Carolyn Hax Live: Advice columnist tackles your problems

Carolyn Hax
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 22, 2010; 12:00 PM

Carolyn was online Friday, October 22, taking your questions and comments about her current advice column and any other questions you might have about the strange train we call life. Her answers may appear online or in an upcoming column.

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Good news! Carolyn's archives have been updated. Check out the sidebar on Carolyn's archive page to find even more transcripts from past Hax chats.


Carolyn Hax: Hi everybody.


Anonymous: I have a friend who is screwing up her marriage. I know she loves her husband, but she complains at him a lot, he catches the occasional eye-roll, and there's a vibe that has me worried. She is oblivious, and he is hurting. They are both very close friends of ours, and our kids are close, too. Do I say something to her? Or do I keep my damn mouth shut? I don't know a good way to say, "hey, I know you love him, but I think your toxic attitude could kill your marriage."

Carolyn Hax: How about instead: "Are you okay? You're being noticeably tough on [Husband], and that's not like you."


U.K.: Hello Carolyn,

A few weeks ago my husband came to me and told me he had an affair. (He only came clean after finding out the she was pregnant.) Despite being devasted, I told him I'd be willing to try and work things out (for the sake of our two daughters, at least) if he convinced her to have an abortion. He agreed, and she had the abortion, although I suspect she only agreed because my husband lied to her and told her they'd have a future if she had the abortion. He says that's he's broken off all contact with her since she terminated the pregnancy.

Now I'm disgusted with myself because I feel like it's my fault she had the abortion, and I can't get past the fact that my husband cheated on me. Sometimes I feel just worthless. Is there any hope?

Carolyn Hax: Oh my.

Your phrasing could be interpreted two different ways: either that your husband actually did make false promises to his mistress (and you suspect that's what motivated her to agree to it), or you suspect your husband made false promises.

Even with the vagaries, it says something about your marriage that -I- can't get past: that you are married to a man who is flat-out morally depraved, or you think it's possible that he's flat-out morally depraved.

The other woman isn't an innocent party here; she messed with someone else's husband, unless she was thoroughly deceived into believing your husband was single. And, if your husband did offer that she could keep him if she lost the child, the only correct answer would have been for her to tell him to get out of her life and stay out--whether she ultimately chose to bear the child or not.

Pressuring someone to abort one's own child is bad enough. But deceit--I can't wrap my mind around it.

Please start taking steps, right now, today, that lead you away from this whole sordid episode. Find someone you can talk to who has the moral authority to speak hard truths and also has the therapeutic chops to help you guide your family responsibly in a direction that's both functional and sustainable. If you are a churchgoer, then start there; many clergy members are also licensed therapists. If you aren't, start looking for a family therapist who has a solid reputation and a philosophy you can respect.

I'm not sure, with what he has done, that your husband can come along for this restorative ride--not unless he somehow realizes the depravity of his actions and is actively trying to put himself back together.

As for your feelings of worthlessness, remember that, in addition to your inherent value as a person, and to your value as a person of conscience (you have to have one for it to beat you up like this), you have immeasurable value to your children. Your way out of this devastation is to be strong and good for them. Find someone to lean on as you need it, and base each choice you make, from this moment onward, on whether it's something that brings you closer to being able to live with yourself.


Carolyn Hax: I hope that last one explains what took me so long in posting it.


D.C.: How do you know when it's time to end a relationship?

Carolyn Hax: When the only reason you're not ending it is that you're dreading the change/awkwardness/pain/anguished conversations/domestic upheaval/collateral damage.*

Breakups are awful, awful enough to be in themselves a barricade the door for some people. That's why you need to make sure you're being honest with yourself, vs. rationalizing why it's okay to stay.

*If kids are involved, they don't go in this category; they get separate consideration as a top priority.


To Anonmyous: Anonmyous needs to be prepared to actually listen to her friend and be sympathetic... just because she's seeing the wife's eye rolls doesn't mean that the husband isn't contributing to the problems in his own way, even if it's just by not acknowleding that his wife seems unhappy.

Carolyn Hax: Right. That's why I suggested the are-you-okay question vs the you're-wrecking-your-life lecture. While the friend is handling her distress poorly, there could be something legitimately upsetting her--though, it's important to underscore, it's not necessarily the husband' fault, either--and she won't be as inclined to trust Anonymous with this information if the Anon gets off to a judgmental start instead of a sympathetic one.


