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home : columns : dear harriette February 22, 2018

Girlfriend getting nervous about ski trip
DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend grew up skiing his whole life, as did all of his friends. I have never skied in my life. This spring break, our friends (who are all couples) decided they want to go on a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado. I agreed I would go along because I didn't want to be the Debbie Downer of the group. As the trip gets closer, I am getting more nervous about the fact that everyone else on the trip are avid skiers, whereas I am a beginner. I have signed up for a couple of ski lessons while I am there, but I feel like I will be left out of most of the activities because I don't ski. What can I do to make the best out of this trip? How can I feel included? -- Girlfriend Who Can't Ski, Roxbury, Massachusetts
Thursday, February 22, 2018


Reader wants to work out without spending too much
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always loved to work out. I recently moved to New York City, and I want to find a gym or studio to join. Everywhere I look, the gyms keep getting more expensive. I feel like there is nowhere in the city that has an affordable rate.
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Future husband wants matching tattoos
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently got engaged. We have a wedding date picked out, and we are so excited to finally get married. 
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Daughter wants to talk to dad about more than money
DEAR HARRIETTE: I used to have a great relationship with my dad. Now, we barely speak. When we do speak, it is about money or something to do with my mother. (They have been divorced for several years now.) I am still in college, and my dad pays for part of my education. I am so sick and tired of that being all we talk about that I have decided not to answer my dad's texts anymore. I'm not sure if this is the best or right decision because it can be seen as immature, but I don't know what else to do. Do you think there is another way I could reconnect with my father without arguing about finances? -- Muted Daughter, Dallas
Monday, February 19, 2018

Should baby sitter bring up autism question?
DEAR HARRIETTE: I just started baby-sitting a new family in my neighborhood. The family has two boys, both under age 10. The first day I was there, I noticed that the younger boy seemed to be on the autistic disorder spectrum. I learned about some of the signs in my child psychopathology class in school and immediately associated them with the boy. I had a great time baby-sitting the kids, and I am looking forward to working with them again. The only thing that is bothering me is that the parents did not let me know this beforehand. Not that I would have a problem with babysitting a child with autism, but I think I would have appreciated it if the parents had told me that before. 
Saturday, February 17, 2018

Money-conscious reader wants to skip spring break
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friends are planning a trip to Florida for spring break. As much as I would love to go with them and spend a week in the sun, I am hoping that I will be asked to work that week. My friends keep asking me to book my flights and get the trip organized, but I have yet to do so. Although there is not a guarantee that I will be asked by the family I nanny for to watch their kids that week, I would rather stay home and save the money.
Friday, February 16, 2018

Reader can't decide how to spend birthday
DEAR HARRIETTE: My birthday is coming up, and I am torn about what I should do. My friends from college want me to come back and celebrate with them, my boyfriend wants me to visit him for the weekend and my friends from home want me to stay at home so I can celebrate with them. Ideally, I would love to see all of these people on my birthday or that weekend, but I know how unrealistic that is. Is there any way I could make a decision that hurts the fewest number of people? I'm not sure what I want to do, so any advice on how I should weigh the pros and cons of each situation would be much appreciated! -- Birthday Plan Problems, Sarasota, Florida
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reader doesn't want to teach daughter to swim
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I just had our first child. We are loving being parents so far, but are having a serious debate about whether we should be teaching our daughter how to swim. My husband was trained to swim as an infant by his parents and supervised by an instructor. He explained to me the process of infant swim training. He says he is glad his parents made him go through this, and he wants to put our daughter in these classes. I have looked up online what the training entails, and I am disturbed by it. There has been controversy about whether it is good for the child. My husband is very set on this, but I am not 100 percent comfortable with it. How do I get him to change his mind about the swim classes? -- Not for Swim Training My Infant, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

After friend's death, reader contemplates mortality
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm feeling very sad and a little scared right now. I just learned that a man I used to know many years ago died from the flu. He was in his mid-50s. 
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Middle-aged mom bored with her life
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am what we call middle-aged. I just turned 50, and it is unnerving me. I thought my life would be different than it is. Don't get me wrong -- things are OK. I am a single mom of an irritable teenage daughter. I have a good job and a nice home, but I am kind of bored with my life. When I was younger, I thought I would be living very differently by now. 
Monday, February 12, 2018

Boyfriend won't make much in new job

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend (of six years) and I have been living together for three years. He is great, and I love living with him. He works at a suit store as the manager, and he enjoys what he does. However, recently he has been talking to one of his buddies about joining his startup tech company. 


