DEAR HARRIETTE: I am so mad right now. I have been super-careful every day since the coronavirus pandemic started. For more than a year, I didn't go outside except to go to the grocery store and the doctor. Only in the past few months have I relaxed at all. I still wear a mask even as I have started back at the gym. I take my mask off only when ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I feel so uncomfortable all over again. We have spent what felt like nearly two years homebound because of the COVID-19 pandemic. My family and I followed all of the protocols recommended. We were strict with our children. Now, it seems all for naught. My daughter caught COVID-19, not because she broke any rules, but because she ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: The other day, I brought my friend to a dinner party as my plus-one. By the end of the night, she was telling the host (who had cooked the food) how she could improve on a few of her recipes. I've watched my friend be overly critical before. She's done this to my family members in the past, but they understand that that's just ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My four best friends and I have been taking annual vacations every spring since we were 23. We're planning another vacation now, and my friends want to bring new people I've never heard of before. I don't think it will be the same if we bring a bunch of new people. I want to tell them that I'm not comfortable with adding new ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I got a promotion a couple of weeks ago, and now everyone is treating me differently. My co-workers hardly speak to me anymore. When they do speak to me, the energy is very tense and awkward. They treat me like I'm their boss and not their friend. This change of behavior at work is making me uncomfortable, to say the very least. ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend's sister is one of the worst people I've ever met. I hate how she treats my friend. I've watched her steal from my friend, embarrass her publicly and try to harm her. My friend is a little older and believes that she has to be the bigger person in the situation because her younger sister obviously has some behavioral or...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My assistant has been doing a good job at work, so I offered her a promotion and a 20% raise. I was surprised and disappointed by her response. She said she thought the raise wasn't enough and that she deserves a lot more. I run a small business and do not have more to give her. I never know if all of my current contracts will ...Read more
DEAR READERS: Today is the anniversary of a dark day in our country. On Jan. 6, 2021, just when my family was about to celebrate my niece's birthday, the airwaves were filled with frightening images of Americans who were overtaking our beloved nation's Capitol. It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since that fateful day.
We are ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work in an upscale restaurant. My friends come in often to visit me, but my new boss doesn't like them very much. My friends can be a little bit rowdy, and apparently my boss doesn't like so much noise in the dining room area. My old boss had no problem with my friends. I'm scared that their boisterousness will jeopardize my ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm going on vacation with some friends from my college later this month. We decided on this a long time ago, but COVID-19 delayed us. Everything is set. We are going to an island with the plan to lounge on the beach and chill. I love the idea, but I have gained a ton of weight and feel very self-conscious about how I look. I ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I turn 25 next year. I feel that I lost years 23 and 24 to the pandemic. As I transition into my mid-20s, I realize that I have no desire to get any older. The thought of getting older actually scares me more than it should because it's so inevitable. It's not that I want to take my life or anything. More, it's that I have been ...Read more
DEAR READERS: Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that we have reached 2022. In some ways, the past year has seemed like a blur that actually lasted for nearly two years. The lockdown we collectively experienced -- which hasn't fully ended for some of us -- put us on a challenging trajectory. And here we are.
For those of us who are blessed to...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I work remotely. I'm about 4 months pregnant, and the only person I work with who knows about my pregnancy is my boss. I'm not particularly close with any of my co-workers. My colleagues can see me on Zoom, but only from the shoulders up. Should I tell my co-workers about my pregnancy? There's no reason they need to know, but I ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My friend told me not to accept a job offer at her current company because she is miserable there. She told me that she is overworked and grossly undercompensated. If I accept the job, I will be working in the same department as her and receiving the same pay. Should I listen to her? This has been my first job offer since last ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been working on a project for several years. It paused for two years because of COVID-19, but it started up again last month. I noticed that one of the key freelancers with whom I had worked on this project was nowhere to be found. When I asked about him, I got the cold shoulder. I am grateful that I was invited back, but ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have two siblings. I'm close to one, and things are awkward with the other. Over the years, I have tried to keep a bond going with my sibling, but now I'm tired. Depending on her mood when I call, she can be friendly or terse. I never know what I'm going to get, and she is never accommodating of my feelings. I always have to ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage daughter stays up late and has a hard time getting up in the morning. It's obvious to me what she needs to do, but she doesn't listen well right now.
My worry is what will happen when she goes away to college next year. I won't be there to nudge her. My sister suggested that I use a bit of tough love, namely not ...Read more
DEAR READERS: Merry Christmas! Blessings to each and every one of you at this special time of year. For me, the holiday season has always been a magical time. Starting at Thanksgiving straight through to New Year's Day, my home in Baltimore was filled with music, laughter, delicious food and fellowship. My parents hosted parties and attended ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm excited to visit my family this year for the holidays, especially since last year's quarantine prevented us from being together. My problem is that the only affordable flight I could get lands me at home on Christmas Day. My family has a ritual on Christmas Eve where the adults wrap gifts together, and the kids get to open ...Read more
DEAR HARRIETTE: My son lives in a different state, and I do not get to see him very often. Usually about once a year, he will bring his girlfriend of five years to our house and spend a week with us. Unfortunately, every time they come over, his girlfriend becomes sick and will have to stay in bed for the majority of the trip. She says that she ...Read more