Tagged with dear kate

A Dear Kate Letter to the Readers

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By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow, April 19th, marks the first anniversary of this column and my first year as an officially published writer. Over the past year, I have been included in some of your funniest, most moving and most honest moments, and every single one has been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of. Each of you let me into your lives and entrusted me with advising you on everything from whether you were too old for a bikini wax to coming out of the closet for the first time. You wrote in, tweeted, texted, emailed and commented with your own thoughts and advice. You made the column what it is and for that I am truly grateful.

When I first applied for this position to the fabulous Kate Torgovnick, I had no idea how much I would grow to love being your “Dear Kate”. I also had no idea how difficult it would be sometimes when I was thrown a truly hard-hitting question and had to be absolutely unbiased to give you the best advice possible. I did not ever take it lightly that your final decision could very possibly rest in my hands. I truly hope that I have done right by all of you – as you have done by me.

So – looking back on the best thing that happened in my life this past year I wanted to share some recaps of my favorite seven columns of the last year with you and how they helped me in my own life through writing each of them. (Also peppered in will be some of my favorite graphics from the whole site over the past year)

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Dear Kate: My friend mistreats his cat. How do I say something without ruining our friendship?


Dear-Kate-column-identity11By Katharine Luckinbill

 

Dear Kate,

A very close friend of mine treats his cat meanly and it’s really starting to worry me. He always talks badly to him and doesn’t seem to realize that, as a kitten, he’s going to be ornery for a while. He scolds, yells, and outright spanks the cat for normal kitten behavior. I’ve tried to talk to him about this, but he gets angry and tells me I shouldn’t tell him how he should treat his cat. It really bothers me to see him treating his kitten like this. He plans on getting the cat declawed soon rather than take the time to teach the cat to use a scratching post and not his couch. When I ask him why, his response is always somewhere along the lines of, “I shouldn’t have to deal with this!”

How do I address this issue with my friend without damaging our friendship?

Sincerely,

Katie-Cat

 

Dear Katie-Cat,

This is a really tough one and I applaud you for not clawing your friend’s eyes out yet for this kind of behavior. Almost every writer on the Kate-Book team is a cat owner/lover, so I think I can vouch for us all when I say this guy sounds like a jerk.

People can get very testy when it comes to being told how to treat their pets (or their children) but sometimes it is so tough to just sit back and watch someone seemingly abuse their pet when you know that there is a better and more productive way of training the little critter.

Funny Pictures of Cats and Kittens

Firstly, I would open the conversation in a non-accusatory way by saying Continue reading

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Dear Kate: I’m Single in NYC and I hate Valentine’s Day. What should I do to make it less annoying to be alone tonight?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I am single, I live in New York City and Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year that I hate this city. What do I do to avoid the awful crowds of kissing couples everywhere I go this year? If I see one more stuffed bear and chocolate rose I’m going to throw up on someone.

Sincerely,

Out of Love Lucy

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Dear Our of Love Lucy,

Girl. I hear ya. Even though I have now joined the hoards of vomit-inducing love couples – I was single for a very long time before that and every year I dreaded Valentine’s Day. It seemed like everyone I knew was married, engaged, had a boyfriend or already had a date. I found myself thinking, “How is this possible? Where do they all find each other? Am I the only single person left in the WORLD?”

Of course I wasn’t, there were droves of other Valentine’s singles brooding about the holiday the same as I was. There was also another group, a group I hadn’t yet been introduced to, the “I Hate Valentine’s Day So Let’s All Get Together and Party” party. This bunch was awesome. A whole other mindset and approach towards this Hallmark holiday.

So awesome, in fact, that there are now super events organized all around the city just for them!

Here are some ideas for how to spend your Valentine’s Day in the big city without a date:

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Dear Kate: What’s the rule on using lingerie from an ex for your new beau?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I’m seeing a new guy, and I want to heat things up in the bedroom with some sexy undergarments. Problem is, I don’t really need any new outfits (I’m lacking on cash, but not on clothes)…but the intimate articles I own were all gifts from an ex. What’s the protocol on using old clothes with a new guy?