Friday, February 9, 2018

Girlfriend can't afford to travel to visit boyfriend

DEAR HARRIETTE: I want to visit my boyfriend in college for the weekend. My cheapest option is to catch either a bus or a train down and back. 


Friday, February 9, 2018

Hard-working student struggling after failure
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a good student who studies hard and works to get good grades. I have recently been going through a lot in my personal life. It is affecting how much time and effort I put into my work. I failed an exam last week; it was the first exam I have ever failed, and I'm not sure if I should tell my parents. Part of me wants to keep it a secret because I know how disappointed they would be, but another part is telling me I should be honest with my parents. What do you think I should do? -- Worried Student, Philadelphia
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mom of shy twin wants to help her come out of shell
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a set of 12-year-old twin daughters. They are both sweet, smart, funny girls, but they are different in a lot of ways. One of them is confident and social and speaks her mind constantly. She is also considerate of other people's feelings while maintaining her leadership skills. My other daughter is not so outgoing. She is shy, spends a lot of time by herself and is more of a follower. She has an amazing attention to detail and is very dependable when I need her for something. I try to accentuate my daughters' differences but also treat them the same. 
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

13-year-old son getting bullied at baseball practice
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a mother of two boys; my youngest is 8 years old, and the older one is 13. I have noticed that my middle-school-age son has been coming home from baseball practice very upset the past couple of months. My husband and I approached him about the situation and learned he has been getting bullied by the team. He is in seventh grade, and I am not quite sure how to handle this situation. I don't know how involved I should get, or what is appropriate to say to the coach. I don't want to embarrass him, but I also don't want my son to feel the way he has been feeling lately. -- Intervening Mother, Denver
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Reader questions need to get help for OCD
DEAR HARRIETTE: I never thought I would be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any other psychological issues. I was speaking with my psychiatrist the other week, and we were talking about some of the bizarre thoughts I have and the even weirder behaviors that follow those thoughts. We reached the conclusion that I have mild OCD when it comes to having bad thoughts that something might happen to my family, and if I did not knock on my head, those things would come true.
Monday, February 5, 2018

Daughter's life revolves around boyfriend
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is in college and has just started dating a guy who is a year older than her. I have met the boy a couple of times and like him. He seems like a responsible person who treats my daughter well. Because he is a year older than my daughter, he has already graduated and gotten a job. 
Saturday, February 3, 2018

Boyfriend's drug use hurts relationship
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating my boyfriend for four years. He treats me well, but some issues have been arising due to his problem with drugs. I can see how it is changing him and how he acts, therefore changing our relationship. I have tried talking to him about it by suggesting he get help or talk to someone else about this. Every time the topic comes up, it starts an argument and he blames me for acting like his mother. I don't want to act like his mother or tell him what to do, but in these situations, it's my instinct to intervene and tell him to stop because it is creating problems in our relationship. Is there anything else I can do to help him? -- I'm Your Girlfriend, Not Your Mother, Syracuse, New York
Friday, February 2, 2018

Stay-at-home dad feels disconnected from working wife
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a stay-at-home father with a son and a daughter. My wife works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a law firm and travels frequently on the weekends. I feel my relationship with her is getting weaker, and I can see us drifting apart. I believe that we still love each other and are both committed to our marriage, but we see each other so little that it's hard to maintain the type of relationship we had before work and kids got in the way. I don't want us to grow further apart and would love a way to redefine a new relationship. How do I do this? -- Stay-at-Home Husband, Dallas
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Anxious reader should consider therapy
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always considered myself to be happy and cheerful. I am motivated to be successful, and I am a sociable person. Recently, I have been having a constant feeling of anxiety and sadness. I am not sure why I have been feeling like this because I have never been one to suffer from anxiety or depression before.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New CEO brings down long-time worker's morale
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am struggling with where I am in my career. I am 53 years old and have been doing the same thing my entire life. I was fortunate enough to know what I wanted to do at a very young age. I worked hard and got my dream job as an engineer. Recently, my company has hired a new CEO.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Teenage son has no interest in hanging with family

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have three children, ages 6, 11 and 18. My two youngest kids are with my current husband, and my oldest is from a previous marriage.  


Monday, January 29, 2018

International parents have high expectations
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have grown up with international parents. My mother is Scottish, and my father is Australian. They both grew up overseas, and their first time living in the United States was when we moved here in 2002. Growing up in New York with parents who were not American allowed me to learn so much about different cultures. There were also amazing perks, such as traveling to visit family in the United Kingdom and Australia during the holidays.
Friday, January 26, 2018

Could bad credit threaten new job?

