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home : columns : dear harriette August 21, 2019

Boyfriend disappears for the summer
I have been dating a guy this year who seemed attentive. We would get together at least once a week, sometimes more. Then summer came. He has been virtually absent all summer long. There has always been an excuse, like he had to travel here or there to deal with family or to help a sick friend. Summer is almost over, and I have hardly seen him. It has been so bad that I haven't even been able to sit down with him and find out what's going on. He couldn't be more different now than he was for the previous six months. Should I just move on, or should I try to get a handle on things?
Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Reader upset by bad breath
I have never been someone to have bad breath -- at least as far as I know -- but the other day I was participating in a meeting with a small group of people, and I noticed that whenever I was speaking, they would hold their hands up to their noses. They tried to be discreet about it, but I figured it out after a while.
Monday, August 19, 2019

Son needs energizing before school starts
For the first time in eight years, I did not enroll my son in any type of summer camp or organized summer activity. He was tired from his first year in high school and did not want to go back to camp. He has had a few long weekends with his friends and two mini-vacations with our family, but mostly he sleeps and does little to nothing. He has to read a bit before school starts, and I'm having a hard time getting him motivated to do that. Clearly, I made a mistake giving him a break this summer. How can I get him energized before school starts again?
Saturday, August 17, 2019

Son's career strains relationship with parents
I was raised in a conservative family and now work at a progressive media company where I create content that my parents do not approve of. I do not think we will be able to reconcile our ideological differences, and I'm worried that our relationship has been strained as a result. How can I maintain a good relationship with my parents when we fundamentally disagree on a topic that my entire career is based on?
Friday, August 16, 2019

African American employee worried about standing out
I recently started a new job, and I am the only African American person in the entire workplace. I don't know how to feel or what to expect because this is the first time I've been the only minority at my place of work. I'm not sure if I should even pay attention to it or if I should keep my guard up. While I don't want to be at work with a negative perspective, I can tell that most of the employees are a little shocked that I got this position. Some are masking it by being overly nice. Can you give me some tips on how to be comfortable in an environment where no one looks like me?
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Rude 15-year-old can handle confrontation
We recently went on a family vacation, and our overall time was great. However, there were some uncomfortable moments. My father invited some of his family from Florida and South Carolina, and instead of exhibiting Southern charm, they were pretty rude. Our family welcomed them with open arms and tried to show them a good time, but they seemed ungrateful.
Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Mother finds it hard to be only woman in house
I am a woman with a husband and a 19-year-old son, and recently I've been finding it difficult to be the only woman in the household. Sometimes it feels like I can be heard only when I raise my voice. What course of action can I take to convey these feelings to my husband and my son in a healthier manner?
Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tattooed woman wants to show mom her ink
I have been hiding my tattoos from my parents for years. They disapprove of tattoos in general and have somewhat traditional beliefs. I have two tattoos -- a large one on my upper arm that can be concealed under a T-shirt sleeve and a small one on my fingers. Recently my mother discovered my small tattoo and berated me only a little bit. The reveal went better than I thought it would, probably because the tattoo she saw is very small.
Monday, August 12, 2019

Woman doesn't get back to mentor in timely fashion
I have a young woman in my life who is important to me. I consider myself her mentor. She calls whenever she needs anything, and I do my best to be available at a moment's notice. I am beginning to see, though, that when I need her, she is often MIA. If I text or call her, I may have to follow up three or four times before she responds. Meanwhile, if she texts or calls me, I do my best to drop everything to make time for her. I don't like how this is balancing out.
Saturday, August 10, 2019

Parent wants to cut down on teen's screen time
How do you approach teen smartphone and computer usage? I think my son's constant use of phones and other screens -- especially at night -- is not great for his health. He is 16 years old and is constantly on some device. I know that he plays interactive video games with his friends, but I am worried about whatever else he may be doing. What are some ways I can limit his phone usage without being too harsh?
Friday, August 9, 2019

