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home : columns January 20, 2017

Neighbor ignores cat-sitting duties

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anderson Jewelers

Friends drop the ball on new year's eve party
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stepfather wants more information
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Stepdaughter must clean up her own mess
Monday, January 16, 2017

Reader doesn't want unexpected present
DEAR HARRIETTE: I hate being surprised with presents. This Christmas, I received a pair of goggles (I ski) that I hate. They are bright pink and offer no UV protection. The gift didn't come with a gift receipt, just the spoken wish that I would wear them. What do I do with these goggles now? I would feel so wasteful throwing them out, but I do not need another pair, especially ones that don't protect my eyes and skin. -- Unhappy Skier, Westchester, New York
Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reader's office holiday party gets out of hand
Friday, January 13, 2017

Reader grumbles about rumbling stomach
Thursday, January 12, 2017

Reader questions what to do with presents
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reader overwhelmed by birthday outpouring
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dresser comes with strings attached
Monday, January 9, 2017

Sister's past influences reader's future
Saturday, January 7, 2017

Reader embarrassed by sweaty palms
Friday, January 6, 2017

Go ahead and tell acquaintance about food in teeth
Thursday, January 5, 2017

Fledgling musician son annoys family
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reader doesn't want to engage trolling friend
DEAR HARRIETTE: Someone who runs in a similar social circle as me is a nuisance on social media. He is a self-proclaimed "troll," and he adds inappropriate or lewd comments on posts. I blocked and unblocked him (so it seems like he never followed me in the first place), but he has privately messaged me, asking why I won't let him follow me. How can I tell him that he makes people uncomfortable on social media? He genuinely thinks he's hilarious. -- Not My Follower, Philadelphia
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Harriette suggests planning for success in 2017
Monday, January 2, 2017

Reader tired of Christmas gifts
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a high-maintenance person to buy gifts for. I am incredibly picky. Because of this, every year I ask for no presents for Christmas because I know I probably won't like them. Instead, I tell my family to buy another gift for their children or spouse. I am well-off and fortunate enough to buy myself the necessities. I tell the Christmas host, my sister, about my no-gift policy because she constantly goes overboard and then complains about being broke after the holidays. I never draw attention to the fact that I open one gift and always bring a gift for everyone else -- year after year. How can I finally make it clear to my sister to stop wasting her money on gifts I will never use? I'm already trying to plan for next year. -- It's Been Years, Wilmington, Delaware
Friday, December 30, 2016

Go ahead and plan your own birthday party
DEAR HARRIETTE: I love to plan my birthday celebrations. I feel like it is the one day a year I can completely make about me. This year, my girlfriend of almost a year was shocked to learn that I have been planning my own birthdays for all my adult life.
Thursday, December 29, 2016

Friends don't attend reader's performances
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Reader ready to give up smoking for good
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am trying to kick my casual smoking habit. I never thought I would become a smoker -- I know how horrendous it is for the body. However, when I am outside the bar getting some fresh air and get offered a cigarette, I get excited and can't say no. I have tried refusing, but this typically falls on deaf ears. I want to kick this habit for good. What can I say to those who harmlessly offer me a cigarette? -- Deathly Habit, Cincinnati
Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Reader getting flak for calling off wedding
DEAR HARRIETTE: I called off my wedding with my fiance. I didn't tell anyone that he cheated on me for years because I want my family to still respect the father of my child. What I didn't expect was the backlash onto me. I was trying to help my daughter and myself but now my family thinks I've ruined my ex's life by calling off the wedding. I did what is best for my child and me, but I don't think my family will see this unless I tell them the truth. Is it wise to reveal this secret? -- All His Fault, Sag Harbor, New York
Monday, December 26, 2016

Reader getting flak for calling off wedding
Friday, December 23, 2016

Reader bristles at questions about hair
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have fairly unruly hair, and I don't like to style it. I like how it looks when it's left natural. I have gotten comments about how it's not "professional," or I've been asked why I didn't put my hair into a more appropriate hairstyle. Is hair really that important? I don't want to fry my hair just to look sleek and stylish. -- Hair-Do, Indianapolis
Thursday, December 22, 2016

Reader hates responding to random emails
Wednesday, December 21, 2016

As manager, reader must mediate for employees
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a restaurant to pay the bills. I have been promoted to manager and was happy about the paycheck, but I now have to be on the frontline of a waitress who fights with the chef all the time. I believe there was some relationship between them and they are now at each other's throats. How can I step into this fighting? They are both hotheads but provide great service at the restaurant. -- Manager's Orders, Dallas
Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Son steals to buy himself christmas present
Monday, December 19, 2016

Former business owner wants to offer advice to friend
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend owns a knickknack shop on our town's Main Street. Business has been getting slower and slower for her, and she told me she is shocked she is going under right before the holiday season.
Saturday, December 17, 2016

Teen daughter requests IUD
Friday, December 16, 2016

Student needs to lower standards for part-time job
Thursday, December 15, 2016

Reader can host party to meet neighbors
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Reader can host party to meet neighbors
DEAR HARRIETTE: I just moved to a new neighborhood. I had very close ties with my neighbors before moving, so I am a little surprised that my new neighbors are not as friendly. In this new neighborhood, the houses are farther apart, and some even have gated driveways. This is not what I was used to before relocating. 
Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Mom must close door on daughter's privacy
DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter has started keeping her door closed when her friends are over. They have just started high school. They used to include me in their gossip, but now it appears that I am not welcome to join or even overhear. I want to make sure my daughter isn't growing up too quickly while letting her keep her privacy. My husband thinks nothing good can happen behind closed doors, but I argue that they're only 14 and can't be getting into too much trouble. -- Door Open or Closed, Raleigh, North Carolina
Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Reader frets about buying gift for stranger
Monday, December 12, 2016

