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home : columns : dear harriette May 22, 2015

   
8/22/2014 12:33:00 PM
New laws cause discord in couple

DEAR HARRIETTE: Now that laws are being passed all over the country allowing people to buy marijuana, I am getting a lot of pressure from my husband to lighten up on letting him smoke in our home. He has been a smoker for years, and I hate it, so I never allowed him to smoke inside. Because it was illegal, that was always an issue. For me it was an issue for two reasons: One, because I don't want to be a part of anything illegal, and two, because I don't care what anybody says, smoking is not good for your health. How can I handle this now that it is legal to buy pot? -- No Smoking, Denver

DEAR NO SMOKING: There are many issues popping up now that marijuana is being legalized across the country. Yours is one that many shared households will be facing. You may want to address it the same way that households who have one cigarette smoker and one who is not handle the situation: You have to make house rules that both parties agree to honor. It's best to explain why you are setting those ground rules. In this case, clean air is a strong argument.  

What you may want to do as a compromise is to designate a part of the house that has ventilation and is far away from any common areas where he can smoke in peace. If you can make that compromise, you will likely go a long way in creating a pleasant environment in your home.

DEAR HARRIETTE: It's just about back-to-school time. I have three children who are all growing faster than my wallet. When I was growing up, my siblings and I wore hand-me-downs. That's just how it was. These days, these kids are so interested in having what their friends have that they keep pestering me to buy clothing for them that we cannot afford. I have told them the stories of how I grew up. They couldn't care less. The bottom line is, I cannot afford to get them everything they want. In order to make it work, they are going to have to wear used clothing. The best I can do as a single mom with a low-paying job is to buy them all new shoes. I don't want to dash their self-esteem. How can I mention this so it will work? -- Hand-Me-Down, Saginaw, Michigan

DEAR HAND-ME-DOWN: Talk to them as a family and give them the good news first, that you will be able to buy each of them a new pair of shoes. Tell them what the budget limitation is on the shoes so that you clearly manage their expectations. Remind them that the shoes need to serve particular functions, like being useful for sports.  

Beyond the shoes, go through their existing wardrobes and identify what will be given to whom. For those who will need supplementary wardrobe items, go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, where you can find incredible prices for practical items. You may even want to bring them with you, with a budget, so they can shop with your oversight and ultimate approval.

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


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