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Our husband-and-wife advice team are taking a few months off. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Readers:

Thanks so much for asking, reading, and responding to Ask Harry and Louise. Much appreciated.

We are taking a few months off.

Please stay tuned.

Harry and Louise

Posted at 02:20 PM/ET, 05/03/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team takes on the tricky situation of what to do when your manager plays favorites at work. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Got a question about romance, family, work, parenting, school? Please send it to askharryandlouise@washingtonian.com. We would love to give it some thought, shed some light--and protect your anonymity.

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Dear Harry and Louise,

I work as a server at a high-end, much-sought-after restaurant in Washington. I worked my way up to server after serving as a hostess for a month. While I don't see myself as a server forever, it's a good way to make money until I head to graduate school. The manager who schedules all of the servers keeps giving me the worst shifts: midweek lunches, the occasional dinner. I have requested to have more weekend nights when I could make much more money. She always explains that she still sees me as a server in training. She does not consider me "broken in" yet. She makes these comments despite the fact that I am good at what I do, and the customers are more than happy with my service.

Yesterday, she told me that a local TV anchor (and a bit of a DC celebrity) was coming for lunch and would be sitting in my section, but that she was going to give that table to Frank, another server who's older but not better than me. I was furious. I asked her why. Frank has not been working there much longer than I have. I have also seen Frank and my manager heavily flirting with each other, and they left together one evening as I was finishing a shift.

After she gave him the VIP table, I was talking with another server.

"She's sleeping with him," my coworker said. "Everyone knows."

Everyone but the general manager and the owner. I know both of them. Should I bust the manager? Talk to her? Keep my mouth shut?

Read More

Posted at 10:50 AM/ET, 04/26/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife advice team counsels a woman whose inner circle is less than impressed with the guy she’s dating.
By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Got a question about romance, family, work, parenting, school? Please send it to askharryandlouise@washingtonian.com. We would love to give it some thought, shed some light--and protect your anonymity.

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Dear Harry and Louise:

I am a 27-year-old single woman. I really like this guy (let's call him Steve) whom I have been dating for just over a month. I'm a pretty good cook, so I invited him to my apartment for a homemade dinner. I thought we would be alone for the evening, but it turned out my sister, who lives with me, and my other roommate were also there. I didn't think this was a big deal, and I included them in dinner. A few friends of my sister and roommate showed up and lingered around the table as we finished our meal. So by that time, it was me, my date and six other people. My date and I eventually left so we could have some time alone. He did not complain about the dinner invasion, and I thought everything was fine. It wasn't.

The next morning, my sister and roommate gave me an earful about how disrespectful and rude they thought my date was. They complained he didn't talk enough, that he seemed annoyed by their friends, that he didn't laugh when everyone else was laughing. They both disliked him so much they encouraged me to break it off, or at least to never invite him to the apartment again.

I have not had many boyfriends, even in college, and I really have a great time with Steve. I also trust my sister and roommate, who are great judges of character and think Steve is a rude jerk.

What should I do?

In-the-Dark Dater

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 04/23/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team discusses how to build a relationship when both parties don’t share the same passions. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

I started dating a man three months ago. We see each other every weekend, we talk on the phone each evening (he lives an hour away, so we don't see each other during the week), we laugh each time we speak, we both love being on the water canoeing and kayaking, and we sometimes watch TV together while talking on the phone and falling asleep. I can imagine this relationship continuing in a positive direction.

There is just one problem. He doesn't read. I don't mean he doesn't know how to read, but he chooses not to read--anything. He joked that the last book he read was in junior high school. He is a college graduate, and I know he is intelligent based on our lengthy conversations. I always have my nose in a book, and I enjoy discussing what I am reading with my friends and colleagues.

Is this something I can overlook in a potential partner? I don't know because I have never been attracted to anyone other than the erudite type.

Romantic Reader

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Posted at 10:59 AM/ET, 04/19/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband and wife team advises a woman who wants to support her brother and do what is best for her children.
By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

My brother (let's call him Douglas) has had difficulty with drug use for many years. He is now forty and in a minimum security prison because he was caught doing drugs at work and stole prescription drugs from a family friend he was housesitting for. Before this happened, my parents arranged for him to go a well-respected rehabilitation center in another state. While Douglas was there for many weeks, I visited him once. The family was discouraged from visiting--except for that one visitor weekend. I will visit Douglas again in prison, but the problem concerns my husband and children.

My husband insists that our children (ages 9 and 14) are too young to visit their uncle in prison. I want them to go with me when I visit my brother. I love my brother, and I will be there for him no matter how long it takes for him to be well. I don't see the need to hide his struggle from my children. My husband does not trust that my brother will ever be well since the rehabilitation did not work and he quickly returned to using drugs. Our lives can be described as charmed since our biggest concerns revolve around showing up to soccer games on time, making sure homework is done, and deciding where to eat out on Fridays.