New employee worried about job expectations
I just got a job -- finally. I am excited but also a bit worried. I will be working at an upscale restaurant that has many expectations about how the staff behaves. They expect us to speak perfect English and to know all of the rules of etiquette. I'm not sure how I was hired, because there is so much that I do not know. Still, I will give it my all. Do you have any recommendations for how I can get up to speed quickly?
Thursday, August 8, 2019

Husband ignores reader after stressful day at work
My husband worked really late the other day. I called him throughout the day to make sure he was OK and to share a cheerful word or two. When he finally got home, I called out to say hello. He didn't say anything, went into the back of the house and disappeared for hours. I know he was exhausted, but the least he could have done was to have said hello to me before holing up. I don't want to make a big deal of it, but it hurt my feelings. I don't know when the right time would be to bring it up. He is completely stressed by work. I don't want to add to that, but I do want him to be kind to me. How can I get him to think of me?
Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Reader struggles to remember new names
Whenever I run into people I've met before and they approach me knowing my name, I always feel really bad when I forget theirs. What are some ways that I can either admit to forgetting somebody's name in a less embarrassing way or have them tell me their names naturally within the conversation?
Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Parent wants to cut down on teen's screen time
How do you approach teen smartphone and computer usage? I think my son's constant use of phones and other screens -- especially at night -- is not great for his health. He is 16 years old and is constantly on some device. I know that he plays interactive video games with his friends, but I am worried about whatever else he may be doing. What are some ways I can limit his phone usage without being too harsh?
Monday, August 5, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am really worried about my husband. He seems to be in good enough health. He exercises daily and eats well, but he hasn't had a physical in more than 10 years. He doesn't believe in going to the doctor. Instead he reads about holistic alternatives to traditional medicine and chooses to "heal" himself whenever he has an issue. One time, that landed him in the hospital because he did the wrong thing, but he still didn't get a physical.
Saturday, August 3, 2019

Lending a dress carries awkward risk
DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my friends asked me if she can borrow a formal dress for an event that she is attending. She has a limited budget and really can't afford to go out and buy a gown. Under normal circumstances, I would be OK with that. She seems responsible, and I hardly wear my formal clothes.
Friday, August 2, 2019

It is never too late to support a grieving friend
I feel so bad. My good friend and neighbor lost her father recently. She and I had been talking about his illness, and I was supporting her emotionally to the best of my ability. But I was traveling for work when he died and was away at the time of the funeral.
Thursday, August 1, 2019

Freelance worker must make time for jury duty
I work freelance and do not make a dollar when I am off work. I just got called in for jury duty, and it's at my busiest time of work. I have to go, because they threatened to fine or arrest me because I have been unable to make it in the past. I am worried that I am going to lose work if I get picked for a jury. What can I do?
Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Son has grown lazy without structure of camp
Usually I put my son in summer camp, but I didn't make him go this year. He wanted to have less structured time, which I understand. He has been oversubscribed for most of his life.
Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Well-intentioned remark was actually racist
I was working with my colleague the other day on a longtime project. We were chitchatting, and everything was fine until he attempted to say something complimentary, but it really was racist. I know he was trying to be nice to me. I also know that he cares a lot about me, but I feel like I should tell him that what he said was off. He told me that he thought that my skin color and that of another woman were so beautiful, just the right color of brown -- not too dark, not too light.
Monday, July 29, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who tries to be helpful but ends up being whiny. When I tell her something that I'm working on, she immediately looks to figure out how she can be of help. That is generous of her. But the next thing you know, she is blowing up my phone wanting me to stop everything I'm doing to respond to her in that moment. I am busy and can't always do that, plus her manner is really annoying. How can I change my attitude to be more open to my friend's help? Or better yet, how can I get her to chill a bit as she is trying to help me? -- Overwhelmed
Saturday, July 27, 2019

Husband resents spouse's new job
DEAR HARRIETTE: I got a new job this year, and it has me traveling more than ever. I like it, but it is taking a toll on my husband. He is so dependent upon me, I don't think he eats when I am away. I do my best to make food for him that he can warm up, but sometimes I just can't do it. My schedule is full, and I find it challenging to do everything. My husband does know how to cook, but he doesn't like to.
Friday, July 26, 2019

