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home : columns : dear harriette November 24, 2020

World Almanac
Today is the 329th day of 2020 and the 64th day of autumn.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020


Unrequited crush is hard to forget
I have had a crush on this guy for years. We became friends and started seeing each other, but after a while it just felt like he lost interest, and we fell off. We stopped talking and seeing each other. Since then I've remained single, and every few months we reconnect and talk for a while, but it's not long before we fall off again.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Project lead goes un-acknowledged
I worked for several months on a project that culminated in a big public event. As the lead on this project, I brought in another company to coproduce with me. Together we did an excellent job -- by all accounts. When the event was over, the head of the company called my partner to say thank you but did not call me. I thought that was rude. I am the one who brought everyone together. While my partner definitely had an important role in the event, I found it odd that the big boss didn't think to thank me.
Monday, November 23, 2020

Mom of influencer opposes cosmetic surgery
My daughter is a popular social media influencer. Since she has become more popular, she has been entertaining the idea of having plastic surgery to keep up a particular image that the media puts out there for society. I am totally against it. I think she became popular being who she is, and changing that is not going to make her more popular. Apart from that, it is expensive and dangerous, and she wants me to help her pay for it. Why are millennials so focused on their appearance and wanting to change it? She is beautiful.
Saturday, November 21, 2020

Neighbor notices suspicious visitor
My neighbor mentioned that she was going out of town on a work trip and asked me to watch out for her dog once in a while because he can get out of their back door, and her husband, who works from home, doesn't always notice. All week long, I've been occasionally looking over next door in the morning and evening.
Friday, November 20, 2020

Man's friend and ex do not get along
I have a guy best friend who has a daughter. Since the birth of his daughter five years ago, his daughter's mother has never liked me. She thinks that he and I were involved, but that is not true. She has started arguments with him about me seeing his daughter and buying her things. I have never met the mother, but we have had a few conversations over social media. Some have been bad, and other times have been better.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Infidelity threatens happy marriage
I have been married for 10 years, and we have three kids. We were high school sweethearts and each other's first loves and never dated other people before we were married. I would say we are happily married. My husband works late often and takes a lot of work trips.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Hovering server puts a damper on meal
I had a weird experience the other day. My girlfriends and I were all out for lunch, and we had a really great server. He was polite, made jokes and light conversation and kept our water and wine glasses full. The only weird part was that each time he left our table, he stood nearby. He would stand near the empty table next to us or at one of the pillars around us. He stayed in close proximity almost as if he were watching us. And it wasn't like he was keeping an eye out to see if we needed something. He just constantly stared at us like he was listening to us. We all felt like we couldn't speak, and we had to just eat the food and look happy.
Monday, November 16, 2020

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a lot of things going on in my personal life trying to balance my business, my stepsons, work and school. I work every other weekend, getting up early to do stepmom duties and then having to open a shop. I keep my stepsons with me most of the time and have to home-school them. I try to keep them active and learning by having them help me with chores.
Friday, November 13, 2020

Age difference worries mom
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son's school is currently virtual. They have introduced what they call a "recess room" where all students from the school can interact in a Zoom room and play games and activities during the day. I have noticed that my son has clicked with one female student in particular. She looks somewhat older, but she is a schoolmate. Now my son is asking to have a playdate with this student.
Friday, November 13, 2020

Harriette offers Veterans Day wishes
Happy Veterans Day! I offer love and blessings to all veterans and veterans' families. We live in a country that has enjoyed relative safety from foreign violence on our shores for many years, in large part thanks to the strength, dedication, skill and sacrifice of our military. For those who have fought on our behalf, we give thanks. To their families, we offer our deepest gratitude because we know that the sacrifices do not end with the person who served.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Move sounds attractive but scary
My best friend just decided to move to Colorado. She said that since she's working from home for the foreseeable future, she might as well go for something on her bucket list. I think she is so brave. She wants to be able to hike and be outdoors in nature and not worry about being cooped up in a tiny apartment in New York.
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Elderly deserve respect during pandemic
I hear all the political talk back and forth about COVID-19, and it makes me sick. My mother came down with it, thanks to her caregiver -- after months of not being allowed to see any of her family. We are heartbroken. She is healing, but it is slow. She has started losing cognitive ability, we think because she has been cooped up in her apartment unable to do any of the social activities that her residence offers.
Monday, November 9, 2020

