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As if Thanksgiving stress wasn’t enough this year

I was informed that my sister’s boyfriend would attend Thanksgiving. They have been out for two years. I don’t like him and the other brothers hate him altogether. In other years, this was fairly easy to deal with. We have a large extended family. But this year, thanks to Covid-19, only close family members are coming to dinner. I want to overcome this in the spirit of family unity, but the main cause of the problem is the disdainful attitude towards me with our other brothers when my sister is with her boyfriend. Do you have any suggestions other than strong holiday drinks?


This may not be the advice you were thinking of, but this year isn’t a year of mixing households on Thanksgiving unless your immediate family is already part of a careful Covid pod. If you can’t eat outdoors at a social distance, the surprising increase in Covid infections and associated hospitalizations and deaths makes your plans dangerous to your family and everyone they meet. Why don’t you live to hate your boyfriend on New Year’s Day?

Now, for him and your sister, going to her with vague contempt dissatisfaction is unlikely to accomplish much. Calmly share some concrete examples in the face of a sincere desire to get along with her and her boyfriend. That’s the way to solve this problem.

credit…Christoph Niemann

My daughter is legally blind and functionally sighted. She has an assistance dog. She is very independent at the age of 29 and will soon enter graduate school after working at a veterans’ hospital. She is popular and rarely idle. I love her dearly. Problem: She slowly gained considerable weight (probably 50 pounds). She eats too much. She starts a diet and then lets them go. She exercised intermittently and tried online dating with little success. Recently I heard her say, “I have to lose some of this weight.” I don’t think everyone needs to be thin, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to hurt her. But I think I’ll be happier if I lose weight. Any advice?


Your daughter is a talented adult. She is independent and hardworking and has family and friends who love her. With your own approval, she already knows she is heavy. (And I don’t know what her eyesight has to do with this.) If for some reason she decides she wants to lose weight (if that’s a problem, or just of our culture To comply with unwavering taste, because of her lack of health), I’m sure she’ll do it. If she asks for your support, give it.

But to tell or signal your daughter that losing weight will make you happy-even if you describe it as what you think makes her happy-you are her You run the risk of being ashamed and damaging her self-esteem. You seem to have raised a wonderful daughter. Now stop and make her your own woman.

My best friend has a relationship. Both she and I are in their twenties. Recently, after connecting to The Tinder, the guy was hanging around and showing each other on a previously connected app. I was shocked when he showed me a picture of my best friend. (I didn’t know she had a profile!) Should I tell her boyfriend?


what? Why do you tell your boyfriend? (And why do you hook up during a pandemic?) Your question suggests that you feel a great deal of resentment towards your best friend. Why do you want to confuse her relationship like this?

For the record, her sex life is not your job. And if that happens, the hookup may have preceded her relationship or be permitted by that condition. If you plan to discuss this coincidence with someone, make it your best friend (or therapist).

We live in a solid pre-war building, and when we meet a passerby, our neighbors are civil, but this is rare. Couples down the hallway and their teenagers slammed their heavy front door behind them as they came and went. This makes a big bang we hear in our apartment. It’s annoying and amazing. I have been sitting on this for 2 years. I have rehearsed many ways to talk to them, but I’m afraid to make bad blood. Should I just call the management agent?


Most of us hate conflict. However, reporting neighbors to management agents is far more aggressive than just smiling. Would you please close the back door instead of closing the door? That bang really surprises me. They probably haven’t considered this issue.

Please do not leave notes. Even the best sentences don’t have a neighbor’s smile. If you can’t wait to hit them in the hall, just knock on their doors. I anticipate great success.

If you need help with a difficult situation,, Facebook Philip Galanes, or @SocialQPhilip On Twitter.

As if Thanksgiving stress wasn’t enough this year

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