Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Binge Watching Causes Disconnect From Family

DEAR HARRIETTE: I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I have become a serial binge watcher of random TV shows. It seems like all these new networks like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Roku -- you name it -- have different series that come on, and I get caught up in them. I will search around and find a show, and then discover myself asleep at the TV many hours later. I haven't been getting my housework done. Honestly, I haven't talked to my family recently. We all just do our separate things and don’t communicate much. I know this probably sounds stupid, but I can’t seem to stop. I come home, cook dinner, sit down and watch. What can I do to change this bad habit? -- Binge Watcher, Jackson, Mississippi

DEAR BINGE WATCHER: Unfortunately, you are part of a trend. These TV series have become the new video games, in a way. Because you no longer have to wait a week to see the next episode of a show, it is tempting to watch all 6, 9, 12 or more in a season. Add to that the fact that many of these series come to these services after there are multiple seasons, and you have a recipe for disaster if you get hooked.

My solution: Don’t turn on the TV in the first place. Schedule time to spend with your family. Limit your TV hours when you do turn it on. Wean yourself off this time-sucking habit.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was invited to a party by a woman who is in one of my social clubs. It sounds like it will be a nice event. I assumed that she had invited other members of our club because she is friends with them as well, so I made the mistake of asking one of them if we could share a ride to the party. That’s when I realized she knew nothing of it. I feel bad now, and it’s a little awkward. I made it uncomfortable for both of them. Should I call the host and tell her and even ask her to invite the other friend? -- Foot in Mouth, Brooklyn, New York

DEAR FOOT IN MOUTH: You are adults. What you should do is nothing. It’s already obvious to the uninvited friend that she didn’t make the list. There’s nothing wrong with that. People are entitled to invite whomever they want to their parties. You would be making the host feel guilty by informing her. She knows that she didn’t invite your other friend. It wasn’t necessarily a snub; it was the host’s choice.

The only reason I would recommend that you inform the host is if the nature of the event would make it particularly awkward for her after the fact. Otherwise, let it be. In the future, do not talk to anyone about another person’s party without checking in with the host first.

(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.)