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and her husband are separated. She said that she doesn't want to be with him anymore, so she left him and started dating someone else. Her husband and I have always been friends since we all went to high school together, and he recently began confiding in me since the separation. We are spending a lot of time together, as neither of us sees my best friend often because she is dating someone new.
Saturday, November 7, 2020

Garbage snooper makes neighbor uncomfortable
DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a gated community. Recently, I noticed that my neighbor lifted the top off my garbage can and looked inside. I don't think he put anything inside or took anything out, but it was just odd. I have a Ring doorbell and decided to put my trash can closer to my door so that my camera would pick up any movement. Over the last month, this same neighbor has gone into my garbage can each week. I can never tell why, or if he has checked other cans, but it has made me very uncomfortable. I know who he is and where he lives, but I am not sure if I should approach him about it or if I should just file a complaint with the police? What's the right course of action here? -- Suspicious Activity
Friday, November 6, 2020

Average folks cannot afford NYC rent
New York is an expensive place to live. There are a lot of homeless people and families that cram into a studio or one-bedroom apartment because they cannot afford anything bigger, my family included. I often see new buildings that are built all throughout the five boroughs, and I think how great it is that they are expanding the housing for New Yorkers. But each time I look into these buildings in urban areas of Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn, the rent for one or two bedrooms is typically over $2,000.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020

World Almanac
Today is the 308th day of 2020 and the 43rd day of autumn.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Please vote
I am taking this time today to encourage every single American citizen who is 18 years old or older to vote. I am not writing to tell you who you should be voting for, only that I beg you to use your precious right and go do it.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Boyfriend refuses to vote
I am in an interracial relationship and have been for four years. With the election coming up, my boyfriend, who is white, told me that he will not be voting because he does not support either of the candidates. I told him how important it is to vote and that we should exercise our right. I offered to let him come with me so we can vote for Biden together.
Monday, November 2, 2020

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son has been getting bullied and teased at school. My son is the more gentle type who likes magic and books. So he easily becomes sensitive when other kids take things from him or if he doesn't get his way. My husband has been trying to teach him how to stand up for himself. But my husband is really just teaching our son how to be a bigger bully back.
Saturday, October 31, 2020

Girlfriend wants beau to drop his bestie
DEAR HARRIETTE: My girlfriend and my best friend don't get along. They argue about anything we talk about. She says he doesn't respect our home, and she believes he says rude and obnoxious things. He's what I call a clown and just likes to make jokes and have fun. It's why we are friends. My girlfriend doesn't have our sense of humor, and she thinks he's a bad influence on me because I become a clown like him when he's around.
Friday, October 30, 2020

Son must think carefully before bringing mom home
My mother is in a nursing home. She has recovered from COVID-19 in recent weeks. I haven't seen her in months. Not seeing my mother has worn on me. She is so bright and vibrant. I saw her at least three times every week before the pandemic. I must have developed separation anxiety because I cry at all times of the day when I think of her. I feel like I have lost her and will never see her again. Not seeing her has really made me feel like she has passed on. But she hasn't; she is right where she always has been.
Thursday, October 29, 2020

Student wants friends to skip spring break
I want to go on spring break with my friends, but I told them this year I won't because of the pandemic. They are all convinced that by spring break 2021, the virus will be gone and things will be back to normal. The whole country assumed back in March that it would be over by the summer, but now we are going into winter and the virus is still here.
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Parent seeks trustworthy day care
COVID has taken a heavy toll on everything lately. I thought it'd be over already, but unfortunately it's not. I am running out of options as to where to look for child care. My parents are deceased, my child's father is in and out of the military and I don't have much family.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Parent needs ideas for COVID Halloween
I have two young children who are longing to go trick-or-treating for Halloween. I have told them no. It's COVID-19 time. I think it would be crazy to let them go door-to-door taking candy from people. That seems like a surefire superspreader to me. They are so sad about this. I want to do something but don't have any ideas. What do you recommend?
Monday, October 26, 2020