Sincerely,

Panties in a Twist

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Dear Panties in a Twist,

I understand your dilemma and I too would be hard pressed to throw/give away perfectly good lingerie, especially if I were on a tight budget.

But you have to see if from your new beau’s perspective…put yourself in his pants (pun intended)…would you want him re-gifting things that he had bought for an ex, to you? Probably not. It’s not that your clothes or lingerie necessarily have any sentimental connection to your ex – or at least I hope they don’t if you’re considering wearing them for the new fella – it’s just a general respect thing.

When I got into my first serious relationship after a yearlong dating spree, I decided to cut all my hair off. This was not a spectacular idea and probably a little rash in hindsight and my new boyfriend certainly didn’t care for my shorter ‘do – but I wanted a clean break from all of the guys that had played with or enjoyed my long hair in the past. I wanted my life with him to be new and fresh.

So the question that remains is how to furnish your new life with some new lingerie, and not go broke.

A few ideas:

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Dear Kate: My friend is getting married and I’m not invited! Should I be upset?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

One of my pretty close friends is getting married. She’s been with the guy for a long time and so I know them both well. We ‘ve talked about her getting engaged many, many times, and after she finally did, we had a great conversation about how much fun her wedding would be. Well she just sent out the “save-the-date’s” and guess who didn’t get one? Should I be upset or should I just let it go? I feel like I thought we were good friends and she didn’t feel the same way. All of my other friends will be there. Am I the black sheep?

Sincerely Uninvited,

Cassie

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Dear Uninvited Cassie,

Well first thing’s first, to your question, “Should I let it go?” the answer from me will almost always be a resounding YES. Not because some things aren’t worth fighting for, but rather because the essence of “letting go” is to not hold on to anger and ill feelings because it only does harm to you and no one else.

However, your other question, “Should I be upset?” is kind of another ballgame. That one is really up to you.

Would I be upset? Probably.

Would I stay upset? Probably not.

Why is that?

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Dear Kate: I never keep my New Year’s resolutions! How do I make it happen this year?

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By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

Every year I make a New Year’s resolution and every year without fail I, well, fail! How do I get myself to stay on track and do what I said I was going to do in 2013? This is the year I want to really make a change and make it stick!

Resolved to Change,

Kaitlyn

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Dear Resolved to Change Kaitlyn,

I didn’t used to believe in New Year’s resolutions. I just know too many people that make them and then break them almost immediately. Or I come across something like this and lose all faith in humankind and their ability to make sane declarations about their lives.  However, this year I have resolved to believe in resolutions – that they can work, that they are achievable and that they are, in fact, a good idea.

new-years-resolution-cat

According to Wikipedia, resolutions stem all the way back to ancient times…

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Dear Kate: Am I supposed to buy a holiday gift for my boss?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

With the holidays upon us I am getting all of my Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa gifts checked off and bought for my friends and family – but what about my boss at work? Am I supposed to even get my boss a gift, and if so – what do you get your boss?

Needing some Holiday Help,

Holly

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Dear In Need of Holiday Help Holly,

Surprisingly enough, the general consensus is that you should not buy your boss a present for the holidays. For two major reasons:

  1. You do not want to appear as if you are trying to “buy” your way into their good graces
  2. You should only buy presents for people who are below you in title to say thanks for their hard work and help. Buying a gift for your supervisor can be viewed as inappropriate.

mayan_christmas_someecard

Check out this informational article from The Washington Post about holiday work etiquette.

However, if you are particularly close with your boss, or you feel like he or she has gone out of their way to be a great supervisor this year, then I would say something small and heartfelt would be okay.

Check out this article from Forbes for some ideas.

If a purchased present isn’t really in the wallet cards this year, try baking some cookies or some kind of sweet festive treat.

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Dear Kate: Please step off my name!

By Katharine Luckinbill

Okay … so I get this link the other day:

The headline reads: “Meet Dear Kate

I think: “FINALLY. Someone cares! People are reading my column! This is it! See ya later, day job! I am OFFICIALLY a famous writer and things are going up Up UP!”

Subheading: “Brilliant Underwear That’s High-Tech, Not High-Maintenance”

“Underwear?” I think. “But I didn’t just write any columns about underwear. Wait…wait a second. Noooooooo.”