Texas: How do I get over the pain of never being a Mommy? We are completely infertile, both totally broken. Adoption is not an option for us for a plethora of reasons. I am a stepmom and I have good relationships with my stepkids but as everybody and their dog like to remind me, I am not their mom. Now I know I will never be anybody's mom, and it is breaking my heart. I feel like such a loser.

Carolyn Hax: Is that the way you regard other people who haven't, for whatever reason, been able to bear their own children? As broken losers?

I have to think you wouldn't dream of being so tough on them.

It's not often that I need to turn the Golden Rule around like this, but: You need to think of the way you'd treat a close and beloved friend who was in your exact situation, and then start showing yourself the same kindness and generosity of spirit.

There are also some very good resources available for helping you make peace with your circumstances (and that is just what they are--circumstances; there's nothing more to be read into them). is one that's at your fingertips and that readers recommend almost every time infertility comes up. Take care of yourself--and those stepchildren, too. You may not be "their mom," but you're a prominent part of their lives. If they're still minors, you have nothing less than the power to make or break their childhoods. Put your heart into your relationship with them, and that will bring its own rewards.


Portland, Maine: I am unsure of how to proceed with an unfortunate situation. I have a friend who in the past has admitted to affairs with married men. Over time she has said she regretted it and has expressed disgust with those in her life who've actually been caught in such situations. But now, she's attempting to begin another relationship with a married man. I just want to tell her to stop being the train wreck, but don't know if it's my business at all?

Carolyn Hax: As her confidant, it's certainly enough of your business for you to say to her once, "stop being the train wreck." If she's liable to tune you out as a scold, though, then you might do better approaching her as an equal: "You know what you've said to me over the years about affairs. Do you want me to try to talk you out of it, or just smile and wave?"


Reston, Va: My husband is thinking of starting a photography business servicing weddings. He has an "eye" for getting excellent photographs, but isn't a professional. It has only been a hobby.

My concern is that he needs to take some classes in order to show clients he has had professional training. So I've been suggesting he take several classes at a nearby university.

Am I being unreasonable? He seems to think it is a waste of money and time.

Carolyn Hax: I don't know anything about getting started in wedding photography business (though I know exactly whom I'd ask*), but I also don't think that's germane. If your husband is able to attract business based on the quality of his work and the power of his pitch, then the training issue will be moot. If he finds he can't get traction just through word of mouth, then the classes will always be there for him to take.

*If he hasn't talked to other wedding photogs yet to find out how they got started, that ought to be the next thing on his list.


For UK: Here's the thing I can't get past. Poster told her husband to tell another woman to have an abortion. I'm the pro choiceiest of pro choice people, and....I'm sorry, NO. Wrong wrong wrong. Poster, you had no right to make that a condition of getting back together.

Carolyn Hax: Well, she did have a right to decide she couldn't stay married to him if he had a child outside of their marriage. She didn't have a right to ask her husband to ask the woman to have an abortion, which she did, which was a terrible mistake; he, meanwhile, had no business passing along his wife's request to his pregnant mistress, which he did, which was a terrible mistake.

I think I've made myself clear on the issue of his using deception to make his case with her.

Even with these three mistakes, though, I don't think it's possible to say that the wife or the husband "made" the mistress have the abortion. The wife pressured and the husband coerced but the child's mother decided.

All of them have a lot of work to do to get right with this.


To Portland: I'm not sure if my mother has ever dated someone who WASN'T married, and I can tell you there has never been a chance anyone else's comments could have changed that.

Your friend knows her pattern. The thing that compels her to be with married men (in my mother's case, it's BPD, but there are lots of simpler options) is stronger than her reasons to leave them alone. And, it's possible that by talking to you about her "mistakes," she's absolving herself. E.g., as long as she feels bad about herself for doing it, she can -keep- doing it. Sometimes confession is just phony penance, with no intention of change.

Carolyn Hax: Well said, but.

Feeling the need for some sunshine here.


Wedding photog: He'll need to built a portfolio and classes are one way to do that, but he could start putting the word out to friends and family that he'd be willing to do some free work to build a reputation. I've been lucky with pro photogs at friends weddings being willing to let me follow them around and I've been able to build a good body of work that way. Those were all out of town weddings, by the way, so no worries on their parts that I'd become competition.

Carolyn Hax: A good start, thanks.