Forced COVID isolation wearing on reader
COVID has changed a lot for the education system. I just started my freshman year in college, and although I knew things were going to be different than expected, living in a dorm seems pointless. Some schools even deliver your meals. Luckily, at mine, I get to go pick it up and bring it back to my dorm. But there is literally nothing to do here. There are no sports, no gym, no clubs, no events, no parties. You cannot be around friends in computer labs or libraries or common rooms just to watch TV. We are forced into isolation and it is beginning to wear on me.
Saturday, October 24, 2020

Neighbor worries about unsupervised child
I live in a nice gated community area. The neighbors are always friendly, families go on walks and kids play together nicely. I love it here. Recently, there have been a lot of families moving in and out of the neighborhood. I've noticed a little boy that I've never seen before that walks back and forth on my street each day and then heads to the playground. I can see from my backyard. He plays for an hour or so, then leaves. Since the school year has started, this happens every day around noon. He might be only 5 or 6 years old. I have never seen him with an adult. Sometimes there are other kids and adults at the playground, but when there are not, he plays alone, and I see him walk there and back alone.
Friday, October 23, 2020

Mom wants to withhold information from adopted son
I adopted my son as a baby. When he was still young, we explained to him how we were brought together as a family, and he understood. Now he is in college. Through the years, he has asked about his birth parents but never expressed any interest in meeting them. He says nothing will change who his family is.
Thursday, October 22, 2020

Dreams pull couple in opposite directions
My boyfriend and I will be graduating from college soon. I am an actress, and he wants to go to medical school. We both have dreams for our careers, but they lead us in different directions. I want to move to New York City to pursue performing on Broadway, and he has a dream to open a small practice in his hometown, where he also wants to go to medical school. I've tried to convince him to come with me to New York and apply to schools near there, but he is looking at his endgame of opening a practice and thinks it will be harder to do in New York. I simply can't pursue a Broadway career anywhere but Broadway.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Loving two men forces tough decision
I am in love with two men at the same time. One is my long-term boyfriend. We met at work, started dating and eventually moved in together. The other man is a childhood friend that I have known my whole life. He has always been there for me. Both of our families are so close, it's like we are one big family. My friend is also dating someone else. This is the first time both of us have been in relationships at the same time. So seeing both of us with other people makes me feel like we are living a fairy tale.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Mom concerned about candy-sneaking kid
My daughter is only 4 years old. She's pretty smart and knows how to read people and sense their emotions. She knows that when I am happy, she can ask for something she wants. If I am not happy, she tends to not bother me, and she plays and entertains herself on her own. I feel like I have a 16-year-old.
Monday, October 19, 2020

Homebody boyfriend may have trust issues
DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I live together. He doesn't like to party or go out, but I do. I like to be with my girlfriends and have fun. All of my girlfriends are in relationships, too. Anytime I tell him that my girls want to go away on a trip, he tells me to go enjoy myself. When the day gets closer, he starts to tell me he doesn't want me to go because he doesn't know what my friends and I will be doing and he's not comfortable with it. I know if I still go, he will just constantly call and text me and I won't enjoy myself.
Friday, October 16, 2020

Estranged daughter receives mystery mail
My father and I haven't spoken in about two years. I had a baby out of wedlock, and he disowned me the moment he found out. I lost my dad, mom and sisters and was estranged from the family on his orders. He doesn't allow anyone in the family to communicate with me. The last time I spoke to them was the day he told me to collect my belongings and I had to move in with my boyfriend's family. They don't even know my child's name or gender.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Business owner hesitant to hire help
I am an entrepreneur with a small business. For several years now, I have worked without an assistant because I just couldn't afford to have help. Recently, I hired one full-time helper, but I realize I need more help. There is just too much work for this one person to handle. Amazingly, during this period of quarantine, my business is growing. We have been working around the clock, it seems, to respond to calls and to handle new business.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Debate participants make poor role models
My kids and I just watched the first presidential debate, and everybody is so upset. My kids are in middle school, and all they kept saying is that the candidates were acting like they were misbehaving schoolchildren. One of my kids said the two men were acting like they were in kindergarten
Monday, October 12, 2020

