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home : columns : dear harriette December 6, 2019

10/26/2019 3:02:00 PM
Reader wants to clarify relationships at events

DEAR HARRIETTE: I get invited to events all the time with my work. Occasionally my husband wants to go, but not most of the time. His work is demanding, and he likes his day to end at 6, not start up again at 7 or 8.

I often invite other friends or colleagues to go with me when it's best to have a plus-one. My husband is fine with that, but occasionally if my companion is a man, people will assume he is my husband. I always correct them to say who the person is, colleague or friend. I don't know what else to do. I am certainly not out and about with a "boyfriend." How can I ensure that roles are clear when my husband rarely goes out with me? -- Who Is That?

DEAR WHO IS THAT?: You are not alone in terms of going to events with friends or colleagues when your spouse doesn't want to attend. As long as you are clear about who is with you and what that person's role is -- and your husband is in agreement -- you should be fine. When you introduce your plus-one, state who he is and call him your friend or colleague. Be sure to be clear in all of your introductions so that you leave no room for curiosity or rumor. Be confident that you are handling yourself with integrity, and keep it moving. If people ask about your husband, be sure to give a brief update on how he is.

Don't give up on your husband. When an event seems perfect for him, encourage him to attend with you. It can be fun for the two of you to go out together and can help reinforce to any haters out there that you do indeed have a loving husband who makes an appearance from time to time.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I drink coffee every day and red wine a lot. The last time I went to the dentist, the hygienist told me that these beverages are staining my teeth. She said she can mostly scrape off the stains, but the only way to prevent them is to curb drinking these beverages. I don't want to do that. I suppose I could drink less of them. I can get my teeth cleaned only twice a year with my insurance, but the stains build up faster. What should I do? -- Stained Teeth

DEAR STAINED TEETH: Perhaps there is a middle ground here. If you are drinking so much of these dark fluids that they are significantly staining your teeth, you may want to curb them some -- for your health. Replace them, at least some of the time, with water.

That said, ask your hygienist if using whitening toothpaste might help and what the pros and cons are of using such a product. Today there are many products on the market that can whiten your teeth. You may be able to supplement your twice-annual professional cleanings with using one of these products.

(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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