Friday, August 29, 2014 Elul 3, 5774

I have been dating my boyfriend for nine months now, and I'm meeting many members of his family in a couple of weeks at his niece's third birthday party. I would love suggestions for appropriate gifts to give a three-year-old, but my main question is this: Should I get the six-month-old nephew a present, too? I don't want to overdo it and come across like I'm trying too hard, but I also want to make a good first impression. What do you think?

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Right now a lot of changes are happening with myself and my close friends — getting married, buying homes, having babies. Since we're all on about same timeline, I guess it's inevitable that some people feel the need to act competitive around these changes. Personally, I find this exhausting. What a waste of time and energy. Do I approach the offending friends? How do I make sure that we don't poison our friendships with this petty nonsense?

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Dear Miriam,

I'd love to be more involved with social justice in Philadelphia, but I'm really busy! Any ideas?

Signed,
Hoping to Help

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