DEAR HARRIETTE: Spring is finally here, and with it the warm weather. I work as an intern at a company where everyone dresses professionally. As the weather gets warmer, I'm drawn to sandals, shorts, spring dresses and other spring attire. However, this is my first time working in the spring, and I do not know where to draw the line. What would be appropriate to wear, and what should I avoid? -- Spring Fever, Chicago
DEAR SPRING FEVER: I'm a big believer in treating an internship as if it's the best job you will ever have. Your attitude -- and your attire -- should be particularly professional.
To figure out what attire is appropriate, pay attention to the people who work with you. You say they dress professionally. That likely means that even in warm weather, they dress modestly and somewhat conservatively. Taking a cue from your colleagues may help you decide what style of spring dress, for example, is appropriate.
In a professional environment, it's unlikely that casual sandals are the best type of footwear. Shorts are almost never appropriate on the job. Instead, try wearing dresses with sweaters or jackets, as well as skirts and blouses. Anything that feels like weekend wear should be reserved for your days off.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a close family friend who is 23, but he still does everything his mom tells him to do. I respect kids who are obedient to their parents, but this is extreme. I feel as though he has no freedom to think or do things for himself. He does not live with his family, but whenever we are together with them, it seems he has no say in anything and often argues with his mom like a child. I find myself holding back from screaming at him to stop depending on his mom so much.
I know it is not my right to get in the way of his relationship with his mom, but is there anything I can do to encourage him to think for himself so that he can become more independent? -- In Favor of Independence, Jackson, Miss.
DEAR INDEPENDENCE: Be careful about stepping into your friend's relationship with his mother. It's unlikely that you can get him to change the way he thinks.
One thing you can do is to talk to him about your own life. When you have had a disagreement with your mother or when you have made an independent decision, tell your friend about what happened. Describe the situation and how you handled it. Don't tell him he can do it, too. Just provide examples to him of how you or other friends navigate challenges that you may have. Over time, he may begin to consider different ways that he can handle his life choices.