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home : columns : dear harriette January 16, 2018

1/11/2018 10:26:00 AM
Reader wants to report neighbors

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live next door to a family from Guatemala. They are nice enough people, but to tell you the truth, they have too many people coming and going from their house. I bet anything that some of the visitors are undocumented. I can't imagine that they all have their green cards. There are just too many of them. They are tidy and friendly and all, but still.  


I wonder if I should report them to the police. They aren't disrupting things, but there are too many of them for everything to be on the up-and-up. I know that a lot of Guatemalans do day work here for lawn services and contracting, but I wonder if they pay taxes. It's all a bit suspicious to me. What should I do? -- Dropping a Dime, Jupiter, Florida


DEAR DROPPING A DIME: It is true that law enforcement wants people to report suspicious behavior, but before you pick up the phone, evaluate your opinion and your motivation. That there are a lot of people visiting your neighbors' home is not a crime. That they are friendly and tidy -- essentially good neighbors -- should make you relax. 


If they are not doing anything that leads you to believe that they are committing a crime, you should mind your business and let them live their lives. Reporting people to the police is serious. It should be done with caution and only when appropriate.  


DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I have been dating for four years now. We get along great and feel like we will be together forever. We both just finished college and are working hard to get on our feet. Though we talk about the future, we have not specifically talked about marriage.  


A few of our friends are engaged now, and I'm feeling a little anxious. I know we need to get good jobs and earn enough money to get a real home and all, but I don't know why we can't do those things together as a married couple. I don't want to push my boyfriend, but I do want to get married. What should I say to him? -- Ready to Tie the Knot, Wilmington, Delaware 


DEAR READY TO TIE THE KNOT: Without pressuring your boyfriend, you should talk about the future and how you envision it. If you want to have children, let him know that and give a sense of when you would want to have a child. Go through your list of questions and thoughts about building a life together, and ask him to share his thoughts. You can ask him if he wants to get married, and, if so, when he thinks would be a good time. You deserve to know if the two of you are on the same page as you plan for the future. Talk it out, and you will have a better sense of whether the two of you should remain on this journey together.


(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.) 

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