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home : columns : dear harriette July 17, 2018

Teen daughter sleeps her summer away
Should I be worried that all she wants to do is sleep? She's 14 years old.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mom wonders when to introduce boyfriend to adult kids
This is the first boyfriend I have had since my ex-husband, and the first man my kids will be introduced to. I need some advice regarding how I should introduce my boyfriend to my children. Where is a good setting? Do I have them meet him all together? We have been dating for three months; is now an appropriate time to have them meet?
Monday, July 16, 2018

Commuter questions where woman sits
DEAR HARRIETTE: I take the same train every morning to work. I've figured out where to stand on the platform so that the doors stop directly in front of me. I guess a lot of other people have figured out the same thing.
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Mother's lung cancer devastates daughter
DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. I am trying to stay strong for her, but each day it gets harder and harder. My mom and I have always been extremely close, and when she was diagnosed, I absolutely lost it. I can't imagine losing her; I don't think I will be able to cope. It scares me to the point where I get sick over the thought of it. My siblings are also devastated by the news, but they don't seem as upset as me. My mom keeps telling me to go out and do something fun for myself, but I just want to be with her all the time. How am I supposed to do something fun for myself when I know there is a chance I could be losing my mom in a couple of months? -- Depressed Daughter, Minneapolis
Friday, July 13, 2018

Baby sitter feels uncomfortable when dad is suggestive
I told my mom, and she told me to never baby-sit for this family again. I feel bad because the mom texts me often to baby-sit for the girls. Should I tell her that I am no longer interested in watching them?
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Family has much to consider after job offer
What do you think is the best situation for my family? Stay where we are? Or leave?
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Younger brother in the midst of midlife crisis
Do you have any idea of how I can help him? Do I intervene to prevent him from messing up his life?
Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Long-distance boyfriend's new friends cause jealousy
My boyfriend has done nothing to make me not trust him, so why does his hanging out with these women make me jealous? Am I crazy and possessive?
Monday, July 9, 2018

Co-worker's drinking habits don't make her alcoholic
She frequents the company's liquor cabinet and has a drink every day. She doesn't drink in the morning, but as soon as it's the afternoon, she pours herself a mixed drink. I feel this is abnormal, and I'm wondering if I should mention it to someone. What do you think I should do about this situation?
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Woman worried her body isn't bikini-ready
I want to be comfortable in my skin and love my body, but it's so hard when I see my friends in bathing suits. I know that I can't compare myself to other people, but how can I stop when I see skinny girls at the beach or on Instagram?
Friday, July 6, 2018

Parents don't understand why recent grad wants time off
I'm 21 and will have the rest of my life to work; I just want some time off. Do you think I would need to have another conversation with them about taking some time off for them to understand?
Thursday, July 5, 2018

Harriette pleads for hope on Independence Day
On this day that we celebrate the independence of our country, I want to appeal to the best within us.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Mom finding it hard to deal after brother's murder
My uncle was a single man without children, so it's just like he's gone. That's it. It's almost like he never existed. My mom can't handle it. She's been drinking a lot and crying. How can I be there for her during this hard time?
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Reader being deported struggles to calm daughter
I am being deported back to Mexico within the next few weeks. My kids are legal citizens here, so they will be able to stay with my mother. I'm scared to leave them because who knows when I'll see them again. I have two daughters, and my youngest wants to come with me. How do I explain that she'll have a better life here, even if I'm in Mexi
Monday, July 2, 2018

Dating a student could cause problems for professor
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a sophomore in college, and I'm in a relationship with my professor. He's 27 and just graduated from grad school last year, so we're within the same age group, since I just turned 20. 
Saturday, June 30, 2018

Woman upset that baby sister is engaged before her
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm 27 years old, and I am the middle child of three girls. My sisters and I are extremely close, and we rarely ever argue. About two months ago, my baby sister got engaged to her college boyfriend. I'm trying to be happy for her, but I am struggling. I never would have thought that I would be getting married after my little sister. I know she didn't do anything wrong, but I am so upset. I feel embarrassed that she is engaged before me, and I feel embarrassed that I am even mad about the situation in the first place! 
Friday, June 29, 2018

Man upset by friend hanging out with ex-girlfriend
I feel like my friend was trying to hide the fact he was going to be at a party with my ex-girlfriend. Is it irrational that I am upset about this?
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Staying late at work shows dedication to job
I've been working here only a week, but every day, most the office stays past 6. I feel awkward getting up and leaving at 6, considering I'm the only one and I'm new. Do you think I should talk to the CEO to go over my hours again?
Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Brother feeling depressed after accident
He used to be such a positive, happy person, and I want to get him back to that place, regardless of his current situation. How can I make him see that the more positive he is, the more likely he is to heal?
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Anniversary of brother's death deserves recognition
My mom and dad struggled a lot with his death, and I want to show them that he will always be with us. What is a meaningful thing to do on the anniversary of his death?
Monday, June 25, 2018

