DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend grew up skiing his whole life, as did all of his friends. I have never skied in my life. This spring break, our friends (who are all couples) decided they want to go on a ski trip to Aspen, Colorado. I agreed I would go along because I didn’t want to be the Debbie Downer of the group. As the trip gets closer, I am getting more nervous about the fact that everyone else on the trip are avid skiers, whereas I am a beginner. I have signed up for a couple of ski lessons while I am there, but I feel like I will be left out of most of the activities because I don’t ski. What can I do to make the best out of this trip? How can I feel included? -- Girlfriend Who Can’t Ski, Roxbury, Massachusetts
DEAR GIRLFRIEND WHO CAN’T SKI: Talk to your boyfriend about your conundrum. Ask him if he will spend a little time with you on the beginner slopes. You can call it a date! This should happen after you have taken at least one lesson so that you have the fundamentals in mind.
Decide that you are going to have fun. While most activities are on the snow, usually there are things to do inside in the lodge -- from watching movies to going to the spa (depending upon where you are staying) to hanging out and reading a book. Keep your eyes open. Chances are, there will be others there who are not skiing for whatever reason. Strike up a conversation with them. Plan activities with your friends for when they come back. You can make it work.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I am writing to you not about myself, but about a close friend of mine. She has been one of my best friends for eight years now. She has been dating her current boyfriend for about two years. I have started to notice that I see less of her, and the only times I do get to see my friend are when her boyfriend is busy. To me, it seems like her whole schedule and life revolve around her boyfriend and his schedule.
My friend's relationship is none of my business, but I’m getting tired of being her backup plan and being used when it is convenient for her. Should I say something to her, or not bother bringing it up? -- Best Friend Vs. Boyfriend, Albuquerque, New Mexico
DEAR BEST FRIEND VS. BOYFRIEND: Yours is a classic tale, even though it feels fresh now that it's happening to you personally. Friends frequently lose sight of their besties when they fall in love. It’s almost like time suspends and they don’t realize that the rest of the people in their world have fallen to the wayside.
You can point out to your friend that you miss her and that you are beginning to feel neglected. Suggest that you create a standing date with her, perhaps once a month. Ask her to honor your time and not dump you if the boyfriend calls. See if bringing it to her attention coupled with a positive plan of action helps.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)