Reader is feeling overwhelmed by the future
I feel like such a loser. I had a great career earlier in my life, but I lost my job almost 10 years ago. Since then, I have had small projects here and there, but nothing has stuck. Now I'm approaching my 60s, and I have nothing to show for it. At this rate, I will never be able to retire. I feel like such an idiot. I have met people with no education and with menial jobs who have saved way more than I have and who are set for their twilight years. I don't know what to do. I feel like it's too late for me, but I have to figure out something.
Thursday, July 25, 2019

Barista needs to manage sleep better
I'm having trouble managing my sleep schedule, and I have a real issue with staying up late, sometimes when I have work in the morning, and sometimes when I just want to watch more television. When I don't sleep enough, I wake up exhausted and grouchy. I work in a coffee shop, so often I have to get up early.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Vacationer finds it difficult to relax
When I travel with my children and my husband, I find myself overpacking to ensure that I have everything I need for them and for myself. During our vacations, I find it difficult to relax and wind down. I'm always preoccupied with one thing or another. I'd like to take it easy for my next trip. How can I achieve this goal and break free from self-induced worrying all the time?
Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Reader needs a break from monster boss
I work for a woman who can be extraordinarily difficult. It's so bad that I break into a cold sweat before scheduled calls with her. I'm constantly worried that I will not measure up to her expectations. My boss is rude and condescending usually, though other times she acts like an angel. I never know which person I'm going to get. I need this job, so I don't want to walk away from her, but I am growing weary of feeling like I have to be on guard. What can I do to stop letting her get under my skin?
Monday, July 22, 2019

Freelancer can't turn down work
I am a freelance producer, and I have struggled a lot with finding enough work. This year has been different. I have had quite a few small jobs, and I am grateful for them. The problem is that it is hard to keep track of small projects when they overlap. I scheduled a short vacation this summer, but then I got a gig and had to do the prep work during my vacation. My boyfriend was mad because he took off work from his 9-to-5 and expected me to do the same. I wanted to, but I worry about turning down work when I remember so well that a year ago I had none. How do I manage this new reality?
Saturday, July 20, 2019

Allergic reader has to skip trip
I suffer from allergies in a severe manner. I am allergic to everything from food to bugs to dust to flowers. The summer season is tough for me.
Friday, July 19, 2019

Employee too anxious to speak at meetings
I am unable to express my thoughts during meetings due to my anxiety and fear of speaking out of turn to my superiors. Throughout my life I've had difficulty properly expressing my thoughts when I speak, whether it be due to nerves or stumbling on my words. What are some ways I can shed this fear and anxiety and be comfortable to speak in meetings?
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Husband's drinking embarrasses reader
When my husband starts enjoying himself at a party, he tends to drink too much, and he gets obnoxious. It can be pretty embarrassing. I don't know what to say to him to get him to calm down. Once he has passed a certain point, there's no turning back. How can I encourage him to be more moderate in his public drinking? I want to have fun with him, but it often turns ugly.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Friend wonders about giving opinion to sick man
My husband and I went to visit good friends we hadn't seen in a year. We'd heard that the husband wasn't feeling well, but I assumed he had a cold or something. When we saw him, we were shocked. He has lost a ton of weight, and he looks frail. We were as loving as always, but it shook us to our core. We don't quite know what to do to support them during what is obviously a difficult time.
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Husband is critical over meaningless things
My husband is hypercritical of everything I do. I normally cook for three people, because that's what makes up our household. We recently had a guest to stay with us for a few days, so I had to cook for four. One day I cooked a little bit too much spinach, and you would have thought I had committed a crime. He criticized me in front of everyone for getting the portions wrong and for wasting food.
Monday, July 15, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: Is working for free ethical? I struggle with this topic with both family and friends who have their own views about it. But the overall consensus would be that those days are over, and whatever skills a person has should be compensated in some way. I do have some people who say the opposite and believe that working for free is crucial in proving one's self and gaining necessary knowledge. What are your thoughts about both arguments? -- Working for Free
Saturday, July 13, 2019

