We Haven’t Spoken in Years. Should I Reach Out Now?

Since the onset of the epidemic, I have been shocked by the amount of racist political language on Asian-Americans and the spike in hate crimes against the community. As a white person, I feel ashamed that I did not focus on this problem sooner. During this period, I have often thought of a Korean-American woman whom I worked with years ago. We grew closer and carried on our friendship beyond the office (dining with our colleagues and theater evenings, etc.). I want to check in with him now and express my support on recent events. But it has been many years of contact with us, and something is holding me up. What do you think


I do not want to sound harsh here. Your heart is in the right place, and expressions of support can often bring comfort to those who are suffering. But if you haven’t been in contact with your friend in years, contacting her may seem like racial profiling to her – “Hey, I know an Asian-American!” – By personal support.

Calling or writing in blue can also be overwhelming for him. Last summer, during Black Lives Matter protests, I heard from many black readers that the well-meaning amount they had received from white people, which they had not spoken about in ages, felt overwhelming at a time when They were traumatized and tired.

Now, this is not an argument against reviving old friendships. Just do it when the impulse focuses on your friend (or your shared history), not on current events. In the meantime, to help the Asian-American community, you can focus on actions such as educating yourself about the history and current circumstances of violence and racism, volunteering, supporting local businesses Or donating to anti-violence organizations. “Thoughts and prayers” are great, but a lot of hard work has to be done.

Credit …Christoph Neiman

There is a woman in our neighborhood who still shows up in supermarkets and post offices without a mask. (Of course, both places have large “mask essential” signs.) When confronted, she will say, “I can’t wear one,” but she won’t say why. A Tea Party flag is hoisted at his house, so it is more likely that his anti-masking is linked to politics rather than health. What should i tell him? I do not want to start a fight.


Oh, I doubt you have mixed feelings about starting a fight. And your reasoning for his inspiration is trivial. Nevertheless, i accept it Medical reasons for not wearing masks are rare; Claiming a ‘freedom’ – going maskless – is uncertain at the expense of public health; Infections with more communicable Coronavirus version There is a powerful argument for being masked in public.

By now, however, this woman’s position on the mask has probably boiled hard. And as an acquaintance, you are unlikely to change his mind or behavior. Why not focus on giving advice to protect others in your community Double on maskThe This can be more effective than flirting with your unmatched neighbor.

For almost a year, I have hired a housekeeper who is brilliant in almost every way. He does a great job, and he is warm and kind. Unfortunately, some insignificant objects have not disappeared from our home in the last few months: some very old ivory sculptures, which have great sentimental value to my husband and, possibly, some fine jewelry. How should I handle this?


The flashing red light in your question is the word “possibly” in the next-to-last sentence. If you can’t say for sure the last time and you’ve seen these items, go slow here! Is your homeowner the only other person to reach your home? Were statues performed until they disappeared?

Only you can assess your level. In my experience, however, my memory of where I have been has failed me more times than anyone. Why not start by asking your housekeeper to help in the search for the missing item? If they do not turn and you are still uncomfortable, you are free to fire him. But without more confidence, don’t say a word about theft.

I pride myself on being a responsible dog owner. I not only pick up my dog ​​poop, I also pick up litter on the road. I throw it in garbage cans both in public and private. Recently, I saw a post on a neighborhood message board lamenting the fact that people are dumping dog poop in the garbage of posters while this trash is on the pickup day. He wrote: “Shall I let it stink from my garage for a week? Do not do this! “Is it wrong to use whatever box I see?


Of course you are wrong! A homeowner’s personal waste is not for public use even when it is closed on the day of garbage collection. And the message board post is persuasive in its argument: Would you like to hide dog poop in your gap until next week? Use your city’s public receptors instead.

For help with your critical situation, send a question to SocialQ@nytimes.com, Phillip Lane on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip On twitter

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