Washington, D.C.: My on-again-off-again GF insulted me and a new friend in public during a small get together. She insinuated that we were flirting. At the time, we were off but there was no flirting. She cussed us out so badly that the new friend made it clear that she never wants to be in the same space with GF. During a recent event, I invited some of new friend's friends to join me at a happy hour. While new friend was not specifically invited she was in the general area and assumed she could come. That means on-again GF can't come. She is mad as hell. What should I do?

Carolyn Hax: Picture me (or anyone of x thousand people reading this) flicking you in the forehead, and get free of this bad relationship once and for all.

On-again-off-again, public insults, jealousy ... it stood there cussing you out in front of your new friends and you still weren't able to conclude definitively that you were in the presence of extremely unhealthy behavior. No doubt there is some shaky emotional health in your history, too, for you to be so accepting of it in o-a-o-a GF, but still--you're the one writing in, so I'm hoping that having your attention will make a difference: Get out of this and get well. Please. Start by being on your own for a while, thinking about what you've come to accept as "normal" in a relationship, and see if there isn't something better that you could be reaching for.

Unless adrenaline and intrigue and party fights are what you want. If that's the case, then let your GF be mad, have your happy hour and wait for the fireworks.


For Texas: From personal experience: Please get counseling. Judging by the anger in the word choice, this is not just about having a biological kid. BTDT. For me, it was the most fundamental betrayal I could imagine (from by God/the universe/whatever): I had spent my whole life doing everything "right" -- and my "reward" for being so -bleeping] good my whole -bleeping] life was that I couldn't do the one thing that mattered most. I can't remember EVER feeling such a deep-seated rage and depression -- and it took me a long time to work through.

Carolyn Hax: You could be describing people's frustration with SO many things, not just infertility; it's an excellent point, thanks for weighing in.


On the subject of UK: What she did was appalling - but as Carolyn says, the fact that she's beginning to realize the magnitude and feel so wretched about it shows that she's not totally lost.

Perhaps doing some volunteer work - say at a place which helps unwed teen mothers - would be a way to make amends too?

Carolyn Hax: This has come up before, and it will come up again--but when people carry around heavy regrets for things they've done and can't undo, the only way they -can- make amends is through good works, good intentions, good behavior. Turning the bad into the catalyst for good is about the only way to make things right.

Working with young mothers in need would be one possibility, but really anything that's for the greater good could accomplish that same goal--including throwing herself into the process of creating a stable, loving environment for her own children through this awful time.


Was she really pregnant?: Gotta say I'm wondering if the other woman really was pregnant, or whether this was a device to find out where she stood with the married man she was seeing.

Probably awful of me to admit this, but there it is.

Carolyn Hax: If you want to be awful here, you'll have to take a number.

It's entirely possible she wasn't pregnant. I -hope- she wasn't pregnant.


Woodbridge, VA: "Is that the way you regard other people who haven't, for whatever reason, been able to bear their own children? As broken losers?"

Not everybody thinks that, but the vast majority of people do. If you don't have kids, or are not married, there must be something wrong with you. Cheez Carolyn, don't you know there's only one ideal life to live - married with kids?

Carolyn Hax: "The vast majority of people"? I refuse to believe people are this willfully rigid in their beliefs, the popularity of Fox News notwithstanding.


Portland, Maine again: And there's the rub--I'm not her confidant. At least in the sense that the only reason I know now is that I read her email. So to confront her is to also tell her that I did a scuzzy thing. She just recently got out of a long-term relationship in which her boyfriend left her because she could not--or would not- -have an intimate relationship with him. She's been in therapy since then (few months). She's admitted that her past affairs were power-trip ways to have intimacy without having to open herself up to someone, to be in complete control. I guess, if anything, I'm just stunned by her self- destructiveness.

Carolyn Hax: I just got up and walked around my dining room table, which I guess is the keyboard-era's answer to speechlessness.

Not only should her self-destructiveness come no longer as a surprise to you, but you also might want to consider that it's starting to suck you in.

You can't save her, and your ability even to help her is limited. Please realize that maintaining a healthy distance from her problems is not the same thing as turning your back on her or not caring about her. You can care and still realize that this is her smoking wreckage and she has to pick through it on her own. You can care and still realize this is who she is, and it's not even productive to hope she'll get well/get better unless and until she actually starts to show improvement. I don't mean to sound harsh, but it's just such a common problem, to get so invested in seeing a happy ending for someone that eventually you find yourself in the wings and shouting stage directions at people--when what you need to be doing is living your life. It's hard to step back, but you have to.


