Social Q’s: Can I Stage an Intervention for a Near-Stranger’s Alcoholism?


Staying connected with siblings in middle age, especially when we’re spread out or after the organizing parent dies, is no mean feat. Strictly speaking, this “sibling time” can include significant others, but if your beau wants a solo experience, this time, what’s the harm? Don’t make this about you. They may have issues to discuss. So, ask your boyfriend what he wants and see if you can give it to him.

Aspiring Hair Model

I am 57. I’ve been going to the same hairstylist for years. She posts pictures of her clients’ cuts and colors on her Instagram. All types of people are on her feed. But I have never been photographed for it, which is hurtful to me. If you are taking one client’s picture, shouldn’t you take all of them? And my hair looks great! How can I say something?


We increase the odds of getting what we want by asking for it. And when what we want is as paltry as what you want, why spend a lot of time agonizing about it? (You led with your age, as if you suspected that was the issue. But then you eased the concern by saying she puts “all types of people” on her feed, including 57-year-olds with great hair, one imagines.)

The next time you’re in for a cut or color, tell your stylist: “My lustrous mane looks magnificent today, doesn’t it? Please take out your camera and put me on that Instagram feed.” She is a service provider, Karen. She will do precisely that.

Remember the College Dropout?

Two weeks ago, I fielded a question from a concerned father whose son, seemingly happy in his first semester at college, came home for Christmas to announce that he was dropping out. He wouldn’t explain why. I advised patience and respect for the young man’s privacy, as well as more productive avenues of conversation.

Then came a tidal wave of letters from readers, many worried about possible sexual assault or the onset of mental illness. (The father’s letter suggested neither, but I appreciate the vigilance.) So, I followed up with Dad and can happily report back: To deflect from anticipated poor grades, the result of excessive good times, Sonny concocted a dropping-out story, which he recanted promptly when his grades came back better than expected. Sly fox!

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