About the Hax-Philes

Parsing matters of the heart is a great way to touch a nerve. You, the readers, have been packing my inbox, camping out in the comment area and flooding the online queue every Friday, registering opinions about love, sex, in-laws, loneliness, friendship, babies, callings, betrayals, anything to do with our connections to ourselves and each other. A lot of you just want to be heard, and that’s understandable; the human need to matter is no less critical, I think, than the need for air, shelter and food.

But listening, too, has its place--and so far, at least in two of these areas, I’m the only one who hears what you all have to say. It has been an intense and unrelenting education you all have bestowed on me, and it’s time for me to share.

To complement the columns and chats, where the conversation goes through me, we’re opening a forum where you can converse directly with each other. I’ll post questions and turn the job of answering them over to you, or I’ll just share mail I think you’ll appreciate. If Friday’s live discussion yields a provocative issue, we can bring it here so you can all have your say, and ideally pick up some other perspectives. My e-mail will still be the best place to talk to me directly; this is where we all talk to each other. — Carolyn Hax

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