Caution is key when resuming exercise after COVID-19
I'm a 38-year-old man, very athletic, and I got really sick with the coronavirus. I didn't land in the hospital, but it's been a month and I'm still not 100%. I want to get back to running and lifting weights. Is it safe to exercise after COVID-19?
Monday, October 12, 2020

Reader uncertain about involvement in father's health decisions
My father is in a nursing home, and he recently fell. He needs more care than this place has to offer. My sister, who lives in the area, has been handling things, but now we have to make tough decisions. She has been asking me and my brother to weigh in so that she doesn't have to do everything herself. I feel weird about that.
Saturday, October 10, 2020

Teen can learn guitar without private lessons
My son is in high school and wants to start taking guitar lessons. I want to give my son the best opportunity to succeed, but the truth is I can't afford any private lessons right now. I have taken the steps to learn how to read sheet music so that I can teach him and we can learn together. But I'm not sure I can go as far as learning how to play the guitar from YouTube videos. I have tried to get him interested in other things that I can afford, but ever since he was a young boy, I have never seen him this passionate about wanting to start something new. How do I let him down easy and break it to him that the lessons are just out of reach for us right now?
Friday, October 9, 2020

Temporary roommate needs cleaner environment
I am having some work done on my house. I can't stay there, so I am staying with a friend to save some money toward my home repairs. I appreciate my friend taking me in for a few weeks and not charging me rent for a room. I am trying to remain humble and thankful, but my friend's home living conditions are outrageous. She constantly blasts music throughout the day and night. She has a ton of old food in her fridge and leaves it out on the counter. She doesn't take out her garbage regularly in the bathrooms or kitchen, and the dishes are dirty and piled up. I have been cleaning up often to help her out and after myself, of course, but after a few days of her not cleaning up, it's a mess all over again. I do not know how she gets by when I am not there to clean up for her.
Thursday, October 8, 2020

Gym member sees room for improvement
Gyms have just reopened, and I have returned to my regular schedule of working out every morning and late evening. I am typically the first one in and the last one out most days. Often when I am there, I notice an older gentleman at the gym who uses the machines and never cleans them. Even before COVID, gym etiquette said you clean a machine before and after each use. I've told management about this individual not cleaning the machines, but I'm not sure they have really done anything about it. They don't even instruct staff to clean the machines, either.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Business owner wants to buy out partner
I have a business partner whom I want to buy out of our business. We integrated our two businesses because they went together hand in hand, and we were both able to offer the other a benefit. My business has been thriving since the partnership, but her business and programs have been plummeting. Enrollment is down, and I believe her increase in prices could be the cause of this. We have had meetings to plan ways to fix the drop in business, but she shoots down all of our ideas and suggestions.
Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Controlling person just needs the right help
How can I balance being independent and self-sufficient and still accept help when I need it? I am used to doing things on my own, by myself, and not really ever asking for help. I am the type of person who most often likes to figure things out at my own pace.
Monday, October 5, 2020

Harriette shares reader response to overweight woman's plight
Many of you responded about the mature woman who felt like giving up because she was overweight. This particular letter has details that may inspire those of you who need a little push.
Saturday, October 3, 2020

Overnight gathering seems unwise
My friend will be visiting from California for a family funeral and asked if I and another friend wanted to get together overnight at a friend's cabin. I agreed, as I have been watching social media and have noticed how they are responding to mask-wearing. I thought maybe the plane ride home would be a high-risk situation for my friends; however, airlines are ensuring people wear masks.
Thursday, October 1, 2020

