Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Wig-Wearer Scared to Share Her Secret

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been dating a guy for almost a year. He is super sweet, and we enjoy each other’s company. I told him I wanted and needed to take it slow, and he has been patient. I don’t want to rush into anything. But -- and this may sound weird -- one thing I’m really nervous about is that I wear a wig, and I don’t think he knows it. I have never spent the night with him, but I know the time will come. Plus, I wear different wigs for different occasions -- like ponytails for tennis and a bun wig for swimming. I don’t think he notices. He definitely never says anything. How can I tell him that my hair isn’t “my" hair? This feels almost as intimate as disrobing. -- Wearing a Wig, Jackson, Mississippi

DEAR WEARING A WIG: One thing that many women enjoy is being able to wear their hair in a variety of ways. For generations, wigs have helped women to have more creativity and control over their hairstyles. Your attitude about your hair is what matters here. If you can be upbeat and lighthearted about it, you can easily break the ice. You might mention to your boyfriend that you do wear wigs and have many, for different occasions. As you get more comfortable with him, you might show him your collection. Hopefully you take good care of your actual hair so that whenever the time comes and you do remove the wig, your hair underneath is clean and tidy.

By the way, there is no rush to reveal your wig status. When the time comes, just keep it light. It’s just another dimension of who you are.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I really put my foot in my mouth. I was talking to a new “friend” and planning to meet up with her. Turns out she hurt herself somehow at an event and couldn’t meet me. She said she hurt her feet or ankles or something -- I’m not sure. A friend saw her with leg braces on, so when I followed up to check on her, I asked if she was OK and if she still had to wear the leg braces. She said she didn’t want to talk about it, but she has a chronic disease. I was so embarrassed. I have broken my leg and foot before, so I know that crutches and braces are uncomfortable necessities at times. I was not as understanding in the moment as I would like to think I am usually. How can I show my new friend that I really can be more thoughtful? -- Supporting My Friend, Cleveland

DEAR SUPPORTING MY FRIEND: Don’t bring up the leg braces again. If your friend wants to discuss it with you, she will. Meanwhile, reach back to ask her when you can get together. You can invite her to an activity where you have mutual interests. You can also chat on the phone from time to time. When she feels better or is interested in spending time with you, she will let you know. In person, you can apologize for your insensitivity, if it seems appropriate.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)