Arts & Leisure

She yearns to live in the Big Apple

TIMES SQUARE in New York City (Photo by Luciano Mortula).

TIMES SQUARE in New York City (Photo by Luciano Mortula).

Dear Marilyn,

I come from a very conservative Middle Eastern family, and moving out is totally out of the question. I have been offered a really good job in New York. I can’t begin to tell you how much I want to accept the job. I have always wanted to live in New York. The problem has been convincing my parents to allow me to go.

They are afraid of letting me move out because they think it will be dangerous for me. I am turning 21 in a few weeks, and I know that DearMarilogoI am perfectly capable of taking care of myself. After many discussions with them, they have now said that I can go, on the condition that I take my 19 year old sister with me. She is in college, and will finish her studies there. The plan is that she would live with me.

I really don’t want my sister with me 24/7. I want to be on my own and have time for just myself for once in my life. I don’t know whether I should just agree to letting her come with me, or if I should continue to try to figure out a way to convince them to let me go by myself. What do you think that I should do?

Signed, Yearning For Freedom

Dear Yearning For Freedom,

   Since you have had many discussions with your parents already, I suspect that bringing your sister along is the best compromise you can hope for from them. It doesn’t sound like you will be able to convince them to let you go by yourself.

   So, you have two options. The first is that you go ahead and go alone. You are legally an adult, and you do not need their permission.You can expect a lot of drama and unhappiness from your parents if you choose this option.

   However, after some time has passed, and you have lived successfully on your own for a while, they will hopefully come to realize that you were indeed ready to accomplish your dream. The other option is to go ahead and take your sister along. Since you will be working full time, and she will be in school, you may not actually be with her as much as you think you will.

   You may enjoy her company, and grow closer. You can also set some ground rules as to the amount of time you would like to have “alone time.” As time goes on, she may decide she wants to come home. Or you may eventually decide to live apart. Or, you may enjoy living together.

   So, the choice is up to you. Weigh the options, and determine which one is best for you. Since you are asking my opinion, I think you should go with your sister.

Dear Marilyn,

I have a friend that is often verbally abusive to me. She doesn’t even realize that she is doing it. Most of the time, she is a great friend, and I love being around her. But, then she will slip in her insults.

For example, I once mentioned that I am a size 7, and she said, “You are a size 7? It must have been at a plus size store.” Another example is when she said, “You are so pretty, except for the fact that your nose is so big!”

It doesn’t seem to occur to her that saying these things are hurtful. I finally confronted her, and she denied the whole thing. She said that she had never said those things. I was shocked to say the least.  Yet, the insults continue on. I am not sure what I should do. My self esteem is going downhill.

Should I give her another chance?

Signed, Confused

Dear Confused,

   It is time to end this so-called friendship. She is lying when she denied saying the things to you that you heard her say. She knows perfectly well what she said. People that put other people down usually do so because of their own lack of self esteem. They think that pulling the other person down builds themselves up.

   Of course they are wrong. This is totally inappropriate behavior, and there is no reason for you to put up with it. You are a person of value and worth, and she is not treating you that way. Don’t spend any more time with her.

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