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Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am dating a woman who has a 2-year-old child. I have no issue with the fact that she is a mother. I do, however, have an issue with the fact that she will not tell me who the child’s father is. Why is it some huge secret? We’ve only been dating for a month now, but I think I have a right to know. What if he’s dangerous and takes issue with me being around his child? Should I be worried that she won’t tell me? Is it none of my business? – – Suspicious
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: It is too soon for you to be placing any demands on this woman about the identity of her child’s father. One month into this bond is still getting-to-know-each-other territory, surely a probationary period for your relationship. Women are often very private about such things for a host of reasons, ranging from wanting to keep that part of her life separate to not knowing who the father is — and plenty in between.
Your concerns are legitimate, however. Explain to your girlfriend why you are curious about her child’s father, particularly as it relates to safety. Ask her if there is any reason you should be on alert about being in a relationship with her, such as if this man might show up making his own demands, etc. Assure her that you like her and her baby, but if this relationship stands a chance, you will need to talk about her past — just as you share about yours.
When I was in high school, a girl who I considered a good friend of mine stole a very important piece of jewelry from me. I was heartbroken for many reasons but never confronted her about it because I didn’t have proof. The other day, I stumbled across her Facebook page and saw a picture of her wearing that same piece of jewelry. It’s been years since I’ve seen or heard from her, but I’m determined to get back my necklace. I wrote to her immediately, and she instantly blocked me. What can I do now? — Stolen Jewelry
DEAR STOLEN JEWELRY: Do you have any proof of purchase or possession of this necklace? For instance, do you have photos of yourself wearing it? Might you have a copy of the receipt, even though you got it many years ago? With proof of purchase or possession, you might be able to sue her. You would go to small claims court to file a complaint against this woman. Just by virtue of making the accusation formal, you might get a positive response from her. Be sure to have a photo from her social media where she is wearing the necklace and any supporting evidence that proves the necklace is yours. It’s worth trying.
If the legal route doesn’t work, you can try shaming her. Reach out to her family and friends. Let them know what happened. Show them proof. Explain the importance of the necklace to you and how devas- tating it was that your so- called friend would have stolen it from you. Ask them to help you get it back.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAM- LEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and acti- vate their dreams. You can send questions to askharri- email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.