Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.
DEAR AMY: Why don’t women typically remove the hair on their arms (elbow to wrist)? Not all women have hairy arms, but I’ve seen many women who have a decent amount of noticeable hair on their forearms. Some women have dark hair on their arms, which is noticeable when wearing short sleeves. Even blond hair is very noticeable in the sunlight. I’m just curious as to why women would shave their legs, but walk around with hairy arms. I’m not hating on it, I’m just curious.
DEAR CURIOUS: Maybe women don’t shave their forearms because they have to work an extra sixty days a year in order to earn the same pay as a man in the same job.
That extra time spent trying to make a living really cuts into a typical woman’s primping time.
As much as women enjoy shaving their legs and under arms in order to look smooth and tidy (for men), there are just so many hours in a day, my friend. But thank you for noticing and scrutinizing our arm hair. I’m sure the women of the world are relieved you’re not a hater.
As a hairy-armed woman, I am intrigued by the idea, however. Maybe there are some men out there who would like to try out this trend. I’ll pull together a committee of women and we’ll decide if it’s attractive, without hating on it (of course).
DEAR AMY: About 10 years ago, my friend of 40 years borrowed a large sum of money to start a business. The business failed, and my friend has been struggling to make ends meet ever since. At first she made some payments, but has not done so or made any attempt to discuss it in about eight years. My husband wants me to say something to her, but at this point I don’t even know how to bring up the subject. I have pretty much accepted that we will not see the return of the money. Should I say anything and risk losing a friend, or just continue the way we are? It would be great to have some extra money, but we are OK without it. What do I do?
DEAR UNDECIDED: What you don’t seem to realize is that this debt has already affected your friendship. The relationship is already at risk. There you are: whispering with your husband about it and strategizing about what to do.
Surely your friend feels similar pressure, coming from a different direction.
You (and your husband, if appropriate) should contact her, with your goal being to prompt her to face this realistically and then perhaps put it to bed.
There are ways to repay debts now that weren’t as widely used when you first made this loan. If your friend had even $20/week automatically transferred from her account to yours, then she would have repaid $1,040 over the course of a year.
You should suggest this: “We haven’t talked about this in a long time, but we’d really like to put this loan to bed, so its not hanging over everyone’s head. We can help you set up an automatic payment of a small amount each week. Can you manage that?”
If she refuses to repay (or simply can’t), then you should assume that this money is gone forever. If you want the friendship to continue, then you should formally forgive the debt and move on.
DEAR AMY: “Lost in L.A.” described receiving an invitation to a baby shower from her stepgrandson, who lives on the other side of the country. She wondered why they were being invited to a baby shower of someone she barely knows. This is an obvious gift-grab, Amy, and you seemed to endorse it! I saw through this immediately. What were you thinking?
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: A person receiving an invitation to an event is under no obligation to send a gift; they are only expected to respond to the invitation, itself.
“Lost” blamed her stepgrandson for including her and her husband in the list of people they had invited to their co-ed baby shower.
Maybe this invitation was a bid for a gift, or maybe it was a bid for connection. If the couple went through their pregnancy and didn’t include this set of grandparents in any of their celebrations, I imagine they might feel left out.
Invitations and announcements (for babies, weddings, or graduations) should be received with gratitude and responded to with congratulations. No gift is necessary.