Should I insist that my children accompany me during my visits to see my brother?

Read More

Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 04/16/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Today’s letter writer seeks advice for getting back in the good graces of a colleague who took offense to a political joke.
By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

I stepped in it, and now I can't get out of it. I'm very much on the liberal side of most issues. I was surrounded by some colleagues at the home of our boss, and I made a joke about George W. Bush that made everyone laugh except a young woman who was recently hired. She was clearly offended by my joke and walked away with a disappointed look on her face. I had no intention of hurting anyone's feelings with my joke. Now this colleague avoids talking to me and even looking at me at work. She doesn't work directly with me on projects, but it's a small enough company that the tension is noticeable when we are in the same room. I don't like the idea of her hating me or avoiding me.

So how do you take back a joke that offended someone?

Contrite Coworker

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 04/12/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife columnists find they have differing opinions when it comes to the matter of young love. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

I am the mother of a beautiful, intelligent, precocious 13-year-old daughter. She is in the seventh grade. She is a strong athlete and is devoted to her schoolwork. When she puts on heels and a bit of makeup, she could easily pass for 17. She has caught the eye of a 15-year-old boy who is in the ninth grade. My husband and I know this boy well because he plays soccer with our son, he goes to our church, and we like his parents very much. They are not close friends of ours, but we do see each other frequently as social gatherings. We know they are a nice family and share the same values. We would have not imagined allowing our daughter to date at such a young age, but this does seem like a reasonable exception. We really like this boy and can imagine the two of the them as a sweet first couple. We would, of course, supervise their initial dates. For example, we will drive them to the movies and pick them up after the movie, and we will be at home while they are at our house watching television. He's such a nice boy.

Do you think there is ever a special circumstance in which it's okay to allow a girl to begin dating before high school?

Pondering in McLean

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Posted at 11:20 AM/ET, 04/09/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a woman wondering whether she and her new beau can get past their religious differences.
By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

I am a single woman in my thirties. I recently spent a week with a girlfriend whom I have known for more than ten years. While I was in her hometown, we went out to a bar. I met a wonderful man there and we ended up spending much of the week together. We connected in a way I haven't experienced since my college days. We laughed, we talked, we shared our personal histories. We had great sex, and it seemed as if we could not get enough of each other.

Well, we shared most of our personal histories. It turns out he left out a big part: He is Mormon. He says he wants to continue seeing me, even though we live several hours apart. I am not particularly religious, and I am completely respectful of others' religious beliefs. The problem is that every conversation involves his guilt about being with me. He wants to discuss me becoming a Mormon (not going to happen). He thinks we can be together as long as I am open to discussing his religion. I really think I could love this man. Why does religion have to keep us apart? How do I approach this conversation with him?

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 04/05/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a man whose boyfriend doesn't want to be a part of his family's Passover celebrations.
By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

I am a gay man in my mid-twenties. I have been happily involved with my partner (let's call him Michael) for two years. He has met my parents and has traveled to my home town with me once. Here is the issue: I am preparing for a long weekend in my hometown of Philadelphia for the upcoming Passover. I want Michael to travel with me and celebrate the holiday with me and my family. He knows that everything will be fine with my parents, but he is not too excited about meeting the rest of my relatives. He has heard plenty about my opinionated grandmother and great aunt and great uncle. They do not know that I am gay, nor do they care to know the details of my life. I am prepared to answer any questions that may be posed during the weekend. Michael is not enthusiastic about the gathering at all. He says that he would enjoy traveling with me to Philadelphia and that we could enjoy the city when I am not having family time. He simply does not want to be a part of the family celebration. He would not come to the Seder, he would not come to the second Seder hosted by my grandmother the following evening. I am ready to include him in my family life. I feel slighted and, yeah, a bit insulted. How should I approach this with Michael and my family?

Philly Love

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Posted at 02:15 PM/ET, 04/02/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a man who wants his young son to pose as a cancer patient to raise money for charity.
By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

I'm hoping you can help resolve this fight between my wife and me. For the past several years, I have participated in triathlons to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I've lost too many friends and watched even more do battle with cancer, and I wanted to try to help. So I've joined a group that raises money for the society. In a few weeks, we are hosting a large bake sale hoping to raise as much money as we can. I asked my wife if she would have a problem with me shaving my four-year-old's head and eyebrows. He's very fair-skinned, and people may look at him and think that he's undergoing chemotherapy. My argument is that all of the money we collect from the stunt will go to fight cancer. I've asked three different cancer survivors and patients how they feel about it, and they agree that if the money is going to fight cancer, it's a good idea. My wife disagrees. Help!

Bald in Bowie

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Posted at 11:00 AM/ET, 03/29/2012 | Permalink | Comments ()