Board member wants to step down from post

DEAR HARRIETTE: I serve on a community board in my city that has done a lot of good over the years. I have had many different roles, and it has been a good run. I am getting older now and want to retire. The problem is that the board is small, and its members are pressing me to stay on. I appreciate the support, but I have had health issues and know that it is time for me to step down. I spoke to the chair of the board recently, and he refused to accept my resignation. To guilt me, he claims that if I leave, the board will be in violation because they are required by law to have a certain number of board members. I’m sorry if that is true, but that is not my problem. How can I extricate myself without things getting ugly? – Time To Go DEAR TIME TO GO: Because you are so committed to this board and its work, consider giving them a deadline by which they need to find a replacement board member, and agree that you will remain on the board in the meantime. Make it clear that when that date arrives, you will be leaving, period.

Physical intimacy alters friendship

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been seeing someone casually for a few years. I stopped seeing him when I got into a serious relationship, but when that relationship ended, we began seeing each other casually again. Up until recently, we had never had a physically intimate relationship. Ever since we introduced physical intimacy into our casual relationship, he seems to be very interested in being exclusive with me.

Getting tick out quickly is top priority

Hello, dear readers, and welcome to a bonus letters column. You’ve been keeping our mailboxes even fuller than usual, and we will continue to do our best to keep up.


• According to The New York Times, nearly 1.5 billion pounds of shrimp are consumed every year in the United States.

Employee does not accept feedback

DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my employees cannot take constructive criticism or own up to her mistakes at all, no matter how minor. She is a great employee, but every time I attempt to correct her on her mistakes, she gets defensive and argues with me. I am not sure if this is an ego problem or if she genuinely doesn't understand me, but I am her boss, and she shouldn't just argue with me whenever I give my feedback. Even as I think about addressing the issue of her argumentative nature, I fear that she will argue with me about that as well. How do I handle this? — Stop Arguing With Me DEAR STOP ARGUING WITH ME: Consider issuing a companywide notification that everyone will be receiving an annual review of their work over the next few months. Note that this is standard procedure for most companies and your way of checking in with everyone.

Our national summer is waning

For most parts of the country, this has been a splendid summer, full of sunshine and sunscreen, the weather a welcome contrast to the political climate. Americans have flocked to the shore and the lakeside, wandered among the hills, lingered well after sunset at the state park or the backyard barbecue grill.

Friend with memory loss may need support

DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend of mine has been telling me for a while that she is losing her memory. I spent the weekend with her, and now I know what she means. She asked me the same questions over and over again. I would answer them, and a couple of hours later she would ask the same thing. It was frustrating for me, in part because it is new to me. As we were talking together that weekend, I would try to build on a point, but it never worked because I always had to go back to the beginning.