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am up for a new job that would be an amazing opportunity for me and my family. I just learned that if I make it to the final round, the company will want to check my credit report. In terms of work, I have excellent skills. In terms of money, I am a disaster.  


Friday, January 26, 2018

Graduating daughter caught between fighting parents
DEAR HARRIETTE: I was 16 years old when my parents got a divorce. I am now almost 22, and I still feel the tension between them. For years, they have never been able to be in the same room; they communicate only through their lawyers. If I need to speak to both of them, I do it through email; I often act as their messenger.
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Roommates' fighting keeps reader awake

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just moved to New York City and into my own apartment -- well, sort of my own apartment. I share a two-bedroom apartment in the East Village with my best friend from high school and her boyfriend. 


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Interfaith couple must discuss their future

DEAR HARRIETTE: I need some advice about religion and love. I am Catholic, but I do not practice many Catholic traditions. 


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Job-seeker needs guidance on interview attire

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a female college student who, like my peers, is searching for a job and going on interviews. I would consider myself semi-stylish, and I generally know what is appropriate. But when it comes to interview attire, I am at a loss.  

I have been applying to both corporate and non-corporate jobs for next spring. Depending on what job you are interviewing for, does it change what you should wear?


Monday, January 22, 2018

Parent wants to guide son away from job
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son graduated from high school six months ago. He does not want to go to college, and he doesn't really have goals. I am so worried about him. When he was growing up, we always talked to him about college and building a career, but he just isn't interested. 
Saturday, January 20, 2018

Reader might be able to help friend's son in jail
DEAR HARRIETTE: I just found out that one of my good friends has a son who is in jail. I was wondering where he was, as he has not come to any of the gatherings that we typically have throughout the year. Now I know that he didn't come because he has been in jail for several weeks. His mother did not tell me; another friend did. 
Friday, January 19, 2018

Dating does not require compromised values
DEAR HARRIETTE: I haven't dated for several years. I just haven't met anybody who was interesting enough. My friend at work suggested that I meet one of her friends, so I went out with the guy, my friend and her boyfriend. We had a nice time, though nothing too special. The guy invited me to go out to dinner again, and I went. We had fun, but at the end of the meal, he propositioned me. He actually thought I would have sex with him since he had taken me to dinner. What's wrong with people? Is this what's required in the dating world these days? -- Old School, Dallas
Thursday, January 18, 2018

Friend who makes wishes must also do work
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who totally believes that if you make a wish on New Year's Day, your whole life can change. I do not believe in fairy tales. I believe in honest hard work and commitment. Meanwhile, my friend goes on and on about how she made this wish and all the great things that are about to happen for her as a result. She claims that she did the same thing last year, and she ended up getting a great new job. This year, she has a new wish, and she can't wait to see it come true. Am I wrong to believe in working for what you want? -- No Fairy Tales, Atlanta
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Recipient wants to show appreciation for gift cards
DEAR HARRIETTE: I received gift cards from my family for Christmas. That was perfect, because now that I am a young adult, my taste is different from that of my mother or other family members. For years, I would either just stuff the clothing in my bottom drawer or ask if I could take it back. I know that probably hurt people’s feelings sometimes, but I can’t help it if we don’t like the same things. 
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Freelance writer needs to turn off the tv
DEAR HARRIETTE: I subscribe to a few different streaming services, including Roku, Netflix and Apple TV. It's great because I don't have regular cable anymore, which saves me money. But I can't stop watching TV. I am a freelance writer, and I work from home. Business has been kind of slow the past few months, which is why I ended up even having time to watch TV in the first place. But I have started binge watching different shows, and I find myself watching TV more than doing my work. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can't seem to turn it off. How can I get this under control? -- TV Addict, Jersey City, New Jersey
Monday, January 15, 2018

Social worker wears fur coat to stay warm

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a social worker, and I work in a poor neighborhood in my city. I don't have any problem with that. I love my work and get along well with my co-workers as well as the folks in the housing projects where I work. Some of these people have been my clients for several years. We know each other pretty well, and they trust me.  