"The vast majority of people"?: I'd agree with Woodbridge. I can't tell you how many times I been faced with family and friends "So what are you up to?" I tell them I have a great job, doing work I support, with co- workers who are like minded, I'm happy, have friends, etc.

"Oh. But you're not married? No kids? Oh." Never do I hear "that's great, I'm so happy for you."

Apparently, contentment is not enough.

Carolyn Hax: Hmmm I dunno. The scene you describe could also be titled, "Conversations with the socially inept," and not just, "Single/childless people have no value in society's eyes."

For the sake of argument, though--let's stipulate to what you're arguing, but move closer to the original Q and A. Let's take the family and friends you're talking about, and put them in the position of individual friends. One of them has a friend who has just confided that s/he's unable to conceive children.

Would these people actually respond by treating their anguished friend as a "broken loser"? Or would they comfort the friend, assure him or her that it's just a tough break and s/he has no reason to feel bad about him- or herself?

If it's not the latter, I might have to do two laps of the table.


Texas again: Thanks Carolyn and 'nuts. I appreciate what you said and will give it some thought. As to putting my heart into my relationship with my stepkids, I already do that (I am not being boastful to say I give above and beyond) and frankly it is not reward enough in and of itself, maybe because I get so much grief from their mom for wanting to be actively involved in their lives.

As for counseling for my anger (yes, I'm ticked that my husband caved to his ex's relentless bullying for a vasectomy that wasn't successfully reversed), I have seen two counselors about that and both of them advised me to do everything in my power to have a baby of my own, that it would "solve everything". Barf. Time to find a new counselor, I guess. I just feel so lost and hopeless about my future.

Carolyn Hax: One more:


Texas again: BTW in case anyone wants to know why I'm ticked that he caved to her bullying about the vasectomy, it's because she was already having an affair and flat out told him she didn't want him to have kids with anyone else.

Carolyn Hax: Your frustration makes so much sense; your husband's ex seems to have thrown up barriers to your happiness that were mean-spirited and selfish--and selfish, mean-spirited actions aren't supposed to win out, only good-hearted ones are.

I can also see why your counselors have advised going all out to have a child on your own, because it would indeed solve part of the problem, your perception of the ex as having "won."

But that doesn't mean that was and is your only option. First of all, the grief the ex is giving you for being involved in her kids' lives isn't the end of the story. That remains to be written, and if you can keep summoning the resolve to keep going above and beyond with your stepchildren, then there's an excellent chance you will create a soul-saving example for these kids of humanity, selflessness, strength.

They may never thank you for this favor, or even like you more for it, but it will be inside them and it will matter, and you will -always- know you did that. Under thankless conditions, no less.

I also think it's important that you turn your attention to other ways you can be the person you had always imagined yourself to be--or to new ways you can now imagine yourself to be. Maybe you're not ready yet--maybe the grief and anger are too fresh, and this may even have to wait till your stepchildren are independent enough--but there are other places and other ways to love and nurture.

If you can't get your current therapist to walk with you in this direction, then, yes, it's time for another. But if you haven't said outright that you find the "try even harder for a baby" guidance unhelpful, then you need to articulate that, and ask for other avenues for (a) reducing the amount of anger you feel at the ex and your husband, and (b) reducing the amount of control they have had, and particularly that she has had, on both your daily life and your long-term goals and dreams. You have the last word on so many other things, and those are where your attention belongs.


Re: Texas: You wrote: 'Would these people actually respond by treating their anguished friend as a "broken loser"? Or would they comfort the friend, assure him or her that it's just a tough break and s/he has no reason to feel bad about him- or herself?'

In my experience, they'd do neither. They'd say "You can always adopt."

Carolyn Hax: Three turns around the table. You're right.


Alexandria VA: Help! My husband thinks it's OK to have sex in front of our 2 year old. We rarely get to have sex because she's pretty much always around, and he's (understandably) frustrated. So his solution is, well, we'll just do it anyway, even though she's climbing all over us and trying to get our attention. I don't know if she's old enough to understand anything yet (and is "mommy and daddy love each other" really so bad, I guess?) but it makes me really uncomfortable! But then, the only alternative I can offer is no sex at all, which isn't really an attractive option. We have no family that can take her overnight or even for a day - what can we do!?!? It's really hurting our marriage.

Carolyn Hax: This child never ever sleeps?