Boyfriend hits gym -- with his ex
I went through my boyfriend's phone when he was asleep because I felt like he was acting suspicious. I know my boyfriend, and this day he just wasn't being himself. He would lean away from me with his phone and kept it out of sight from me as much as he could. He's never done that before. So when I had a chance, I looked, expecting to see him doing something like buying expensive sneakers he didn't want me to know about.
Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Reader shares 9/11 experience
Thank you for your thoughtful message about 9/11, calling for harmony, peace and justice that is inclusive for all.
Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Readers respond to colonoscopy fears
Many of you wrote in about the man who was afraid to get a colonoscopy. I am sharing a few of your comments here. Thank you all for your caring and thoughtful comments.
Monday, September 28, 2020

Reader worried about having to choose dog over relationship
My boyfriend and I just moved in together about three months ago with each of our dogs. We have brought our dogs together for playdates before, and they were always playful. Since we have moved in, and they are together all the time, they are fighting and terrorizing our household. We have tried to keep them separate, but it's becoming an inconvenient task to make sure they never see or hear each other, which is quite impossible. They bark and go after each other every chance they get. My boyfriend seems to think we have to get rid of one of the dogs, but how do we begin to even make that decision? I know I do not want to give away my dog and I couldn't expect him to either. Where do we go from here?
Saturday, September 26, 2020

Upper-classman considers changing majors
I am entering my junior year in college and am having second thoughts of changing my major. I currently major in physical education to become a gym teacher, but I've become worried that it is too specific and maybe I should focus on children's education in general and major in early childhood education. Switching majors means losing time and credits that I have already done, and I'll need to spend more time and money to get caught up in the new major. I am worried about being set back in school and having to spend more money to make up the different classes I will need. Is it worth it to start over in my junior year, or should I keep working on the degree I am near done with?
Friday, September 25, 2020

Girlfriend becomes web model to pay the bills
My boyfriend and I have begun to struggle with our bills after unemployment was cut back. My job is still closed, and my boyfriend is unemployed. To bring in extra money, I decided to create a private fan page where I share exclusive photos and videos of myself. My boyfriend knows about it and is not happy. He wants me to stop. I have a huge and still-growing following on my page, and it is bringing in a lot more money. I am finally, for once, getting ahead in my bills and able to get more things done. My boyfriend wants me to shut it down. I do not want to. He is threatening to leave me. Should I close my biggest moneymaker app or let him go?
Thursday, September 24, 2020

Husband hasn't been to the doctor for years
I just learned that an old family friend has come down with prostate cancer. He said he has to have surgery and probably chemotherapy and radiation. He didn't look very good and he was definitely upset when he told me. I learned from his wife that he hadn't gone to the doctor for a long time after he was feeling poorly. She was furious with him. I totally understand how frustrating it sounded, and I am in the same boat in a way. My husband doesn't believe in going to the doctor. He takes herbs and vitamins and exercises a lot, but he is of a certain age and hasn't had a physical in years. Recently, he has had some urinary problems, and I need him to get checked out. I don't want him to wait and then if he does have a problem it's too late to deal with it. How can I get him to get a checkup?
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Woman chooses to insert herself in couple's lives
I have a "friend" who watches everything that's going on. I noticed how she was checking me and my husband out all summer. When we would have an argument, she was there, generally being supportive of us, but it was a little weird. She began to anticipate what our issues were and to say things about us, never to criticize us, but it did feel a little creepy because she just seemed to be paying too close of attention to us. We were around each other a lot, because we live in the same area during the summer. I'm not quite sure what to make of her behavior. She is single, but still, why was she checking us out so hard? Should I ask her?
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Voter intends to motivate friends and neighbors
I have gotten into serious arguments with my neighbors and friends about the upcoming election. It has gotten so bad that I wonder if we can survive it. My thing is I am not trying to make you vote the way I plan to vote -- although, of course, I would like that. My thing is I want everybody to register to vote and then to make it their business to vote on Election Day. It seems like such a fundamental thing, and yet there are so many apathetic people out there. I just don't understand it. Here is the one thing that all of us can do to have a personal impact on the future of our country. Why would anyone want to throw that away? My friends say it doesn't matter and their vote isn't going to make a difference anyway. How can I get them to understand that that is not true?
Monday, September 21, 2020

