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DEAR HARRIETE: My friend is crowdfunding her trip to France when I know for a fact that she can afford it herself. She started a GoFundMe for her trip, claiming that she will be studying abroad. She has raised over $4,000 for her trip, although she told me she made $9,000 last month from brand sponsorships alone. I’m honestly losing some respect for her. Even if she can’t afford it, that’s such a tacky way to get to France. Should I keep my mouth shut or report her GoFundMe account? — Friend Is a Scammer
DEAR FRIEND IS A SCAMMER: Stay out of it. Know your friend for who she is, and don’t fall prey to her scheme. If others ask you whether they should donate, you can say that you think she has what she needs. But leave it at that. Your friend may end up being a con artist. If that’s her destiny, you cannot stop it, but you also do not have to participate. You surely do not need to contact GoFundMe. Accepting money you don’t need is not illegal.
If your friend notices your standoffishness and asks you about it, tell her what you think of her fundraising activities. Otherwise, keep it to yourself.
DEAR HARRIETE: During quarantine, I was so isolated that I fell out of touch with most of my friends. My parents did not let me go out with other people at all. It was tough. My friend group was small to begin with, and now I feel very alone. It is sad being an only child, being isolated and worrying about what will happen next when I have nobody to talk to. I will be back in school soon, and I’m kind of freaked out that I will have no friends to hang out with. What should I do? — Friendless
DEAR FRIENDLESS: Before school starts, think about the people you used to hang out with. Can you think of one you might want to contact now? Starting with one person, you could start up a communication via social media or text. Maybe you can invite one person to hang out. If that feels comfortable, you can spend time again doing something fun outdoors.
You may also want to consider what clubs or extracurricular activities interest you in school. See if you can start to engage in any of those things now, in the summer. Also try to sign up for those activities once school starts again. Through shared interests, you may be able to make new friends. This is a hard period for many of us, but if you rely on your interests and passions, it should help you feel more comfortable drumming up new friendships.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an ini- tiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharri- firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.