Friends judge mom for letting kids have freedom
Saturday, December 10, 2016

Overweight teen daughter won't accept help
Friday, December 9, 2016

Reader bothered by photo shoot request
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Midwife's schedule can't wait for holidays
Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Midwife's schedule can't wait for holidays
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a midwife who is frequently on call. Just this Thanksgiving, I could be only 20 minutes away from my client. I know this comes with the territory, so I went to my neighbor's house to celebrate the holiday.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Friend didn't tell reader about mom's death
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently learned a friend's mom passed away. I realized my friend and I met up the day after she got the news (this information is coming late from someone who knew the whole time).
Saturday, December 3, 2016

Reader with celiac disease questions thanksgiving meal
Friday, December 2, 2016

Friend's spa prices drive away business
Thursday, December 1, 2016

Reader questions etiquette of sending flowers
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Friends jeer at reader's birthday plans
DEAR HARRIETTE: I hate my birthday. I try to make it a fun event every year, but it ends in either tears or injury for me. This year, I've decided to not celebrate my birthday and spend it alone. I was planning on getting takeout from my favorite restaurant and spending the day with my dog. 
Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reader reticent about receiving retirement
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been working as a freelance writer for most of my life. I have been able to make a decent living for myself, but I don't have much extra. I had a heart attack a few years ago and have had various other health concerns. As a result, I had to figure out how to get proper health insurance and other support. 
Monday, November 28, 2016

Dad wants daughter to feel good about hair
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Husband must sink teeth into denture responsibility
Friday, November 25, 2016

Mother and husband's bonding bugs reader
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and my mother love to spend time together. They have been spending more time together as of this year and, honestly, it freaks me out. They have gone to fitness classes, lunches and festivals together. My father and I work long hours, so I am happy they have each other to spend time with, but I don't understand why they have bonded so much in this recent year. 
Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Friend must move on after election results
DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently reconnected with my college boyfriend because he was working on the campaign of Hillary Clinton. He was very excited about his job and eager to start building his career once the election was over. He, and many others, seemed certain that his candidate would win, and that it would be historic. We talked for months about all of the work that he felt was being done, especially by him, to try to support the candidate. It seemed great for him. 
Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Harriette addresses 2016 election
Monday, November 21, 2016

Friend wears offensive costume on halloween
DEAR HARRIETTE: On Halloween, I was shocked to see one of my friends wearing an offensive Native American costume. She was wearing a short beige dress and covered herself with blood.
Saturday, November 19, 2016

Dad-to-be doesn't want nude maternity photos
Friday, November 18, 2016

Former baker used by friends for birthdays
Thursday, November 17, 2016

Health scare makes mom wonder about telling kids
Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Reader having issues with new power dynamics at work
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work at a late-night pizza parlor that is open until 3 a.m. A few weeks ago, we had a drunk customer accidentally start a fire in the restaurant with a lighter.
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Daughter's request hurts dad's feelings
DEAR HARRIETTE: My 13-year-old daughter wants to throw a house party for her birthday. She asked me for permission and outlined all the games and activities that the kids would be doing. She told me that she's comfortable with me staying in the house, but she doesn't want her dad there because he'd embarrass her.
Monday, November 14, 2016

Large family struggles to share streaming account
Saturday, November 12, 2016

Are crowdfunded weddings the new etiquette?
Friday, November 11, 2016

Teenage children dislike idea of moving
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Relationship with mother is a sore subject
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

First date ruined by cellphone faux pas
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a young guy in my 20s. This past weekend I asked a girl I met through a dating app on a date. She accepted my date offer; however, she texted through the whole dinner!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Joy, not anxiety, should prevail at reunion
Monday, November 7, 2016

Reader unsure about moving west
DEAR HARRIETTE: My entire family has lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for generations. We all live within two hours of each other, and we see each other all the time. I have been exploring blogs and social media more and more, and I think that Seattle may be the city for me. I love the West Coast, the lifestyle and the natural beauty found all around, but I hate how guilty I'd feel if I pursued this dream. I plan on visiting Seattle very soon. If I do end up moving, how can I cope with my fear of missing out on my family events? I've never even missed a birthday. -- Hits Close to Home, Jersey City, New Jersey
Saturday, November 5, 2016

Grandmother offended by grandchildren's behavior
Friday, November 4, 2016

Reader questions etiquette of standing on bus
Thursday, November 3, 2016

Reader is the life of the party at wedding
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Reader ready for babies, not marriage
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been with my boyfriend for two years now, and I am 34 years old. We have spoken about marriage and children, and I have been quite candid with him in saying that I would rather have children than get married. I don't know if I will be able to spend the rest of my life with Bob, but I do want children, and I think he'd be a great father.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Time to speak up against sexism at work
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in a male-dominated workplace. In college, I got used to being one of the only women in the room and thought it'd be similar in the workplace. Yet my first job involves male co-workers quieting down significantly when I enter a meeting, or cracking inappropriate jokes when they think I'm not listening.
Monday, October 31, 2016

Sending international wedding invitations
Saturday, October 29, 2016

Family needs to plan for mom's future
Friday, October 28, 2016

Reader wants invite to friend's condo
Thursday, October 27, 2016

Diet works -- but at what cost?
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Asking for too much sugar not neighborly
DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a college town, right next door to about 10 college students. They are all girls, which I like because they are not loud or rowdy. However, my gaggle of neighbors seems to take the phrase "borrow it from your neighbor" literally. I have given them a cup of flour, sugar and occasionally baking soda because they have run out or are short for a recipe.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reader must protect against lunch theft
Monday, October 24, 2016

Reader doesn't listen to professional's advice
Saturday, October 22, 2016

Trinity Dodge Fixed

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