This column isn’t abut me it’s about UNDERWEAR! Underwear? Underwear.

Oh but the buck doesn’t stop there, oh nooooo my friends. This isn’t just any underwear…this is high-tech, leak-resistant fabric for woman who occasionally PEE IN THEIR PANTIES.

List of things to be upset about:

  1. Not a famous writer.
  2. “Dear Kate” are pee-panties.
  3. Do I need to change my identity?
  4. Again, “Dear Kate” =  pee-pee panties.
  5. Still not a famous writer.
  6. Have to keep my day job.

So I kept reading the article anyway, and I actually kind of liked what I saw. (Darn it!)

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Dear Kate: I’m stressed to the point of insanity. Help me down from the ledge!

Dear-Kate-column-identity1By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

Recently I’ve had a lot going on and I feel myself getting more and more overwhelmed about each thing going on in my life. My job is extremely stressful, my family is dealing with some particularly heavy issues, I have been really sick a lot and battling with some big time health stuff, and that’s not even to mention stresses like superstorm Sandy or your alarm not going off in the morning. I feel like I’m at my wits end, and each small thing that comes my way now feels like a giant meteor heading directly for me. I am finding myself unable to cope with things that before I might just let go or forget about in the interest of peace and harmony. How do I keep the train from going off of the tracks and alienating everyone that I care about?

Truly,

Keeping-it-together Katie

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Dear Keeping-it-together Katie,

Whoa. Sounds like 2012 has dealt you just the right amount of stress to see what you’re up for in 2013 and beyond. Sometimes the universe passes us just enough to get us to our breaking point so that we can blast right through it and get to the other side.

And hey, here’s the good news: You’re still keeping it together! As your sign off name declares, you haven’t gone around the bend quite yet…so there’s hope for you yet Katie!

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Dear Kate: Political peacocking on Facebook really gets my goat! How do I deal?

Dear-Kate-column-identity

By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

Every four years I find myself frustrated to the point of “un-friendship” when my Facebook friends start posting really uneducated political peacocking as their statuses. How do I let this roll off my back instead of wanting to scold and then delete them from my social network?

Politically Peeved,
Kathy

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Dear Politically Peeved Kathy,

Isn’t election time just the best? And by best, I mean the absolute worst, most stressful, annoying time. It really brings to light the truth behind the phrase “ignorance is bliss”. I have to admit — as unbiased as I try to be — sometimes I have friends whom I absolutely adore, and when I find out their political beliefs I just can’t look at them the same way. But the worst kind of situation like this is when these people in your life start posting every tiny political rant, thought, and ramble that comes to them. You just want to shout “keep it to yourself, buddy!” OR you want to tell them what you really think.

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Dear Kate: I got married but we haven’t told our in-laws yet. How should we approach this?

Dear-Kate-column-identity1By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I married my husband February 29th in a very small ceremony. It was just our parents and siblings and very impromptu. We’re happily married except for one issue — my husband has yet to break the news to his paternal grandparents. My whole family learned through Facebook and phone calls. My husband doesn’t have a relationship with his father but he lived with his grandparents for a year while in school! I have no idea what the appropriate way to break the news to his side of the family without giving them heart attacks, hurting feelings, and ruining relationships.

Signed,
Living in Guilt

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Dear Living in Guilt;

Congratulations on your nuptials and sorry to hear that there is absolutely anything putting a damper on your happiness during your first year as a married couple.
My answer to this one is simple and blunt:

Just tell the truth.

Honesty Dog

But not just that you got married. The truths are this:

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Dear Kate: I think I’m in love with my best friend. Should I tell him?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

There’s this guy that I have known for quite some time. Actually since primary school and we’ve always had a very special friendship. Just a little while ago I started to realize that I felt more for him than just friendship and I think he maybe feels it too. Should I tell him how I feel and date him? Or is dating a good friend a bad idea?

Sincerely,

Mixed Feelings

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Dear Mixed Feelings,

I have been in your shoes, and boy are they hard to walk in! Kudos for thinking it through before making any rash or hasty decisions though.

In my (humble) opinion – this could go one of three ways.

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