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home : columns : dear harriette February 26, 2020

12/30/2019 7:40:00 AM
Partygoer hates seeing photos later

DEAR HARRIETTE: I've been going to a lot of holiday parties and end-of-year events in the past few weeks. It has been a lot of fun -- until I see myself in photos. I don't usually take pictures, but I have seen photos of me that have been posted on different people's social media pages, and I hate how I look. I have no misconceptions about myself as a middle-aged person, but I feel like people pick shots where they look good and they don't care about how the other people look. I hate that.

What can I do to take a better picture, considering that I do want to go out and mingle, but I don't want the memories to look crazy? -- Picture Perfect

DEAR PICTURE PERFECT: Before you leave your house, look at yourself in the mirror, head to toe, front to back, and side view. Do you like what you see? Are your clothes fitting well? Is your hair neat? Are you well-groomed? Choose clothing that skims the body, adding definition without being too tight.

When someone is taking a photo, pay attention to where you are in the shot. Make yourself as flat in the image as you can, meaning stand facing the camera without too much twisting of your body. Stand up straight, shoulders back, tummy in, bottom tucked under. Keep your arms down. Do not have food or drinks in your hands. Smile. Call upon your inner joy. When you are in a good mood, that is usually reflected in a photo.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My neighbor has a young child who cries a lot. I know that it must be hard to raise a child, but it seems like the mom is exercising tough love or something, because when the baby cries, it doesn't sound like she comforts him. He can cry for hours.

It drives me nuts. As a single man, I don't want to seem insensitive, but this crying is keeping me awake at night. Is there anything I can say to this new mom? What else can I do to keep my sanity? -- Crying Baby

DEAR CRYING BABY: I would not knock on the neighbor's door to complain about the baby as it will not result in a positive exchange. That mother is stressed out enough. Her child may have colic, which makes them irritable for extended periods. There may be other reasons, including the method the mom uses to comfort her child. Unless it sounds like the baby is in danger, you have to figure out how to deal with the cries on your side of the wall.

You can put rugs in the room that has the adjoining wall. Rugs absorb sound. You might consider getting a noise cancellation machine. It's like a fan but it creates a sound that helps to soften ambient noises. Or just wear earplugs.

(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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