Artist wants to follow passion and make money
I want to be an artist because it's one of the things that helps me express myself. My mother says to follow my dream, but my father thinks it's a hobby that won't help me financially. I somewhat agree with him, but it is my passion and I don't want to look back on my life and regret not following through. Is there a way to be an artist as well as have a job?
Saturday, June 23, 2018

Friend's death brings up question of condolences
I'm not quite sure what to do now. I want to show my respect. We know his family a little bit, but we only hung out at the club. His mother is still living. Would it seem odd to reach out to her? I met her once before.
Friday, June 22, 2018

Husband's conference offers opportunity for travel
Next month, my husband has a business conference in the Bahamas. I was invited to go along, but we would have to leave our kids behind. If I go, it would be the first trip without our kids since they were born. Part of me wants to go to spend quality time with my husband, but the other part of me feels an immense amount of guilt for leaving my two kids alone for a week. Both of our moms live nearby and have offered to help. What do you think I should do?
Thursday, June 21, 2018

After mom's death, daughter feels guilty for not visiting
I feel guilty about not visiting my mom as much as my other siblings, but life becomes busy. How do I get over this feeling of guilt?
Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reader must summon courage to attend funeral
My best friend's wife's funeral is in a few days, and I can't get myself to go. Does this make me a bad person?
Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Kids will need nurturing while dad's locked up
My husband got arrested last week while we were at home. He stole money from his company. Now it's all over the news, and I'm worried about how my son and daughter are dealing with their dad being locked up. So far, the sentencing offer is for 10 years, but our lawyer is trying to bring that down. If he can't, my kids won't have their dad around. How will I be able to raise my kids alone?
Monday, June 18, 2018

World Almanac
Today is the 169th day of 2018 and the 91st day of spring.
Monday, June 18, 2018

Reader questions losing her virginity
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a 20-year-old virgin. I'm not ashamed of it, and it's not because of religious values -- I just have not found the right person I want to share the experience with. My friends tease me about it and tell me to just do it already, but I just don't want to. I tell my friends that I'm waiting around until I find the right guy I want to do it with, but how will I know he is the right guy? Do you think I am doing the right thing, or should I follow what my friends are saying and just "do it already"? -- Debating Celibacy, Richmond, Virginia
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Woman finds sexy photos on husband's phone
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am 52-year-old woman who has been married to my husband for over 25 years. Together, we have three beautiful and healthy children. While my husband worked, I stayed home and raised our kids. Many nights throughout the week, my husband would come home later than I anticipated. However, I did not put too much thought into it because he is in the medical profession, and I know the hours vary. 
Friday, June 15, 2018

Little brother going through money problems
I try to help him out as much as I can by taking him out to eat or leaving some cash at his apartment, but he rejects my assistance. Is there a way I can go about giving him money so that he'll take it?
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Woman questions need to use labels in relationship
He does not refer to me as his girlfriend, and I do not refer to him as my boyfriend. My friends and family think this is very abnormal because of how long we've been an item. What is your take on my situation? Is this a huge red flag?
Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Mom won't go to son's wedding if ex attends
I want both my parents there, but I'm not sure how I can change my mother's mind.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pregnant 18-year-old unsure how to talk to family
I'm scared to disappoint my family because I know they wanted more for me, but they will not support my decision to have an abortion if that's what I want. I'm unsure of what to do now. Should I tell them, or should I take care of this on my own?
Monday, June 11, 2018

Reader questions why couples take breaks
I don't understand this relationship status, and I wanted to hear what your perspective on this is.
Saturday, June 9, 2018

Daughter devastated by dad's cheating
I have to tell my mom; it's not fair to her, but I don't want to be the reason they break things off. How do I ever look at my dad the same? How do I comfort my mom during this time?
Friday, June 8, 2018

Reader scared to come out to family
I'm scared to lose my family for being who I am. How should I come out to them?
Thursday, June 7, 2018

Reader wants lip injections to feel beautiful
My mother thinks I look beautiful as I am and doesn't support my decision, but I'm 18, and I can make this decision on my own. Do you think if it makes me feel more confident I should get the lip injections?
Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Reader dreads spending summer with strict mom
I want to find a job, but my mother doesn't allow it because she thinks I'm too young. How do I make her see it's necessary for me to work?
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Father worried daughter's older boyfriend is bad for her
I want to help my daughter, but I don't know where to begin at all. Coming from her father, I want to be there for her and protect her from getting hurt, but I also don't want to seem overprotective. Do you have any advice for a father trying to talk to his daughter about a sensitive topic?
Monday, June 4, 2018

