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home : columns March 22, 2018

Difference in parents' ages causing problems
My parents have been married for over 15 years.  There is a big age gap between them, as my father is 10 years older than my mother. What is your take on martial age gaps?
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Job seeker struggles with wardrobe for meeting
What should I wear to the meeting? Because I am not going on an interview with this person -- it's just a general meeting about working in the industry -- does it mean I don't need to wear formal interview attire? Could I go in business casual as opposed to business dress?
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Girlfriend wants her own room in shared apartment
Do you think it's abnormal for a couple to move in together, yet have their own bedrooms?
Monday, March 19, 2018

Fiance picks fights over tiny details
n and on about how we've been together for six years, and I should know this about him. It was a mistake to forget this small detail about him, but I would much rather argue about bigger, more important things such as where our wedding will be held, not ice cream. I don't know if I am overexaggerating or if this is a glimpse into our future. Please help me.
Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friends angry after being detained by police
Why should all of us be held accountable for the actions of two people?
Friday, March 16, 2018

Dad's career suggestion isn't what reader wants
I have my own dreams I want to focus on, and working on a beach house isn't at the top of my list. How do I make it clear to my dad that the beach house isn't one of my dreams?
Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friend's parents hold a grudge from middle school
Should I talk about it with my friend and ask her why her parents still hold a grudge against me for something that happened so long ago?
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

High school friend must accept woman has changed
I reconnected with a high school friend recently, and we went out for some drinks. The problem is that my classmate treats me like I am still in high school.
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Son's decision to enlist in army upsets family
How can I become more supportive and comfortable with the idea of my son joining the Army?
Monday, March 12, 2018

Is mom's boyfriend too good to be true?

DEAR HARRIETTE: My mother and father are divorced. Recently, my mom started dating a guy who seems nice. He treats her well and seems very genuine. Because of the physical distance between us -- we live thousands of miles apart -- I've only spent time with them together a couple of times. From what my siblings and I can gather, there is nothing wrong with him.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Threat of terrorism causes canceled plans
DEAR HARRIETTE: I live near a major city. My friends and I often travel into the city for a day of shopping or a fun dinner. In the past few months, there have been multiple terrorist attacks in big cities in both the United States and Europe. I am a very cautious person, so this scares me. 
Friday, March 9, 2018

Former student reluctant to make teacher's retirement video
One of my teachers from high school is retiring. I recently received a message from a classmate of mine asking if I would like to record a 1-to-2-minute video that would be part of a farewell montage, created by her past and present students. Would it be meaningful if I created the video, even though I don't have any personal memories to share?
Thursday, March 8, 2018

Boss calls young employee a baby
Would you suggest sitting down with my boss and telling her how I feel about being called "the baby"?
Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Lost engagement ring causes guilt

Is there a way to prevent him from using the lost engagement ring against me? Should I just get over this?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Children terrified by thoughts of school violence
DEAR HARRIETTE: The rising number of school shootings has taken a toll on my children, especially my high school-age son. After the Parkland, Florida, shooting, he asked questions like, "Why would he do that?" Through our conversations, I have explained to him that sometimes these shootings can result from bullying and mental illness. He is still afraid to go to school. Every morning, he says he's sick, hoping I will let him stay home. 
Monday, March 5, 2018

Aunt won't stop commenting about reader's body
DEAR HARRIETTE: I struggled with my weight throughout my teenage and young adult years, but I am now content with how I look and feel. An aunt I don't see often has been on a fitness journey and has been losing weight. I'm happy for her, but she always mentions my appearance and gives advice on what I should do. It makes me feel like the way I look isn't OK or is unhealthy.
Saturday, March 3, 2018

Mom's constant workouts worry reader
DEAR HARRIETTE: My family has always been very active. We all love playing sports and exercising regularly. Recently, my mother has been very into yoga. I admire her for maintaining her health and always trying to get some activity every day, but it has gotten to the point where she is obsessing over her body. She restricts her diet so much, and has been taking two or three workout classes a day. 
Friday, March 2, 2018

Husband wants to regain intimacy with wife
DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife and I have been married for more than 20 years. We have a solid marriage, but the intimacy seems to have faded away years ago. I feel like we are living as roommates more than husband and wife.
Thursday, March 1, 2018

New employee wants to bond with co-workers
DEAR HARRIETTE: I started a new job and want to become more social with my colleagues. They invite me to happy hours and evening work events, and everyone is very nice and great to be around. However, I feel like I am an outsider, or I don't match the same energy as the others. I am an introvert, but I want to learn to become more social and improve my networking skills. I want to come out of my shell, but I am afraid I may come off as fake and not my authentic self. How do I show interest and improve my networking skills while still being me? -- Shy Girl, Seattle
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Job-seeking reader questions interview attire
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have an interview coming up at a restaurant where I have applied to be a host. What do you think is the appropriate attire to wear to this interview? Usually I would dress in business casual to an interview, but because the restaurant is casual and I am interviewing for the position of host, I'm not sure if wearing a suit and tie is appropriate. Are there different places or occasions where casual dress is better to wear than going formal? -- What to Wear, Syracuse, New York
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Dad wants to reconnect with teenage son
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a father of three, with one son. I want to have a better relationship with him, but I don't know how to get closer to him. We used to be very close; we attended baseball games together, went out to dinner almost every week, etc. 
Monday, February 26, 2018

College student wants mom's blessing to study abroad

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been talking to my parents recently about going abroad for a semester. My school offers a program where you can take classes toward your degree in a different country, and I think it would be a great experience for me. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Reader annoyed by loud customer

DEAR HARRIETTE: Today I was sitting in Starbucks doing my work. A man came down to sit next to me, which of course I had no problem with -- until he started watching an obnoxious video on his phone without any headphones on. I understand that it is a public space, but everyone else in the store was reading or doing work. He was easily the loudest person in there because of his phone. I kept giving the man looks and then would look at his phone, giving him the hint that it was very loud and distracting, but he just sat there chuckling at whatever he was watching. Do you think I should have said something? -- Annoyed Starbucks Customer, Portland, Oregon 

Friday, February 23, 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

Dr Paul The Dentist
Trinity Dodge Fixed
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