Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Happy Friday! Are you feeling a touch of spring in the air where you live? We had some sunny days and warmer temps here in NYC and it got me excited for April. Yesterday Joanie and I went for a long walk, searching for Hamantaschen (cookies to celebrate the Jewish holiday, Purim), and stopping in a store to shop for a gift for a friend’s 5th birthday next week. It felt really nice to do something so perfectly normal. I don’t think I’ve been in a store with Joanie in over a year. She’s a much more thoughtful shopper at 5-1/2 than she was at 4-1/2, and I’m feeling hopeful for a summer in which she – and Jackson – can hopefully enjoy being kids, doing most of the things kids do in the summer (except probably still with masks on). Anyway, the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be closer, is what I’m saying, and that’s such a relief.

Here are a few links you might appreciate:

If you missed the annual DW holiday book drive this past year, I’ve got something I think you’ll like. Ms. Hurney, a DW reader who has partnered with us in past book drives, is heading back into the classroom next week after high Covid rates forced her district to close school buildings for a couple months. She is hoping to gift her returning 8th graders with new books for them to keep as well as to build their classroom library – something to welcome them back during what has been a hard time for all of us, but especially for kids in low-income areas who have suffered some of the worst of the pandemic. Here are her own words:

“I teach 8th grade in a district with 10% unemployment, in an under-funded school where 59% of my students qualify for free or reduced lunch, 70% qualify as having high needs, and 20% have a native language other than English. My Amazon wishlist is for books that each student selected as ones they’d love to have in our classroom library and to keep (if enough are purchased). Books will be dropped off to our fully-remote students. As we quickly approach a year of the pandemic and isolation, my students could really use the healthy practice of reading to de-stress and escape into the life of someone else for a while.” Her wishlist is here.

In addition, if you watch my Instagram stories regularly, you may have already seen the link I posted there to Ms. Hurney’s Donors Choose project in which she has requested funds to purchase n95 masks, individual hand sanitizers, hand soap, and communal supplies such as a classroom air purifier and cleaning supplies appropriate for technology. And, yes, America is a country where many teachers have to crowdsource – or pay out of their own pockets – for cleaning supplies during a pandemic. If you can and would like to help, Ms. Hurney’s Donors Choose project is here. Thank you so much!

People Are Sharing Things They Learned About Their Partner After Several Years, And Some Of These Are Actually Disturbing

Dating My Girlfriend Taught Me I Needed a New Language Around Love

Tavi Gavinson, founder of Rookie, shares a really smart, thoughtful perspective of the Times’ Britney Spears doc, weaving her own tale of a predatory relationship she was in as an 18-year-old dating a 30-year-old man (whom some figured out was Vampire Weekend’s frontman, Ezra Koenig): Britney Spears Was Never in Control Why did I ever believe a teen girl could hold all the power?

Hopefully becoming more relevant to many of us in coming months: You Got the Vaccine! What Can You Do Now?

All My Friends’ Quarantine Bubbles Are Bursting

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Here’s what we’re discussing this week in the forums:

Trouble juggling caregiving and time for a relationship

Friend’s Pregnancy Announcement

“How Can I Make the Break-up Pain Go Away Quicker?”

Looks of SO

Skincare advice?

Overreacting?

“How Long Do I Need to Stay with My Husband?”

Is what happened at my last job abuse or discrimination?

Torn between generations

My Boyfriend is depressed

Coronavirus/ Covid-19/ At-Home Support Thread

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

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I’m a self-employed hairstylist. While I pride myself on being a dedicated listener and keep an open and nonjudgmental mindset with each of my customers, I have one client who always finds ways to make me uncomfortable. She’s an older woman who is very high maintenance and has biweekly appointments. Every week she moves her appointment several times because she travels a lot. Not only does it feel like she doesn’t respect my time, but this makes me uncomfortable with possible Covid exposures. While I recognize I can’t control if people travel or not, she is always out of town and putting me at risk regularly. She often talks about the conferences she leads about anti-abortion and anti-homosexuality. She has no idea that I’m bisexual and side with pro-choice. This week she said that gay people deserve to feel deep shame. I don’t reply much to these topics and she eventually changes the subject.

Last week my city had a blizzard and the temperature was -19 degrees. My salon was losing power… like most of the country. She had already rescheduled her appointment twice prior, and her appointment fell on the snow day. When I asked if we could reschedule, she said she couldn’t wait any longer and needed her hair done that day. I got my car cleaned off and shoveled my path… and then she texted and said her street wasn’t plowed so we should reschedule. I feel like she doesn’t have any respect for my well-being or really just me as a person. I know this isn’t personal — she would do this to anyone. My conflict is continuing this client relationship. I feel like I’m compromising my integrity and self-respect to meet her needs. I’m afraid of bringing this up; I’m afraid she’ll publicly attack me. One part of me says, “Just suck it up; she pays you good money” and the other half says, “No money is worth this.” What should I do? — Making the Cut

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My sister, “Rose,” and I are both in our late 30s, but she has always been supported by our parents. I think she suffers from anxiety and possibly mild bi-polar disorder, but to my knowledge she’s never been diagnosed so I don’t know for sure. However, I strongly believe that my parents are hurting her rather than making things better. They have a very co-dependent relationship, which I feel has isolated her from her peers and has contributed to her low self-esteem. I think if they withdrew support or at least strongly encouraged her to seek mental health help, she would be in a much better spot.

Rose has always wanted children, but since she is afraid to date and works sporadically (she quits when things become stressful), she has never had a serious relationship or been in a position to make children happen. Now that she’s approaching 40, she realizes that she’s running out of time. She recently asked me to lend her $12k to freeze her eggs so that she can use them later when she’s self-sufficient.

At first I felt like it was something I had to do; it’s heartbreaking to think that if I don’t, I might be standing in the way of Rose becoming a parent. But after thinking it over more, I just don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I’m extremely doubtful at this point that anything is going to change in her situation. And I feel that in giving her the money I’ll be making the same mistake my parents have made. Finally, in her current state, I just don’t think she’d be a stable/healthy parent.

Ideally, I’d love to help her get to a stable point and then help her with fertility, but I’m not sure there is time for that. And my efforts to help her in the past haven’t panned out.

Thank you for any advice you can offer! — My Sister’s Keeper

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Here’s what we’re discussing this week in the forums:

Friend pretended he’s kissing me and took a picture with me while I was asleep

Friend’s Pregnancy Announcement

Finding love in these times

How Do I Tell My Husband I Have Fallen Out of Love?

“No Valentines card or gift”

“How Can I Make the Break-up Pain Go Away Quicker?”

I love him, but I don’t think I’m in love with him

Husband is on Grindr

A kind of relationship

My boyfriend is still in contact with his ex and he got caught!!

Coronavirus/ Covid-19/ At-Home Support Thread

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

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