For Texas again: Texas again's should put some perspective on her anger - her husband is to blame for the vasectomy not his ex-wife, she married a man who had a vasectomy and took the risk that it would not be reversible, she married a man with other kids making herself a step mom taking on all the drama that dynamic brings. Instead of continuing to feel like a victim - she also needs to remember that she has chosen to stay in this marriage and hence should try to make the best of it.

Carolyn Hax: Indeed, thanks.


DC: Does an affair always mean that there is something wrong or lacking in a marriage?

Carolyn Hax: Wrong, maybe not, but lacking, yes, even if it just "lacks" the excitement/danger of a new relationship, which every marriage does eventually. But that's about the only generalization that can be made about affairs. Just about everything else is specific to the situation.


New York, NY: I submitted an embarrassingly long question earlier today, so in the interest of brevity: How do you know when to be exclusive with someone you've just started dating? Do you fall in love with him first, and then call it off with other guys? Or do you decide there's potential, so you become exclusive and hope it leads to love? (And what are the rules for dating more than one guy - sleep with none, sleep with just one, sleep with all to see whom you like most?)

Carolyn Hax: Be exclusive with someone when that someone is the only person you want to see; and you can do what you think is right about sex, as long as you're taking care of your health and others' and not misleading anyone. Good luck!


For Texas: One of these days, those stepkids will appreciate what you do for them. They may not right now and may even see you as the homewrecking enemy, but one day they will realize and recognize your love. My birth mother treated my stepmother horribly; my brother and I were little monsters to her. My stepmother did all she could to love us and provide for us in spite of it all, gracefully, stalwartly, fiercely. All that through failed attempts to have her own biological baby. I gradually realized that she wasn't the enemy. She is my mother; I am her daughter. Blood has nothing to do with it. The heart has an infinite capacity for love. And I do love her. We have a very close relationship, and we always smile when people tell us how much we look alike.

Carolyn Hax: This is for Texas, but I needed it, too, and I don't even have stepchildren. Thanks.


Arlington: Just found out the guy I like - who I genuinely thought liked me too and I was very exited about - just started dating someone else. Another guy I dated a few weeks ago for just a few very nice dates who disappeared into thin air is now dating someone else. The guy I had a drama-filled, two year long relationship with that ended earlier this year is now deliriously happy with someone else. My college boyfriend is now engaged to someone we were friendly aquaintances with in college (I'd lost touch with her before ex-BF and I broke up, she's a great girl and I don't want to get back together with him).

What am I doing wrong here? How and why am I continuously misreading these situations so badly?

Carolyn Hax: Maybe I'm too desperate to see some good news somewhere, but I don't see any patterns here, with the possible exception of the two most recent guys--but besides their being a statistical non-entity, you barely knew/barely dated either of them, so they seem to have little to offer by way of Big Conclusions.

Think about it: Your drama-filled, two-year guy could be on the same doomed, drama-filled path with this new girl as he traveled with you. Or, the two of them could just be more compatible with each other than you were with him, which would be a nice bit of luck for them that says nothing bad about you.

Your college boyfriend and your former acquaintance, well, you don't want him and she does, and the fact that you and he sorta-knew her back when you were dating is not an unusual story. People travel in fairly small circles, and it's just such common histories that bring people together socially, which allows people to get together romantically.

Really the only common thread is that men you currently like or once liked have paired off. That's something just about everyone is going to find, if they go looking for it. So instead of looking/reaching for signs that something is wrong with you, save your energy for doing things that help you feel good about your life and your circumstances. play to your strengths--and certainly don't sweat the guys you barely know.


I wouldn't judge a person's worth by whether they have kids: I'm much too busy determining how much their engagement ring cost.

Carolyn Hax: I send a big, grateful air-kiss in your general direction while looking over your shoulder to see who else is in the room.

I.e., thank you. Perfect.


Bethesda MD: Hi -- My husband grabbed my face by my cheeks and squeezed it hard yesterday while we were disagreeing about how to handle our son, who was upset by something at school. I had said something about giving our 8-year-old time to vent, but my husband thought our son had been disrespectful and needed to be disciplined. My husband grabbed my face and squeezed, hard. He has done this a couple of times in the past over the last 5 years --we've been married for 18 years. I usually have to apologize for something I've done to upset him. If I had a crystal ball, I might never have married him, but we are married, with two young kids, and I have to stick it out. Any advice on how to handle this?