Should son postpone trip due to violence?
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son and his friends from college have all signed up for a trip to Israel after the school year ends, called Birthright Israel. With all of the protests and violence occurring on the Palestinian border, I am scared to let my son go on the trip. Although the program that he is going through has assured the parents that the trip is extremely safe and they will be taking extra precautions, I would rather my son and his friends postpone the trip.
Saturday, June 2, 2018

Reader wants to know how to comfort friend
DEAR HARRIETTE: My acquaintance "Mark" recently committed suicide. I wasn't that close with him, but we were both on sports teams -- I'm a lacrosse player, and he was on the baseball team. He was dating one of my teammates, but they broke up three months ago after being together for two years. He was one of those guys who was always smiling and had so many friends. He was the life of the party and a pretty good baseball player. 
Friday, June 1, 2018

Boyfriend demands girlfriend stay in with him
I'm not sure what to do because it seems like this will be an issue for the rest of our lives if we stay together. Should I break up with him, or should I accept that I'm not allowed to go out?
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Job offer may be too good to be true
The offer sounds great, but I think it might be too much for me to uproot my entire life to move to London with a family I have known for only six months. Do you think I should take the risk and move?
Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Gymnast thinks coach isn't involved enough
How do I approach my coach about my concern for his lack of participation?
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Parents debate sending kids to camp
Last week we had a discussion about whether to send our kids to camp for two months in the summer. I am opposed to the idea, but my wife is sure that it will be amazing for our children. What should we do?
Monday, May 28, 2018

Business burdened with poor behavior
I told her to mind her business and get back to work. I don't tolerate disrespect, and I don't want to make this situation any bigger than it already is. What should I do?
Saturday, May 26, 2018

Former tormenter reaches out to well-off reader
He hasn't directly asked me for money, but I'm sure that it was implied. I know that I can provide him with some money, but I'm still hurt from his mean words in school. What should I do?
Friday, May 25, 2018

Reader wants to help homeless population
I have discussed this idea with a few people, but they have shut me down, saying things like, "If they wanted to get off the street, they would have stayed off drugs." People don't realize that is not always the case. Any tips on how I can get my nonprofit started?
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Following dad's passing, reader must find own happiness
A few days ago, the realization finally hit me: I have done everything for my dad to make him happy. Making him happy made me happy, but since he is no longer here, finding my own happiness has been difficult. How can I become happy with myself and live for myself from here on out?
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Potential threat at camp taints experience
I don't want them to be alarmed, but I also don't know how to bring up such a harsh topic to 10-year-olds. What should I do?
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mom doesn't understand why reader wants nose job
I have been saving up for five years, and I finally have enough money to get a nose job. Since I don't have any close friends, I asked my mother to come with me to the doctor's office to get a consultation. She has agreed, but she doesn't understand why I am so self-conscious about it. How can I get her understand my decision?
Monday, May 21, 2018

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are celebrating a big anniversary this year, and I really wanted to host a dance party for us because we love to dance together. The reality is that I can't do that.
Saturday, May 19, 2018

Girlfriend never looks up from her screens
DEAR HARRIETTE: In today's world, social media and technology are a big part of everybody's life, especially my girlfriend's. She is constantly attached to her phone or watching shows on her laptop. I understand that there are important matters that need to be attended to on her devices, but I want her to enjoy living in the moment more and appreciate the things around her, not just her phone.
Friday, May 18, 2018

Job seeker applies at family friend's company
Do you think this falls under the umbrella of mixing business with pleasure? Will it make the relationship with my friend a little awkward?
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Midlife crisis sufferer seeks relief
I have tried expanding my comfort zone and explored new hobbies to try to change this feeling, but nothing seems to be working. Is this a normal feeling? Do you have any ideas about how I can find my real passion in life?
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Boyfriend unwilling to marry outside his faith
I am wondering what your opinion on religion and relationships is, and whether you think he is in the wrong for letting my feelings get this far
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

NewYork City girl considers learning to drive
Living in New York, I never saw the need for one. Do you think a driver's license is an important thing to have in your life?
Monday, May 14, 2018

Reader wants to visit uncle with liver cancer
I work full time, but I have been thinking about visiting him for a week or two. I can't afford to take that much time off, but something is telling me that this may be the last time I get to spend quality time with him. Should I visit him?
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Friend upset about possibly similar engagement rings
When I told my friend that I wanted a similar engagement ring, she got upset with me. I asked her why, and she explained that she didn't want me copying her ring style. What is your opinion about claiming ring styles? Am I in the wrong?
Friday, May 11, 2018

