas where you feel weak. Finally, ask the school to work with you to help to get you back on track. You need to prove to them that you are serious about your education.

Talk to your parents and let them know about your grades as well as about your proactivity regarding keeping your scholarship and upping your academic performance. Ask them for their support and guidance in navigating this difficult period. Be frank and talk to them about money. If you do lose your scholarship, you need to come up with a plan about how you will afford to complete your education.  

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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