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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ask Maxy

Dear Maxy,
I have an etiquette question. My non-profit organization is partnering  with another  non-profit to present  a community workshop . We want to present the guest  speaker  with a gift . The two  options  are a $25 American  Express card  or flowers .
Which is more acceptable  or appropriated ? My board  members  think the gift card  is impersonal .
Do The Right Thing
Dear Do The Right Thing,
I would think a hybris of your ideas . How about the gift card with a single rose  , so that when you present it  , folks in the  audience  see something  and the speaker  gets something  he or she can actually use ?
Be sure to include  a note of gratitude  with the card  that is sighed by the key members  of your group .

Dear Maxy ,
I'm a 26-year-old gay male .I started seeing a guy when I was 19 , and we dated for 5 years . This June , I found out I had contracted HIV from him  and it totally devestated me .
I had resigned myself to remaining single  and "bearing the burden alone."
I have told only one of my family members  and am TERRIFIRD  to tell the rest . To make  worse . I've met  an amazing  guy  who , despite my best efforts , I've fallen in love  with .
How can I tell him about  this ?
How can I tell him about this ? Help !
Desperately confused
Dear Desperately Confused ,
I'm so sorry you contracted HIV . I understand  being wary of telling  your family  . You don't have to tell them  . But you do have an obligation to tell  the man you have fallen in love with  . Do you run the risk  that he'll run away  ? Yes , but not necessarily .
I recommend  that you get counseling  that will support  you in dealing  with your health  condition and navigating your relationship . One source is the Gay Men's Health Crisis ( .
You also should know that many couples have weatered this storm . As an example  , I have a friend  who has been HIV-positive  for many years . He didn't talk about it at first , but he didn't hide it  , either . He has walked in New York City  , and his friends  have long known his status .
He has been in a relationship whith someone who is not HIV-positive  for many years  . The great news  is that this year  his partner  asked him to get married  . Because the laws here in some states  , they were  able to do just that .
You can have a full life  . Take  care of your health  first . Get support , and tell the man  you hope to make your partner .

Dear Maxy ,
My friend's niece  just got arrested for shoplifting . He is so upset  about it  , and I don't know how to help him .
She has been misbehaving  for a long time  . She is 15 years old  and is always doing crazy things , like staying  out all night  , smoking  drugs  and not going to school . She was always kind of bad  , but after her grandmother died  , she got a lot worse  .
What can I do  to help him  ? He keeps asking me for advice .
Dear Worried ,
The best thing this family  can do  for them troubled  teen is to get her  mental health support . She should  visit a counselor  with whom sshe can talk  about her life  , the lost of her grandmother  and her choicess  . She needs  to have a safe space  to be able to talk  about what's happening  in her life  and learn  that it's possible  for her to decide her fate .
Some parents  also choose to send their children  to schools  for so-called delinquent  teens where they are immersed in learning discipline . Other families  have used  the military  as a tool to help  teach their  teens  right  from wrong . Sometimes  the structure  is helpful  for young people  who have behaved  recklessly over time .
Most important  is for your friend's niece  to be able  to grieve  and heal . She needs to know  that she is loved , even though her behavior  is unacceptable . Your friend  also needs to know  that the adults  in his family  probably cannot  handle  her challenges  on their own . They , too , should seek  professional help .

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