Blind date ends in missing phone
DEAR HARRIETTE: I went on a date with a guy that a mutual friend of ours had set me up with. We had a good time. Everything went as planned until I got home and realized that I had left my cellphone in the Uber with him. I was dropped off first, so I tried calling my phone to see if the driver would circle back after dropping off my date. My cellphone was never answered, so I contacted Uber and met up with the driver, but the phone was nowhere to be found. By that point, I had traced it to an address across town. The driver confirmed that is where he had dropped off the guy I was with. I went there and tried to ring my phone, and it was then shut off.
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Grandmother tries to take grandson from his mom
DEAR HARRIETTE: My parents are divorced, and I have not had an in-person relationship with my mother for five years. My son is now 7 years old. My mother and I still had each other on social media, and she has been trolling and feuding with me about many different things that I post -- things that pertain to my son and being a mother. It's no surprise that she disagrees with all my choices and everything I do with my son.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Boyfriend drags feet on introductions
I have been dating my boyfriend for over a year now, and I have not met any of his friends, or any family either. To be fair, he has not met my parents because I am very strategic about who meets my parents, and he knows that. However, he has met my closest friends.
Thursday, September 17, 2020

Teen son hangs out with older crowd
My son has been eager to get back outside with his friends for the remainder of the summer. We haven't figured out whether school will be physically in session or not. He's expressed missing his friends and feeling locked up and not having anything to look forward to. So with all the right precautions, I let him go down to our local park to play basketball and exercise.
Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Telecommuter considers giving up expensive apartment
I just learned that my job is not going to go back to being in the office until at least mid-2021. I have been living at home with my parents for months now. While I don't want to keep living with them, I think I should give up my expensive apartment and find something much more affordable. One of my friends just moved back to her hometown and got a nice, affordable apartment. I'm thinking of doing that. I know that it might be hard getting a new place sometime next year, but I think I would be smart to save some money. Do you think this is a good idea?
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Colon screenings are necessary for those over 50
After hearing about "Black Panther" Chadwick Boseman's untimely death due to colon cancer -- at such a young age -- I'm kind of freaked out. I'm in my 50s, and I have never had a colonoscopy. I was afraid of the test since you have to be anesthetized. Plus, I don't think my insurance covers it. I'm a pretty healthy guy, so I didn't think much of it -- until now. If somebody who looks so healthy could succumb to this disease, I think I need to get tested. But part of me is too scared to do it. What if I am sick? I am a single dude. I don't have the support system to deal with an illness. Maybe I should just leave well enough alone.
Monday, September 14, 2020

Scatterbrained boss won't accept fault
I am an assistant, and my boss is a mess. He always tries to do everything and multitask; meanwhile, he mixes up details and is forgetful. He hired me to help him keep his business in order, but he makes that difficult for me. He will give me tasks to complete, but if there are any approvals I need, he takes a long time to give them.
Saturday, September 12, 2020

Harriette reflects on the losses of 9/11
It has been 19 years since that fateful day when the world as we know it changed. We all remember where we were and what we were doing when we got wind of the planes flying into the World Trade Center and subsequently other buildings. Many of us lost family members and loved ones. The pain of loss remains alive within us.
Friday, September 11, 2020

Girlfriend finds old social media private messages
I just settled down in a serious relationship. This is the first woman I have ever felt this way about, and we are talking about marriage. Last week while using my social media, she found some old messages of me flirting with other women back when we first started dating. I tried to explain to her that that was the past and I didn't feel the way that I feel now. I swore that I would never do that ever again and that I was serious about our future. She has not been returning my calls, and I am not prepared for our relationship to be over. What can I do to prove to her that I am committed to her and ready for the next step in our relationship?
Thursday, September 10, 2020

After theft, friend doesn't trust woman
A small group of my friends and I recently got together for one of their birthdays at her apartment. I knew almost everyone there besides a few significant others who attended.