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Teenage daughter needs to wear a coat

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is a true teenager. Even when it is freezing outside, she doesn't want to wear a coat. All of the kids these days wear big sweatshirts instead of true outerwear. I see them and know this is their style, but I also know that when it is below freezing outside, they need to be properly dressed. I don't like forcing my daughter to do things at this age, but I don't want her to get sick. How can I get her to understand? -- Putting My Foot Down, Cambridge, Massachusetts 


Friday, January 12, 2018

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.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Sister-in-law wants to teach kids to shoot
DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister-in-law has decided that she is going to give her children and mine shooting lessons. She thinks that it is wise for everyone to know how to use a gun. She went so far as to say that she thinks every single person should own a gun. 
Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Casanova nephew gives girlfriends same gift
DEAR HARRIETTE: My nephew, who is about to graduate from college, has always been somewhat of a lady's man. He has good manners, but he has had a lot of girlfriends over the years. His last girlfriend got his name put on a necklace that she used to wear all the time. I noticed that he has a new girlfriend now, and I saw her wearing what appeared to be the same necklace.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Newlyweds disturb each other's sleep

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently got married. My husband and I did not live together before marriage, so we are learning each other's idiosyncrasies now. One thing that is a problem is that I am a night owl, and he is a morning person. We hardly ever get in bed at the same time. I feel like one of us is constantly disturbing the other's sleep. I don't know a solution, though, because we have such different sleep patterns. What do you recommend? -- Nighty Night, Denver 


Monday, January 8, 2018

Reader wants to write a book
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have always wanted to write a book. When I tell people my personal story, they tell me I should. I don't know if I'm the most unique person in the world, but I did come from difficult beginnings, and I have made a successful life. I tell good stories, too. The thing is that I speak well, but I have never been a writer. How can I expect to write and publish a book if that's not my thing? -- Wannabe Author, Dallas
Saturday, January 6, 2018

Mentor wonders how to address child abuse
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been mentoring young people for many years now. I work with some of them at my church. Others I have brought in to work for internships at my company. I love helping young people to get set in their lives. Mostly, this works well. 
Friday, January 5, 2018

Budget won't allow visit to friend's shop
DEAR HARRIETTE: A good friend owns a gift shop in a nearby town. I usually buy gifts from her for my family for Christmas, but I didn't buy any gifts this year. I feel bad that I didn't support her, but I couldn't afford it. I decided to stick within my budget for a change. I have been avoiding her because I feel bad that I wasn't able to patronize her store. What can I say to her so that she will know that my not coming in to make any purchases was not personal? -- No Holiday Shopping, Tampa, Florida
Thursday, January 4, 2018

Pregnant daughter causes family questions
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter just told me that she is pregnant. She is a sophomore in college, and she has been on a fast track in her career. She does not want to have an abortion, but she has no money, and the father is not interested in being involved. 
Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Employer wants to make sure interns learn
DEAR HARRIETTE: I own a small business, and I have been fortunate to receive help from different universities whose students work for me for a few hours a week in exchange for school credit toward their degrees. The program is wonderful; I am appreciative because I'm still trying to get on my feet, and I'm not making much money. 
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Reader should share experience at company with friend

DEAR HARRIETTE: A professional friend called me to ask my advice about working for a company I worked for a few years ago. I had a horrible experience working with management, even though I liked the job I did. It's weird -- on one hand, it could be awful, but it was good, too. My friend was asked to assume a leadership role. It could be a good opportunity for him. I don't want to dash his hopes.  


Saturday, December 30, 2017

Reader questions bringing up faith at work

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a woman of faith. Now that I am in my 40s, I can see even better how important my faith has been in my life. I know, of course, that I have worked hard and that has helped me to have the wonderful job that I have. I am a good wife and mother. So far, even though I have had some challenges, my life is great. I don't take this for granted; I believe that this is happening because I have faith in God. I am active in my church and do my best to live a well-balanced life. When people ask me why I am so positive, I like to tell them why. But I worry that I shouldn't talk about faith at work. I never try to get people to follow my path, but I do want to be able to tell my truth. What do you recommend? -- In the Spirit, Atlanta 


Friday, December 29, 2017

Husband's investment ideas seem risky
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is completely immersed in what I call conspiracy theories. He has always been like this, only now he's focused on some financial investments that seem awfully risky. I don't know anything about investing -- and neither does he. We both realize we need to make more money, but now he wants to take money out of his retirement to invest in this thing. The investor sounds extreme, if not on the fringe. I don't want to emasculate my husband, but I also do not want him to blow the only retirement we have on what seems like a whim. What can I do? -- Risky Business, Rockville, Maryland
Thursday, December 28, 2017

