Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Couple Drinks to the Point of Blacking Out

DEAR HARRIETTE: After listening to the accusations made against Brett Kavanaugh, I am horrified to admit that I have been a blackout drunk before -- on more than one occasion.

My husband and I drink a lot, and I would say that we take turns drinking too much. When he does it, he gets loud and aggressive. When I do it, I have to rely on him for my memories. He says that I yell and talk too much and am pushy. I know that we are not in a healthy place regarding our drinking. I have never said this to anybody, and sharing it with you is still anonymous. But when I heard about the incident between Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford, I realized how easy it is to get into a situation like that. I’m not sure what to do next. I don’t want us to do anything that we regret. -- Blackout Drunk, Shreveport, Louisiana

DEAR BLACKOUT DRUNK: Thank you for your candor on this topic. I appreciate that when things happen culturally or politically, people take the topic to heart and look to see how it affects their own lives. Drinking too much is a national pastime -- obviously not for everyone, but it is common. If you and your husband are drinking excessively on a regular basis, that’s a sign that you need to examine your lives and figure out what’s not working that is leading you to self-medicate.

This may be one of your hardest tasks to date, but you would likely benefit tremendously from attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, preferably with your husband. Go -- with him or solo -- and listen to what people are going through. Consider letting go of your drinking so that you can address what lies beneath. You are looking for help. It is as close as a free meeting of people who are all struggling with the same core issue. To find a meeting, go to

Read more in: Health & Safety | Mental Health | Marriage & Divorce

Reader Ready to Go Back to Hairdresser

DEAR HARRIETTE: I had a terrible experience with my hairdresser a couple of years ago, and my stylist didn’t handle it well. He damaged my hair and wouldn't admit it. I ended up with a messed-up head of hair, and I was mad. I left and went to another stylist, and then another. In the end, I’m not yet happy with my hair. I saw my old hairdresser the other day, and we spoke awkwardly. If I want to go back to him, how do I address this? We left on weird terms because he wouldn’t admit that he had done anything wrong -- and he did. -- Going Back, Atlanta

DEAR GOING BACK: Think about going back to your old hairdresser as a business decision. Contact him and ask for a consultation. Start by saying that you were disappointed in the way he handled your challenge two years ago. Admit that you have not successfully found someone to replace him. Tell him that you would like to try again. Ask him to be more attentive and to listen more carefully. If he is a smart businessman, he will apologize and work with you to figure out how to do a better job of doing your hair.

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

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Miscellaneous