DEAR HARRIETTE: I belong to a sorority that is active at my alma mater. Every year at homecoming, my sorority hosts a huge celebration, and people come back to participate even if they graduated decades ago. My sisters have contacted me every year to invite me to come back and hang out with them, but there has always been some reason that it hasn’t worked out.
This fall marks a big anniversary for us, and they have started calling again. Part of me wants to go, but then I realize that I don’t even know most of these women. We don’t look the same, and I haven’t kept in touch. I don’t want to be an embarrassment if I stumble over people’s names -- or worse. Should I just stay home? -- Homecoming Blues
DEAR HOMECOMING BLUES: Don’t let your distance from this group keep you away. Instead, go for it. Let them know you are coming, and then identify one person whom you may know a bit better and ask her to support you. Admit that because you have not been around, you don’t know most of the women. Ask if there is a document or file that has contemporary photos of your sorority sisters. You might even want to send a note in a group chat telling everyone that you are coming and apologizing in advance if you stumble a bit. Tell them your heart is in the right place even if your memory lags. By being upfront about your challenges, you open the door for them to welcome you warmly and support you. Go and have fun!
(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.)