Reader wants to reach out to friend from college
DEAR HARRIETTE: I heard from a college friend the other day. He was letting me know that another friend's father had passed. We graduated from college more than 30 years ago, but we have stayed connected over time.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Is it time for Lego-loving son to grow up?
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son has been playing with Legos since he was about 5. He's a teenager now, but this is still his gift of choice. He told me and my mother that what he wants more than anything for his birthday are the latest Lego kits that are out. Part of me wants to expand his vision. He is about to be of the age to be interested in girls and in being more social. I fear that there won't be too many girls who will want to build Legos with him. Should I start weaning him off Legos and give him a gift that will point him to more social activities, like dance lessons or something? I don't know what to do. -- Growing Up, Bronx, New York
Tuesday, December 26, 2017

School needs help with diversity
DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter goes to a majority-white school. We are African-American, but we love that she goes to this school because the education is excellent. Our one real concern is that there are never many black students. For the five years that she has been at this school, there may have been at most four black students during any school year. I wish the school had more diversity, and I am willing to help it find people, but it doesn't seem interested. I am committed to my kid, so I want the school to take this seriously. What can I do? -- Black Lives Matter, Bronx, New York
Saturday, December 23, 2017

Reader needs to slow down to stay healthy
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been working so much that I am utterly exhausted. I have a great job, and I serve in a leadership role in two volunteer organizations. I love what I do, but I think I am spreading myself too thin. A couple of weeks ago, I had a panic attack. I ended up in the hospital because my blood pressure was going through the roof. I didn't tell anyone because I didn't know what to do. But I'm worried. Right now, things are OK, but the doctors told me that I have to slow down, or else I could end up in the hospital again. I think that means I should let go of something, but I don't know what to do. I don't want to stop my volunteer work, but I need a job to afford the volunteer time. -- Betwixt, Detroit
Friday, December 22, 2017

Being alone at Christmas doesn't mean being lonely
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently moved across the country for a job. I'm excited about this opportunity, and things are working out pretty well so far. My issue is that I cannot travel home for Christmas. It's too expensive, plus I am new to the job and get only two days off. It makes no sense to travel 3,000 miles for two days. 
Thursday, December 21, 2017

Reader must fight for health after prediabetes diagnosis
Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Reader and friends in different stages of life
DEAR HARRIETTE: All my friends are having babies these days. A few years ago, most of them were getting married. I feel like I am in a time warp. I am stuck somewhere different from my closest friends, and I am lonely. Don't get me wrong -- I am happy for them, but it seems like we are growing further apart. 
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Reader wants to throw anniversary party
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I will be celebrating a big anniversary this year. I want to do something fun, and he couldn't care less. Usually, I go along with whatever he wants, but I don't want to do that this year. On the few occasions when I did throw a party or do something a little extra for our anniversary, he liked it.
Monday, December 18, 2017

Reader wants to throw anniversary party

DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I will be celebrating a big anniversary this year. I want to do something fun, and he couldn't care less. Usually, I go along with whatever he wants, but I don't want to do that this year. On the few occasions when I did throw a party or do something a little extra for our anniversary, he liked it. I guess he just doesn't want to participate in the work of it. As much as I wish he would help, I want to host a party anyway. How can I go about it so that I don't wear myself out? -- Time to Celebrate, Denver 


Friday, December 15, 2017

Reader's DUI complicates job

DEAR HARRIETTE: I travel a lot for work. My co-worker who travels with me is has always driven for all the years I have worked at my company. On the last trip, he asked me if I would drive this time. I was shocked. I begged off, saying that I had forgotten my driver's license. The truth is that I got a DUI a while back and do not have a valid driver's license right now. I don't want to tell anybody about this as it could cost me my job, or at least make me look bad. My boss has never asked me to drive. How can I get out of this without causing a stir? -- No Driving Privileges, Atlanta 


Friday, December 15, 2017

Reader wants to introduce new boyfriend to family
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Reader wants to warn friend away from company
DEAR HARRIETTE: I worked for a couple of years for a company that had a fantastic mission but horrible management. I couldn't stay there because it was ridiculous how badly the management treated the staff. 
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sister misunderstands question of size
DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister is full-figured, and she has great style. I decided to get her an item of clothing for Christmas, but I wasn't sure of the size, so I sent her a text asking her what size she wears. Why did I do that?! She wrote back to me that it was none of my business and asking why was I wanted to know. She accused me of making fun of her size, and she cursed me out. All I wanted to do was get her something nice for Christmas. Now I don't want to get her anything. She was so rude. Should I let her know why I was asking? -- Not Her Size, Baltimore
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reader struggles with telling co-worker about husband
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a gay man. I went clubbing with some of my good friends, and at one of the bars, I saw one of my co-workers' husbands. I went over and said hello to him so I could see for sure what was up. He was definitely hanging out with dudes. I know his wife, and she is sweet. She is also a devout Christian. I can't imagine that she knows that her husband is stepping out on her at all, let alone with guys. Should I tell her?
Saturday, December 9, 2017

