Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole


DEAR HARRIETTE: I used to be super-close to one of my cousins. We talked all the time and really seemed more like sisters. Even after she moved clear across the country, we stayed in touch and shared our stories about our lives. Several years ago she moved a few continents away, and we lost touch with each other.

She called me out of the blue recently for my birthday, and it was so sweet. In a way, it felt like no time had passed between us. We just picked up where we left off and filled in each other on our lives. It was so great.

When we got off the phone, I realized that she hadn't given me her contact information. I have no idea how to reach her. I do not want five more years to go by. What can I do? -- Lost Cuz, Baltimore

DEAR LOST CUZ: It is wonderful that you reconnected with your cousin. I doubt that she intended to withhold her phone number. But do not despair. The Internet is an incredibly useful tool for finding people. Look at all of the traditional social media sites and search for your cousin's name. Also, think about which other family members might have her contact information, and check with them to see if they know how to reach her. I'm sure she told you where she lives. Find out if the local telephone company there might have a listing for her.

You are likely to find her -- if she doesn't reach out to you again first. Don't give up!

DEAR HARRIETTE: I read your column and enjoy it very much.

I don't understand why the father was so upset with his wife and daughter about the daughter warming up leftovers from the previous night's dinner for a 5 a.m. breakfast. He should be pleased she's eating a good breakfast. So many children her age want nothing but sweet cereal, doughnuts or Pop-Tart-type pastries for breakfast. Has he never heard the saying, "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a banker and supper like a pauper"?

Does he want the whole family to eat breakfast together? I can understand dinner, but early morning schedules are so different that usually everybody eats, or doesn't eat, at a different time. If a food is nutritious, it's just as nutritious at 5 o'clock in the morning as it is at 6 o'clock in the evening. I'm just puzzled about his reaction. It seems unwarranted to me. -- Shaking My Head, Cleburne, Texas

DEAR SHAKING MY HEAD: Your points are well founded. Other readers have written in to add that this father may be super-controlling, an unhealthy approach toward parenting and family life. Mom needs to stand up for the child and help stave off the intense negativity that is coming at her and the child from the father.