Dear Nicole: Should I give up my fur coat?

Dear Nicole,

I found the beautiful fox fur jacket that I received as a sweet 16 gift from my dad. I used to wear it. Then I moved to Maine and stopped wearing it for fear that someone might mistake me for a deer and shoot me. I don’t generally care what other people think of me because, well…I gotta be me, but my boyfriend says he’d be uncomfortable with me wearing it. It has been in my life for 27 years, so this is not a fur ownership debate. It is really warm.

– What Would The Fox Say?

From your letter, it sounds like you LOVE this coat. So that means you should wear it.

That said, it makes your boyfriend uncomfortable. So maybe don’t wear it in front of him very often (to respect his feelings, not because he should be able to dictate what you wear and don’t wear). Plus, you want to reward him being honest with you about his feelings. Dudes, and ladies, can sometimes have a hard time voicing feelings, so reward this healthy behavior by at least hearing him out, which you clearly have.

P.S., I don’t think you’re in a real relationship/friendship unless you have one article of clothing the other person hates (and vice versa). My friend Ally (who I practically lived with eight years ago and was one of my very best friends) had the ugliest pair of paint-stained jeans she wore in public that I hated… and she publicly hated my brown velour hoodie. We were able to acknowledge it and move on, which it sounds like you will probably do with this jacket.


Dear Nicole,

My friend wears leggings as pants. They are not pants! How do I tell her I can see ‘everything’ without hurting her feelings?

— Seen Too Much

I love stretchy pants as much as the next person, but you’re right. If you can see panty lines, or other “lines,” the items don’t qualify as pants you wear outside your house. So how to tell her?

I’m assuming whoever sent this question is a relatively young person who likely has a smartphone. Take a photo taken of you two, full length, while she is wearing the leggings. (Ideally at night or inside so the camera flash is automatically turned on). Rather than post it somewhere online, show it to her on your phone ‘Whoa, I can see your underwear, I can’t post this.” She will likely be mortified and not wear these as pants again. It’s likely she has no idea she is showing her goods.

This once happened to me, though it was a white bra, black shirt situation. The full length with flash really shed light on the situation. Once I was aware of the issue, I could fix it.

If you feel comfortable telling her directly, you can also do that. “I just want to let you know, Krissy, I can see your underwear when you wear your leggings as pants.” Be that person who takes the risk and you may find her, while embarrassed in the moment, more grateful than you’re expecting. But if she ignores this helpful information, there isn’t much you can do except avoid being seen with her until she outgrows this preference.


Dear Nicole,

I have proof that a classmate is not the war hero he is claiming to be. He is a draft dodger who ran away to Canada. Nor is he the president of some secret organization. He is, in fact, a janitor in a Reno, Nev., casino. Do I “out” him or not? We were very good friends in high school and I don’t know if I can placidly sit by while he regales us with his tall tales at our next class reunion.

— Mr. Extra Information

You probably can think of other people you have ‘dirt’ on too, but this guy gets your goat because he’s probably lying about things that are important to you. Like maybe you are a veteran or in charge of a secret organization. Just a guess. But usually some things annoy us more than others because it seems personal.

Thing is, it isn’t personal. This guy is so insecure he has made up an entire life. And more people than you think will see right through this.

Rather than outing him (which is awkward), see if you can be amused by his absurd stories. Also, get others at the reunion talking besides him. I don’t care if this is the Most Interesting Man in the World from the Dos Equis beer commercials, no one will want to listen to anyone drone on all night about how interesting they are.

I also just learned this recent trick from a communications expert: pretend the person you are talking to has angel wings and has been sent to Earth to teach you something. This will give you an intense listening focus this guy will be unprepared for and since he’s lying, will probably make him intensely uncomfortable. I did this recently with a persistent talker and he actually retreated from me!

In the end you may find this guy actually was an ‘angel’ who taught you something: patience and tolerance.

Nicole Ouellette

Nicole Ouellette

When Nicole isn't giving advice she's completely unqualified to give, she runs an Internet marketing company in Bar Harbor, where she lives with her husband Derrick and their short dog Gidget. She loves young adult novels, cooking and talking French to anyone who'll talk back. [email protected]
Nicole Ouellette

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