Carolyn Hax: yes. Expunge your fatalistic thinking, and talk to someone who can help you weigh your very real options, which by no means are limited to just sticking it out and being intimidated and abused: 1-800-799-SAFE.

If nothing else--though there is a lot else--you need to realize that you have children who are learning from their parents how couples treat each other, and what "love" looks like. Do you want them absorbing the lesson you just described for us? Whether your husband has developed a health problem in recent years that's affecting his behavior, or whether he has been treating you poorly for years and the problem is merely escalating, you need outside help, soon.


For Alexandria, VA: I also have a toddler, so I definitely understand how that can stifle the sex life. But, you need someone to take her overnight or for an entire day?? You just need one 30-minute nap time, or hour-long playdate, or bedtime before your bedtime, or whatever TV show she will sit still for, etc. etc. You don't have to be that creative. And 2 years old is really getting to the age where she can figure out what's going on, or at least will try to imitate what she sees.

Carolyn Hax: Your last line says it all. and if the kid's father is refusing to accept this as a problem, then this is a bigger problem. Thanks.


RE: Arlington: I understand, though I am in a totally different situation - the engagement/marriage snowball is beginning for me, mostly among acquaintances, not good friends, but still! We're only 25. I thought I had a few more years, and I'm looking around me, and it seems like everyone from my horrible ex-bf to people I've just met are recently engaged. Now I'm feeling worried about my 1.5 year long-distance relationship and how it probably will not result in marriage/long-term companionship/whatever since we have pretty different priorities, and wondering what the point is, then.

Carolyn Hax: That's legitimate stuff to wonder about it, but don't wonder about it just because your cohort has formed a herd and it's headed for the altar. The time to marry is when you and the person you love would be together whether you married or not.


Dallas, TX: Just a comment for TX. Just because the vasectomy reversal was not successful doesn't mean there is no hope for a bio child. I am assuming they are not under the care of an RE and have not explored extracting his sperm through TESE. If they have and did not find success in treatment, I apologize.

Carolyn Hax: I've been debating whether to mention this, since it does seem as if they've tried it all, in which case mentioning alternatives would be the infertility-treatment equivalent of "You can always adopt." But if the only thing standing between Texas and childbirth is a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist, well, I'd hate to have been too timid to throw it out there.

So I will, with my own apologies in advance.


Possibily insensitive adoptive dad again: I guess what I'm asking is,when I see comments dismissing adoption as a viable alternative, why shouldn't I be defensive on behalf of my daughter?

Carolyn Hax: They're not dismissing adoption as a viable alternative; they're dismissing -mentioning- it.

This is a topic that goes way back, but I'll try to explain it quickly, because frankly I'm beat and need to sign off: Think of it as the baby-having equivalent to, "You'll meet someone when you least expect it," for people who are sad about loneliness or a breakup. It's condescending, denies/minimizes the pain of what the person is feeling, and doesn't tell the person anything s/he doesn't already know---while also minimizing the difficulty of the process.-

So, of course adoption is a beautiful way to create a family. It just makes a lousy platitude.

Not that there are good platitudes. But you know what I mean.


Carolyn Hax: And if you don't, it'll have to wait, because I'm saying goodbye till ... oops, Jodi, is Thursday noon okay for next week? I know I mentioned the conflict for next Friday but forgot to check on new times.


Carolyn Hax: Wait! One more thing, don't go ...


Carolyn Hax: Nick Galifianakis is having two events at Art Space Falls Church.

The first one, Oct. 28, 7 pm, will be a meet-and-greet with Nick--an intimate setting where he'll be answering questions. There will be cartoons displayed and prints of those cartoons will be available for sale.

Two weeks later, Nov. 11, 7 pm--at the end of that exhibit--there will be another event, not a Q and A but this time a book signing--the first of several local signings. Nick has a book coming out soon, about which I'll have more info soon. Also watch my FB

The Web site for Nick's venue:

AND FINALLY, yes, next week's chat will be at noon Thurs. Thanks all, and seeya.


In her daily column in The Washington Post Style section, Carolyn Hax offers readers advice based on the experiences of someone who's been there. Hax is an ex-repatriated New Englander with a liberal arts degree and a lot of opinions and that's about it, really, when you get right down to it. Oh, and the shoes. A lot of shoes.

Got more to say? Check out Carolyn's discussion group, Hax-Philes. Comments submitted to the chat may be used in the discussion group.

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