Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole


DEAR HARRIETTE: I really like this girl at my internship; however, I don't think I can fulfill her expectations. Her parents are extremely rich, she went to private school all her life and status-wise she is better than I am. I, on the other hand, went to public school. My parents are divorced and working-class. Should I even try to ask her out? Frankly, I think she is out of my league. -- Skittish, Syracuse

DEAR SKITTISH: Socioeconomic status can be a deterrent in a relationship, but it is not a given. What is important is for you to realize your value. You stated, "Status-wise she is better than I am." That is a dangerous thought. She may have more wealth than you, but I caution you to not compare yourself with her and believe that she is better than you. People have all kinds of experiences. Having wealth does not automatically make someone "better" than another.

If you like this young lady, what is the harm in letting her know? Invite her to do something that you can afford to do. Relax and just be with her. Get to know each other. Be honest about who you are. If she is interested in you despite your differences, continue to get to know her better.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a friend who left her college recently because she could not afford it. She is now working retail. Whenever I call her or send her a Facebook message, she never replies to me. I never thought about this until a mutual friend of ours suggested it: she might be embarrassed that she is not in school while all of her friends are. What should I do to at least get in contact with her? Every time I try to surprise her at work, she is not there. -- Worried Friend, Detroit

DEAR WORRIED FRIEND: It is possible that your friend is embarrassed about having to leave college. It is also possible that she is ducking you and your mutual friends because she does not know how to handle this transition.

Unfortunately, stalking your friend is not likely to bring you favorable results. You can and should continue to reach out to your friend. Let her know that you miss her and want to get together with her when she is available. I do not recommend attempting to visit her at work, though. Though well-meaning, your overtures at her workplace could backfire for her. Her boss may not appreciate friends coming by to see her whether she is there or not.

Your friend may need time to lick her wounds and get into the groove of her new reality. Time may help her to open her eyes and see that she still loves and misses her friends. Stick with it.