Couple must come to terms with finances
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm having a hard time keeping up with the Joneses, so to speak. My husband and I moved into a new neighborhood after he got a fat promotion. We like it a lot, and some of our neighbors are great. But we realized quickly that they have many expectations about how they engage each other. They have already hosted weekend parties and invited the whole neighborhood this summer. We have attended some fun events, but they are way over the top for our budget. What we thought was a leg up in our lifestyle is nothing to these people. We are poor by no means, but we feel like we stick out. How can we continue to live within our means and be active participants in our new neighborhood? -- Sticker Shock
Friday, July 12, 2019

Daughter needs structure during the summer
This is the first summer in years that my daughter is not going to camp. She didn't want to go anymore, and my husband and I appreciated the financial relief of not having to pay that big bill. What we didn't plan was how she would spend her time.
Thursday, July 11, 2019

Man with cancer doesn't share diagnosis
I recently met a man through a mutual friend, and I find him kind and thoughtful. We have spoken a few times and even met up as a group with others, and we always have fun.

I learned from our mutual friend that this man has cancer, and he is working hard to fight it -- but he has never mentioned it to me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Neighbor wants to reconnect with friend
I have a neighbor I used to be close with, growing up in the same apartment building, but we grew apart when we got older. I want to rekindle our friendship, but I have no idea where to start. We have taken vastly different paths in our lives and lack any common ground. He doesn't seem to be very sociable nowadays, and our small talk has been trite. How can I get him to open up to me so we can be friends again?
Tuesday, July 9, 2019

World Almanac
Today is the 189th day of 2019 and the 18th day of summer.
Monday, July 8, 2019

Reader questions whether men and women can be friends
Can women and men really be friends with no strings attached? Someone brought it to my attention that men pursue friendships with women initially because they are attracted to them and think about one thing only. My friend then said that men befriend other men if they have something in common.
Monday, July 8, 2019

Friend won't stop posting about breakup
My friend has been broadcasting his recent breakup all over social media, and I'm concerned about him. I do not agree with the fact that he's posting all of these things as he seems extremely hurt and is being unkind to his ex, who is my also my friend. I want to approach him; however, I do not know how to comfort him effectively in a volatile situation like this. How should I reach out to him and tell him to maybe avoid making these posts, but without crossing a line?
Friday, July 5, 2019

Harriette wishes readers a happy Fourth of July
DEAR READERS: Happy Independence Day! I trust that you are enjoying your family and friends on this special day that marks the freedom that America promises all of us every day. We all have stories and memories of the Fourth of July.
Thursday, July 4, 2019

Parent wants to check in on son's religion
During his first year of college, my son joined a fraternity. I am concerned that what he went through during his pledging process did not adhere to his and our religious ideals. I don't want to control his religious identity, but he tells me he is still Muslim, and I expect him to live in accordance with our faith.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Friend ignores high schooler around popular people
One of my best friends gives me the cold shoulder whenever they are around someone popular. When we hang out together, it is fun, and we share a bunch of secrets, laughs and jokes. We are in high school, and I appreciate this because it's not easy for me to make friends. But if they are around someone who is cool, it's like my friend forgets about me completely and tries to impress these people. It hurts my feelings, and I am unsure how to bring it up.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019

College student should look for new summer job
I just got laid off from my summer job working at a bar. The reason is unfortunate: The bar owners expected us to be very busy during the summer, but business is not what we expected. I planned to work there until going back to college. I tried to convince my bosses to wait a little while, since the season has just begun, but they let me go. I don't know what to do now. I need to work, plus my parents don't want me just hanging out at home all summer. They said I need to find something to do, even if I can't find a job.
Monday, July 1, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I've really connected and hit it off with a new friend I've been chatting with on social media. We have exchanged numbers and have been texting every day. The conversation flows smoothly. However, I've been noticing a pull back. He started to take several hours to respond to my messages and then suddenly completely stopped. I waited a couple of days before sending any more messages.
Saturday, June 29, 2019

