DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is upset at me because I haven't accepted his friend request on Facebook. What's the big deal? I married the man, and we are friends in real life. I have nothing to hide from him. I just don't want to be his friend on Facebook. I don't want to have a cyberrelationship with him; I want to have a real relationship with him. I don't use Facebook that much anyway. Am I in the wrong for not accepting his request? -- Wife, Salt Lake City
DEAR WIFE: Not accepting your husband's Facebook request when you have accepted requests from other people sends a negative message to him. It says that you do not welcome him into a particular part of your life. While you may not think there is anything wrong with that, it makes sense that he would. His perspective is likely that if you welcome others, why would you not welcome him?
His perspective is valid. This doesn't mean that your husband should be involved in every aspect of your life. For example, he probably wouldn't expect to listen in while you are talking on the phone with your girlfriends. He probably doesn't want to go with you to the beauty salon. But Facebook is a different matter. It is a public forum where people go to connect with one another.
If you have nothing to hide, prove it by accepting your husband's Facebook request. Tell him that you treasure the one-on-one interaction that you and he share and that you don't want to have a cyberrelationship. He can enter your Facebook space, but make it clear to him that you don't intend to develop a relationship with him there.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a unique style. I wear my hair kind of funky, and it's partly dyed pink. I also wear crazy colors of nail polish. It shows my fun side, I think.
Usually it's no big deal, but recently I have had a problem. I have been interviewing for a part-time job that can help tide me over while I'm finishing school. I'm beginning to think that my style is getting in my way. When I have gone to a few interviews, the people have been cordial but totally uninterested. They don't even really look at my resume. They just have a brief conversation with me and then release me.
I love my style, but I also need a job. How can I have both? -- Unemployed Cutie, Silver Spring, Md.
DEAR UNEMPLOYED CUTIE: The choices you make in life affect the choices that others make. And, whether or not it should, the way you choose to look makes a difference.
The good news is that there are all kinds of jobs out there. Chances are you can find a place to work that will embrace your style, such as in the art world, in certain hospitality areas and in telephone marketing.
You also may want to evaluate whether it might be worth it to tone down your style for work. Consider your options and determine what is more important -- your wallet or your individuality.