Saturday, August 23, 2014 Av 27, 5774

Dear Miriam,

I like to make substitutions so that my baking is less fattening, but is it "dishonest" to bring a healthy version of a popular dish to a potluck? I've done yogurt brownies, pie with Splenda, cakes with applesauce instead of butter, etc. Will people be disappointed to bite into something and realize it's not "the real thing"?

Signed,
Substituting Splenda

Dear Substituting,

I happen to think that potlucks are the best possible excuse to try out the most fattening, decadent dish that you'd never make for yourself at home because at the most,...

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Dear Miriam,
If you go on one or two dates and you know you are not interested, how do you let them know? Ignoring? Texting? Calling? What?!?

Sincerely,

Rejecting Reasonably

Dear Rejecting,
Over the course of your dating lifetime, it's likely that you'll either be on the giving or receiving end of all of these unfortunate ways of ending a relationship before it's even gotten started. Really, there is no great way to tell someone you're not interested. Don't even think of saying, "It's not you, it's me." Sex and the City taught us that you better...

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Dear Miriam,
I'm living with a roommate, who I love, but the problem is her STUFF. It's everywhere, and there's a ton of it! I don't want to use the word hoarder, but we're getting there. How do I approach her gently, before we both get buried?

Signed,
Writing from Under a Pile of Clothes

Dear Pile,

The relationship with a roommate is a delicate one. Similar to how good fences make good neighbors, I'd say that good door-closing habits make good roommates.

If you want to approach her because you're worried about her well-being, you're...

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