I kept my personal belongings in my friend's bedroom during the party. When I gathered my things to leave, I noticed my purse kept popping open and wouldn't close, but I paid it no mind. When I returned home and went through my purse, I realized that my wallet was sitting in my purse upside down. When I opened it, all of my cash was gone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Reader creeped out by social media acquaintance
There is a creepy guy who follows me on social media. I have known him since before there even was this way of communicating, but I haven't spoken to him in years. Then out of nowhere he started commenting on my posts. After that, he began to send me long, mostly nonsensical emails. I'm not quite sure what to do. He writes to me as if my postings on social media were written directly to him. He expects me to answer him and is very insistent. But I swear I haven't talked to him in years, and we were never close anyway. How can I get him to back off?
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Reader concerned with friend's party plans
I have been enjoying a bit of socializing this summer -- at a distance -- with people in my beach community. We have had two couples over for dinner, and we all made sure that we were never too close to each other, especially when we were eating, since we had our masks off.
Monday, September 7, 2020

Dear Harriette
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am newly married and living in a new home, and I just had a baby. Life is fantastic. I am grateful. My best friend, however, is now the "messy auntie." She shows up at my house at all hours, never wants to help with the baby but wants to play with him. She eats and drinks all of our food and never cleans up. She has really bought into the whole idea of playing with the baby and returning it to the mommy when it cries. She says she comes to help, but she just creates an inconvenience for me when she tells me to take a break, but my break always gets interrupted.
Saturday, September 5, 2020

Reader upset when roommate borrows, loses umbrella
DEAR HARRIETTE: My roommate borrowed an umbrella from me one day and never returned it. I kept asking for it back, but I was not too concerned because it had not rained, so I did not need to use it.
Friday, September 4, 2020

Child wants to help dad after relapse
My father is a recovering alcoholic; he was six months sober. Last week, I lent him my car to go to work. When he didn't arrive back home following his shift, I called his phone and learned that he had been in an accident while intoxicated. He broke his arm, and my car was totaled. I am drowning in bills and have a family to take care of. I'm so angry. I am thankful that he is safe, but he needs help and care. I want to support him through his addiction, but I can no longer risk my family situation. I want to check him into a rehabilitation facility to protect him and get him the help he needs. How can I explain this to him without upsetting him?
Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Couple ready to move out of shared space
My boyfriend and I currently live with another couple in a home that we rent. We have been here for 15 months. While being quarantined the past three months, we've had a lot of overlap with the other couple. We have issues with our home; we contacted the landlord about them, but he didn't do much to fix or help with the issues during the quarantine.
Monday, August 31, 2020

Reader worried about polarizing election
This upcoming election is important for minorities like myself. I remember when Trump was elected president how scary it was to me. On my college campus, some students were happy, celebrating in the streets, and students like myself were filled with fear for our country. Those who were celebrating were screaming and yelling in the faces of those who displayed any type of discomfort or were saddened by the news. For myself and my friends, it was a traumatizing event. Some of our clubs created support groups to discuss our feelings. With November ahead, that day is the only thing that plays in my mind. How can I stay hopeful for the coming election and put aside the memories?
Saturday, August 29, 2020

Reader questions asking client for money
I have been going through my papers trying to get organized before the fall, and I noticed that one of my clients never paid me for a job I did last year. It has been several months, and I only just now realized it. With quarantine and all, I didn't notice that this invoice had gone unpaid. Is it too late to remind him of the money I am owed? I know that this has been a difficult time for businesses, but it has been hard on me, too. I did submit the invoice back in February, but I forgot to follow up. What do you think?
Friday, August 28, 2020

After ultimatum, mom still hasn't sold house
My mom and I do not get along. She was a single mom, and when I was growing up, she had a ton of rules and complained and yelled about things in the house not being a specific way. She kicked me out for multiple months at a time while I was in high school. I am now 23, and she has remarried. I do not get along with her husband either.
Thursday, August 27, 2020









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