Mom's drug use hurts her family
DEAR HARRIETTE: My elderly mother is addicted to prescription drugs. It has been negatively affecting my mental health, and I have been taking out my frustrations on my kids. How do I stop this cycle of negativity between generations? What are some coping mechanisms I can use to deal with my mother's drug use? -- Chain Mom
Friday, June 28, 2019

Ball boy lacks motivation to try out again
I've been dealing with motivation issues at my summer job working as a ball boy at a tennis tournament. Recently, there has been a massive overhaul in the ball boy rules, and as a result, the tournament administration is requiring veterans to try out again. For some reason, I have no motivation to try out, and I am not sure if it is out of pure laziness, my fundamental disagreement with the administration, or if I no longer want to be a ball boy. Do you have any advice for how I can understand the reasoning behind my lack of motivation?
Thursday, June 27, 2019

Nice young woman wants to be in a relationship
I feel like I am constantly making mistakes in love. I am 23 years old, and I have had a few bad relationships. They started out OK, but every single time, something weird happened. I feel like I stay too long or for the wrong reasons. I make smart decisions in other areas of my life, but in romance, I suck. My friends all say that I am a nice young woman, I have good manners and I am pleasant to be around. I go overboard to make a man feel comfortable, but nothing seems to work. I want to have a relationship as I build my career. Do you have any ideas on what I can do?
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Reader wonders about meeting "the one"
Do you believe in love at first sight? Or even unspoken love? I'm currently in my third year of college and have noticed a certain guy around campus since I was a freshman. I can tell that he is attracted to me as well. When we first locked eyes, it's as if we recognized each other from somewhere. However, we have never actually said a word to each other.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Father wants to apologize conditionally to son
DEAR HARRIETTE: I had an argument with my high school-aged son about something frivolous, and it devolved to the point where we both said hurtful things to each other. We have since put the argument behind us and acted normally, but without any real resolution or apologies from either side. As a father, at what point should I admit my transgressions, and how should I tell this to my son while conveying the idea that he is also in the wrong? -- Improving Dad
Monday, June 24, 2019

Boyfriend wants woman to stop dyeing hair
My hair has been mostly gray since I was in my early 30s. I can thank my mom for that. Her hair turned white by 35. I have been dying my hair for years because I'm not ready to go "natural," so to speak.
Saturday, June 22, 2019

Parent wants son to get academic support
For the most part, my son is a good student, but he struggled in one class all year long. When he got his first bad grade, I suggested that we get a tutor, but he insisted that he would be OK, and he discouraged me from getting involved. Now, at the end of the year, he is still struggling with this class. I am so mad at myself that I didn't trust my instincts and get him the support he needed. How can I convince my son that there is no shame in getting academic support?
Friday, June 21, 2019

College student mourns ex who died by suicide
I just learned that my first girlfriend from ninth grade died by suicide in her first year in college. Though we did not stay together as a couple, we did remain friends. We even talked a little bit this year as we were getting into the groove of college. I knew that she would get depressed or sad at times, but this came as a complete shock. She was a nice girl, and she was smart and seemed to be on the right track. I am so saddened by this, and I wonder if there was something more I could have done as her friend.
Thursday, June 20, 2019

Pregnant woman wants advice on avoiding pregnancies
I have two kids, and I am pregnant with my third. I love my kids beyond words, but I am not sure if I want any more. I am in a relationship with another man -- not my new baby's father -- and intimacy is important. However, I don't believe in birth control or contraceptives. I am considering getting my tubes tied, but I understand that this is a big decision for me and my family.
Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Reader wants to support series, but has reservations
There is a new Netflix series called "When They See Us" that retells and visualizes the story of the Central Park Five. I remember hearing about this story while growing up, and I felt a deep sympathy for the boys who lost their childhood while falsely imprisoned.
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Reader wants to support series, but has reservations
There is a new Netflix series called "When They See Us" that retells and visualizes the story of the Central Park Five. I remember hearing about this story while growing up, and I felt a deep sympathy for the boys who lost their childhood while falsely imprisoned.
Monday, June 17, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been applying to a number of jobs in hopes of advancing my career. I expect to get interviews in the near future, but I struggle with accepting the first offer I get. I do not know how to express to interviewers that I am considering other jobs, and I often feel pressured by them to take the job on the spot because they convey an attitude that if I don't accept at that very moment, I must not want the job badly enough.
Saturday, June 15, 2019