Boyfriend wants dog, but reader doesn't like them
It has been a couple of months, and my boyfriend has asked me if he and I can get a dog together. As much as I want to say yes to bring that happiness back to my boyfriend, I dislike dogs. I never had any pets growing up, so I don't understand the whole "bond with an animal" thing. How should I deal with this situation?
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Grandmother treats grandchildren differently
She has clear favorites, and I seem to rank last on the list. It has gotten to the point where on my birthday I don't even receive a birthday card, whereas my siblings and cousins get endless gifts and cards. It hadn't bothered me until now, and I want to speak to her about it. Do you think I should talk to my parents or go straight to my grandmother and tell her how I have been feeling?
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Student-athlete needs a break
As much as I love working out and playing for a team, I kind of like the idea of having an off-season. I would like that time just to hang out after school instead of going from practice to practice. What do you think would be best for me? Is there a way I can convince my dad to have the winter sports season off next year?
Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Girlfriend's graduation trumps family dynamics
My girlfriend's college graduation is approaching, and I am nervous to attend due to the amount of time I would have to spend with her family. Do you have any advice on how I can survive the weekend with her not-so-welcoming parents?
Monday, May 7, 2018

Addict boyfriend wants to drink again
DEAR HARRIETTE: My fiance is a recovering drug addict. When I say those words out loud, it still scares me, but he has been sober for more than two years now, and we have a great relationship. 
Saturday, May 5, 2018

Daughter needs to lower prom expectations
DEAR HARRIETTE: As high school prom season is approaching, my daughter and her friends are getting excited about the event. Some of my daughter's friends have already found their dresses, booked their beauty appointments and secured their dates. My daughter has been asking me almost every day if I can book her a makeup and hair trial run appointment, as well as appointments for the real thing. I know that a senior prom is a big deal, and I want to make it the most special day for my daughter, but I just can't afford all of these things.
Friday, May 4, 2018

Reader should feel welcome to engage in church
I feel disconnected from my religion, and I want to start attending mass again. I think going to church might help me clear my head -- especially now that I am going through a rough time in my life. How can I get involved in church again?
Thursday, May 3, 2018

Reader needs to mingle while girlfriend's in wedding
Weddings are social events; there is always a lot of small talk and mingling, which is hard to do when you don't have any mutual friends to speak to. Do you have any advice on how I can be more comfortable at the wedding?
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mother-in-law takes discipline too far
She is my son's grandmother, so she thinks she has rights, but she must stop. I need her to respect me and the way I raise my child. How can I get my mother-in-law to stop hitting my child?
Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Boyfriend refuses to go on double dates
My boyfriend and I are getting serious, but I love my friends. I think he is trying to make me choose between him and my friends. I don't want to do that. How do I choose -- or is choosing even an option?
Monday, April 30, 2018

Stay-at-home dad feeling self-conscious
What is your take on the stay-at-home dad culture?
Saturday, April 28, 2018

Reader reconnects with former camp crush
I am at the age when I would like to be engaged soon, and I believe I am with the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I wanted to know your take on fate. Do you believe in fate when it comes to love?
Friday, April 27, 2018

Parents treat master's student like a baby
How can I speak to my parents about treating me like an adult?
Thursday, April 26, 2018

Roommate's boyfriend stays over too often
I feel like I am walking on eggshells in my own room, and I am so sick of it. How do I approach this situation without coming off as a crazy roommate?
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Father wants to build relationship with kids
How can I reconnect with my kids? I try to speak with them as often as I can, and I always send them gifts on their birthdays or holidays, but I miss the relationships I used to have with all three of them.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sister tries to horn in on spring break trip
Do you think I should address my sister's comments? How do I tell her nicely that I don't want her and her husband coming to Florida with us?
Monday, April 23, 2018

Ex-boyfriend needs to handle breakups on his own

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got a call out of the blue from my ex-boyfriend's most recent ex-girlfriend. I loved this man for many years, and he turned out to be a heartbreaker. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Reader irritated when wife messes up car

DEAR HARRIETTE: My wife is a car slob. Even though she has her own car, she likes to borrow my car for a few days or weeks. Every time I get it back, it is a complete wreck: empty food containers on the floor, makeup smudges on the seat and steering wheel and coffee cups in the cup holders. She loves driving my car, but it bothers me that she doesn't have the respect to keep it clean. I want to tell her to stop driving my car or clean it up after she uses it, but I'm afraid it will hurt her feelings. How do I tell her? -- Stop Trashing My Car, Denver

Friday, April 20, 2018

Reader must decide which path to take
On one hand, I would enjoy working for the startup, but I would hate being apart from my partner. On the other hand, if I moved to Austin, I would be happy living with him, but might not find a great job right away. Should love trump a career, or vice versa?
Thursday, April 19, 2018

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