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To all my faithful readers, I wish you the very best in the New Year. Emily

Head Up Rear-end About Circumcision

Dear Emily,

My guy friend likes me and I like him, but I told my other guy friend about it. He was making fun of the guy I like because he has foreskin. And I don't know what to say? Thanks.

---------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-------------------------

Oh, my god, this is an issue? Many people stopped doing standard circumcision to their sons, when born (except Jews, and other ethic groups), a long time ago; although some pediatricians still advise it. It's not an affliction, it's just keeping what nature provided on day one. Give him this information -- unless you want to tell him he's an ass for even bringing it up.

Tip With Gift

Hi Emily,

When giving a hairdresser her holiday gift after she cuts my hair, do I still tip her?
Thank you!!!

---------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

Yes, a tip is still appropriate. The gift is simply an added gesture at holiday time. But don't make the gift extravagant. The moment you do that, you've set a precedent that's hard to change in the future.

Baby Shower Etiquette

Dear Miss Emily:

Is it appropriate to give used closed at a baby shower?

------------------------------Miss Emily's advice------------------------------

No. But it would be appropriate to ask the mother-to-be if she would like to take a look at some of the clothes you have that are used -- if they are in good to excellent condition! Do not ask at the shower, but let her know they are available at a later date.

Mass Appeal

Dear Miss Emily,

I've got a little dilemma that's been bugging me for the past few months, and I haven't been able to talk to any of my friends about it. I've been interested in going to a Catholic mass for a while, just to see what its like. My mother used to be Catholic, but she rarely attended mass and she left the church completely when I was younger. I don't want to make her upset by going, but its something I've been wanting to experience for a few months. Of course, there's another problem.  My mother wouldn't be the only one upset. I stand a chance of making my boyfriend (a Catholic) feel awkward by going.  His church is the only one in town.  I really don't want him to think that I'm doing this to get closer to him. How do I do this without hurting or confusing anyone?  Can I even do this?  What do you think I should do?

-----------------------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------------------------

This seems like somewhat of an odd situation, because I think you should have every right to experience this without fear of offending anyone. I would present it to your boyfriend like this "I've always been curious how a mass is performed, can I go with you sometime?" or if you're in school, "I'm doing a paper on a religious rite..." It's a little fib, but it could work. I don't know why you fear your mother would disapprove. She may have left the church, but that doesn't mean you can't visit one out of curiosity -- unless you're entertaining the idea of joining the church, and she would object to it. You didn't mention your age, so I don't know how much control you have over your life, but this seems like a small issue to me. If you're an adult, visit one in another town if you fear your boyfriend's reaction. 



Bride Changes Venue

Hi Emily,

A friend asked me to be her Maid of Honour and I accepted. And she was my maid of honour earlier this year. However, she has since decided to have a destination wedding, and the cost will be over $1000 for us to attend. How do I tell her I cant afford to go, without upsetting her?

-----------------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-----------------------------------

This problem is pretty common. Brides often forget about the cost to others because they get selfish thinking this day is all about them, and everyone just needs to suck it up, and anti up. It's an absurd notion. There's no easy way to tell her you can't fork over a grand because she has grand plans. And you can't let yourself go into major debt because you didn't have the guts to stand up for yourself. She changed the venue and should acknowledge the financial hardship it would bring to the wedding party -- and be gracious when it comes to the fallout. I think she may find a lot of her guests can't make the wedding. Tell her you feel sick about it, but there's no way you can afford the trip. You have no savings for this type of expense, and charging it is not possible. If she takes offense and finds this an unforgivable breach in the friendship, or lays a guilt trip, you never had the friendship you thought you had. It's better to find out now than live under the delusion it was more. Hopefully, she'll surprise you and understand. Let me know how it turns out.       

Should I Join A Sorority?

Dear Miss Emily,

I just recently went through Rush and I thought I fell in love with this house. I ended up receiving a bid, and was excited. I did not go into this thinking I would like anyone because I am not the partying type, but I do like participating in philanthropies. When I fell in love with this house, I really thought they weren't the partying type, and so I continued to be in the New Member Period. My mom is absolutely obsessed with sorority and always wanted me to be in one. She was a pledge but never went active because her parents would not pay for it. I thought I wanted to do this on my own, but I talked to my boyfriend and I am thinking that I am doing this to prove my mom I can do this. Don't get me wrong, I would love to wear letters and be all excited about a big sister. But the thing is I feel like I'm neglecting my time in my chemistry classes. I am a nursing major and my GPA from my freshman year is not that good, but I want to get it higher this year so I can either transfer into a nursing college or apply to the nursing college at my school. I feel like being pressured to go out every-night will be hard, because I need to have a certain amount of points before the end of the semester. We have to take a test on all the information and have to get a 100% on it. I just don't think I have time for it, but then my parents think I do nothing and, sometimes, I don't, but I don't like going out every-night to clubs.  I am more of a bar, with music type of person. I also feel like if I quit the sorority, I will lose all the friends I gained because I think they might not talk 2 me if I'm not in the sorority anymore. I would really appreciate your help.

--------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------

Right away, I want to say to you: Hey, it's your life, not your mother's (who wants the vicarious thrill), and you have every right to proceed on a course that is comfortable and beneficial to you. But I am also willing to admit that some young women find a sorority a right of passage, and the camaraderie to be a joyous experience. There is a certain "status" associated with it, and it becomes glaring when one is fully aware that not all are considered worthy of the experience --  and that part, I do not like; as well, bar hopping was never my favorite pass-time, and small talk can get old, fast. There's something to be said for autonomy! Bottom line: If this truly interferes with your studies, I think you need to consider that above all else. If I'm not mistaken, most women, today, don't go to college to get their MRS., they go to study for a career they will love, and allow them to be financially independent. Be sure, however, that you are at a stage in your life where expressing your independence will make you feel proud, and self-assured, rather than an outsider if you do not join this sorority. As far as your mother is concerned, she'll get over it if you decide not to -- because this is not a life-or-death issue.

My Brother's Divorce

Hello Emily,

This last Sunday my brother was given divorce papers from his wife. They've been together for about 7 years and been married for 2. I'm very close to my sister in law (or as so i thought) and I'm pretty close with my brother, as well. They have 2 sons 3 and 6 who I keep a close relationship with and babysit. Today she texted me that she was kicking my brother out, and she would appreciate if  I had no contact with her and that her kids were fine. I didn't respond because I don't know how to. But I don't understand why I can't talk to her, and by her telling me her kids were fine...does that mean I won't be able to talk to them either?  Mostly I really don't understand what I have to do with her and my brother's situation. I would really want to still have a relationship with her. When she and I hung out, we never talked about her marriage, it was all girl talk. I'm so confused and feel shocked. How can I approach her?  Thank you.

---------------------------------------------Miss Emily's advice----------------------------------

Sadly, her contempt for your brother has spilled over to you. It's wrong -- if not for her, the children. Your brother has every right to see his kids, and that is the time you should see them, as well. She can't keep you from having a relationship with them, despite her attempt to cut you off. The true story here is yet to be revealed, other than the fact she wants a divorce from your brother and has chosen to distance herself from you. I'd send her an e-mail saying you will honor her wishes, despite the fact you truly do not understand the position she has taken. See your brother's children when he has them, and maintain your desire to be the best aunt you can be. I don't agree with your sister-in-law's stance, but it's her right to cut you off, but impossible to keep you from your brother's kids -- if that's her plan.

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