Life coach needs to stop giving advice for free
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a professional life coach. I help clients sort out their problems and make smarter choices. So far, it's been going well. I mainly get clients through word of mouth.
Friday, June 14, 2019

Woman's crazy hair embarrasses her cousin
My cousin and I are extremely close. We're like sisters. We both started a natural hair journey together, but with that comes trial and error. Certain styles that my cousin does with her hair are not the most flattering to her features. I don't want her to go out in public and have someone make a rude comment because of it. I've tried to tell her about this before, but she gets extremely offended and defensive, saying that she doesn't care what anyone thinks as long as she's happy with her hair. Sometimes it's embarrassing to go out with her hair looking crazy. How should I resolve this issue?
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Friend upset when busy reader forgot his birthday
I forgot a friend's birthday. I have a busy schedule with work and kids, and my memory isn't as sharp as it once was. I realized my mistake six days after his birthday, and I sent over an apology. He told me that my forgetting made him feel sad, and he explained that my mistake was the reason why he hadn't been in communication with me, although I've been so busy I didn't even realize that. I'm struggling to determine if he is overreacting or if I really messed up. He did remember my birthday, but I feel as though it's not too much of a crime that I forgot. I don't think he accepted my apology. Should I leave the situation alone or continue to try and apologize?
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Neighbors' dilapidated pool attracting pests
My neighbors' backyard and mine touch. They had a pool, but it collapsed. Instead of fixing it, they've left it that way for over a year. The water is green and murky, and it is attracting insects and animals. We are friendly enough with our neighbors, but I feel like their issues are spilling over onto us. How should we approach them? We are unaware of their financial situation.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

21-year-old's family concerned about drinking
I turned the big 2-1 recently, and I am so excited to be entering this new phase of life as an adult. I was never allowed to drink before, but now that I am of legal age, I occasionally have a glass of wine. My immediate family is not used to seeing me consume alcohol, so I keep in mind to do it in moderation since I am still living in their home. I found out from my sister that my family has been talking about me behind my back, saying that I drink way too much and they are worried about me developing a habit. I think this is a little dramatic and excessive, and I am unsure how to talk to them about their reservations.
Monday, June 10, 2019

Parent doesn't want kids exploring woods
My kids and my neighbors' kids have just started playing with one another, and I am happy that they are friends. However, my neighbors have a different set of rule for their kids that I don't really agree with for my own. We live by the woods, and while they allow their kids to run out and play near them, I am not comfortable with that. I'd rather my kids play in the front yard.
Saturday, June 8, 2019

Friend thinks little people should only adopt
I've recently been watching and have become of fan of a television show called "Little Women." It displays the lives of individuals born with dwarfism. I learn a lot about the condition and the problems little people face on a daily basis, but I also learned that they are just normal people.
Friday, June 7, 2019

Reader reacts to new abortion laws sweeping the country
A new law was put in place in Alabama, banning women from having abortions, even in cases of incest or rape. I fear that this won't stop in just one state but will spread across the country. I would say that this represents a war on women, but I am aware that a couple of women were partially responsible for allowing this law to pass, including the governor of Alabama.
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Grandmother chastised for leaving girls with boyfriend
My good friend allows a man she is dating to watch her two young granddaughters when she makes small store runs. I have met her boyfriend, and he seems like a nice and trustworthy guy. But the kids' mother has confronted my friend about leaving her babies with him, and I honestly cannot blame her. With everything that has been in the news lately about predators taking innocent children's lives, it is not the best idea to leave two girls alone with this man.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Mom doesn't want kids exposed to lgbtq portrayals
More and more television series are representing individuals in the LGBTQ community. I think it is great for them to be cast and portrayed in certain roles. However, I see the same happening in children's TV shows, and I wonder why it is necessary for kids to be exposed to sexual orientation at such young ages. The recent gay marriage on "Arthur" is a great example of this.
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Expecting parents disagree about circumcision
I am expecting my first child, and I just found out it is a boy. With all the excitement that came with this news, some concerns definitely popped up in my mind -- specifically about how he enters this world and whether or not I should have him circumcised.
Monday, June 3, 2019