Son's lack of reading should inspire family
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son's seventh-grade teacher contacted me to say she was worried that my son is not reading enough. She thinks this is why he doesn't do so well in humanities and is a slow reader. He is required to read a certain number of pages every day, which he does begrudgingly. His teacher has asked me to get him to read more.
Friday, December 8, 2017

Reader upset when discussion turns political
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have married into a kooky family. For the most part, we all get along well. We do not share the same political views, though. In the past few years, things have gotten contentious from time to time, with some family members falling hard on the right and others falling equally hard on the left. There seems to be no middle ground. 
Thursday, December 7, 2017

Reader worried about son spending time with cousins
DEAR HARRIETTE: My immediate family and I spent Thanksgiving with our extended family, as we always do. This year, my teenage son was spending time with his older cousins, and they hung out at stores participating in Black Friday sales until very late at night. I was nervous about this, as one of the older cousins has found himself in trouble over the years. 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Reader experiences physical change after celibacy
DEAR HARRIETTE: Years ago, my husband and I got into a series of nasty arguments, and while we stayed together, we retreated to different parts of the house and stopped being intimate. 
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Husband with swollen ankles refuses to see doctor
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband's ankles swell sometimes -- really, kind of a lot. Whenever I bring this up to him, he shrugs it off. 
Monday, December 4, 2017

Dear Harriette

DEAR HARRIETTE: The girl I've been calling my best friend for years has just done the worst possible thing. She made up a story about me that was horrible and then told it to everybody in our grade. We are in middle school. I am so upset. 


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Keeping the magic of Christmas alive

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have three children. Two are under 5 years old. My oldest is 10. My concern is that we are getting close to Christmas, and it's getting harder and harder to manage the children's expectations of Christmas, especially when it comes to communicating with and about Santa. My eldest is ready to be a spoiler. 


Friday, December 1, 2017

Friend irritated by constant sales pitch
DEAR HARRIETTE: I know a woman who is active in a multilevel marketing company. She hounds me to become part of her network, and I find it annoying. I like the woman enough, but I think I have to cut her out of my life because she doesn't know how to just be a friend. She's all about sales.
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Neighbor has yet to announce pregnancy
DEAR HARRIETTE: My next-door neighbor is pregnant. I know because another neighbor in my building told me, but my neighbor hasn't said anything directly. I know when I was pregnant I didn't tell anyone for months because I had previously had a miscarriage. I'm wondering if I should say anything to congratulate her, or wait until she lets me know. We are friendly but not close. I don't want to seem insensitive since having a baby is such a precious thing. Will I seem rude if I don't mention it? -- Being Neighborly, Bronx, New York
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Brother does not take his medication
DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother told me he was diagnosed with diabetes. When he went for a medical checkup, the doctor tested him and his A1C number was extremely high. He was prescribed a particular medication that should regulate his blood sugar. When he told me all this at the time, he seemed worried but relieved in the sense that his doctor had given him medication that should help get his body under control. 
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Volunteer misses important calls
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been so busy juggling family responsibilities and the grind of work that I have missed two important calls related to the charity work that I am doing. I feel horrible that I now look like a flake. I'm really not. What's happened is I have overbooked my schedule and chaos seems to have ensued. I wrote to the woman I stood up twice now for phone meetings and expressed my apology for not following up. I assured her that I do want to have the meeting and asked to reschedule one more time. Is there anything else I should do? -- Stretched Too Thin, Milwaukee
Monday, November 27, 2017

Smart Money
DEAR BRUCE: My 26-year-old daughter is buying her first car. We could loan her the money with a lower interest rate than the credit union for a three- or five-year loan, but would it be better to build her credit this way with a higher interest? Or split the funds halfway? She is highly responsible (getting her doctorate at Georgia State), but doesn't have a credit history. -- C.M.
Saturday, November 25, 2017

Apology key to reconnecting with friends
Saturday, November 25, 2017










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