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: A work colleague who I am not close to but occasionally collaborate with has bad breath. It is more than a bit uncomfortable to speak with him because I try to not be offensive or make faces, but the odor is not OK. I feel I should say something about it, but I am unsure how to go about it appropriately and respectfully. I have noticed that other people move away from him when he starts talking because they get a whiff of his breath. Even though this is an awkward subject, I know I would want somebody to tell me. What can I say? -- Bad Breath
Saturday, June 1, 2019

Workplace changing as younger people start careers
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have brightly colored hair and a nose piercing. I know my image is not always seen as professional, and I find that to be a reason why I get turned down for jobs. However, my image is an expression of myself, and I am not willing to change. I honestly feel that times are changing with my generation starting to move into the workplace. People should not judge each other based on how they look, but by what they can do. I am well-qualified in my field, and I feel that should speak for itself. What do you think about the professional world evolving? -- Self-Expression and Work
Friday, May 31, 2019

Reader trying to talk friend out of plastic surgery
My best friend wants to get plastic surgery, and I am completely against it. I know it's her body and her choice, but in my opinion, voluntarily going into surgery is purposefully risking her life. I keep trying to talk her out of it, but she's strong-willed and wants to get the procedure done. Nothing is wrong with her. She just wants to be aesthetically pleasing. I am worried that something will go wrong, and I don't want to lose her.
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Son tired of elderly mom's blame game
My relationship with my mother is not good. She is much older now, but she has not lost her stubbornness. I have always been a respectful son, and I help her out whenever she needs me. However, she tends to turn on me. Most recently, she accused me of breaking something in her home and told the whole family that I am responsible for it, when this is not the case. I explained this to my mother, but once she has her mind made up, there is no convincing her otherwise. I want to pull back from this toxic relationship, but I feel this isn't the best option as my mother is older and life is short. What should I do?
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Online dater's family disapproves
I am trying online dating for the first time. I used to be opposed to this idea -- I felt that people should meet each other naturally in person -- but that has not been working out for me so well. My past relationships started when guys approached me in person, but they all turned out to be toxic.
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Harriette honors her father and uncle this Memorial Day
Happy Memorial Day! This is such a special day in our country. Flags are waving, and barbecue grills are fired up. Parks and yards are alive with the sounds of happiness and children playing. This day marks the start of the summer season.
Monday, May 27, 2019

Husband not bothered by being away from home on anniversary
I am about to have my wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been married more than 20 years, so we are not in need of a fuss to acknowledge our anniversary. It does bother me a little, though, that my husband was asked to go away for work on our anniversary weekend. This means that we will not be together on the day or even the extended weekend that follows. Worse still, he didn't ask me what I thought about it. He just accepted the assignment and informed me that he would not be around. We do need the money, but I still feel uncomfortable about how this was handled. What can I do?
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Reader wants to support sick friends
I feel like too many people around me are getting sick. My best friend has been battling breast cancer for several years. Another close friend's husband was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. My neighbor's husband has metastatic prostate cancer. And that's only the people closest to me. It is overwhelming for the ones who are sick and for their friends. I want to be a support to my friends, but I'm not sure how to do it. I am scared for them, and I don't really know what to say.
Friday, May 24, 2019

Socially awkward reader wants to fit in
I have constantly been labeled as "weird" or "socially awkward" by my family and peers. These terms are not ones I view as positive, and I don't like being associated with them. I don't know what specifically makes people view me as such, and I struggle because what I think of as normal obviously turns people off in a way.
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
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