Sangita Patel is Streets of Toronto’s new advice columnist and was previously an entertainment reporter with ET Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
Dear Sangita: As a kid, there was someone I grew up with who everyone thought I was meant to be with. We were good friends. We both heard the way people talked about us, but neither of us decided to pursue anything. Ten years later, I ran into him recently and now I have been constantly dreaming about him. Is it a sign? — Mixed dream signals
Dear Mixed: It depends on what the dreams are! Are you dreaming about being with this person or just dreaming about the fact that he’s back in your life? It’s possible it’s just the nostalgia of being brought up together through your childhood and that seeing him is bringing back those great memories that you had together. But if you’re thinking about him, and if those emotions are leading to this type of feeling, why not go for it? If you’re single and he’s single, why not? The fact that you’re asking this question, it seems to me that maybe there was something there that the two of you didn’t ever pursue. The person that you can trust the most is often the person who knows your history, and knows who you are as a person. So yes, get it!
I have a friend who was in a similar situation. She and this guy were family friends. They both went off to university, and they ended up in medical school together. This was 15 or so years ago, and they’re married with two kids now! Anything can happen.
Dear Sangita: Last month, my boss told me my co-worker called in sick — but they posted a bunch of Instagram stories of them travelling around Niagara Falls. Last week, I was told they called in sick because their pet died. But I saw them posting stories at a spa all day! I always end up with so much more work when they do this, so now I’m tempted to snitch. Should I? — Tattle temptation
Dear Tattle: It’s definitely a mistake on your co-worker’s part to put all of that on their Instagram stories — you don’t need to share everything on there! But I don’t think you’re in a position to tell your employer, unless you’re a manager. If your co-worker is calling in sick too much, that’s for the manager to decide, not you. Of course, you’re going to call in sick one day, too, and then your co-worker is going to have to take care of the work that you’re doing. Ultimately, you have to work as a team, and it wouldn’t be wise to create an environment where you don’t want to pick up the slack for each other.
Be aware that a sick day could be a mental health day — maybe your co-worker needed a mental health day off, and maybe that meant they needed to go to Niagara Falls. And maybe a pet did die, and they ended up going to a spa day because they needed to relax. Everyone handles things differently. You might be in bed if you’re sick, but some people need to be next to water or go for a walk. You’re judging that your co-worker is out for the day, but you don’t know their situation — and telling on them could backfire if that’s the case.
Dear Sangita: My son has become fast friends with another child in his class. We went to the park on a playdate, and his friend’s mom didn’t watch her son at all. She was talking my ear off, let him wander off to this family picnic nearby, and didn’t blink an eye when he climbed on top of the monkey bars and almost fell through. They’re six! Now she’s offering to have my son over at their house but I don’t trust her at all to watch my son now. Do I invite myself over so I can keep watch? Do I invite them to my house instead? It would be so much easier if my son could just pick another friend. — Playdate problems
Dear Playdate: When I had my first child, I was very protective — you want to know exactly where they are, exactly what they’re doing. Other parents may have two, three kids, and by the third kid, they’re a little more lax about it all. But every mother is watching their child — maybe a mom with three kids doesn’t mind if they see one of them eating the sand, whereas a first-time mom doesn’t want her child anywhere near it. That’s often the reality of having your first child, and I’m assuming that’s the case for you. It’s a legitimate concern, so I think you definitely should ask to have the mother and her son over at your place first. If you have more control over your environment, the other mom might understand that this is how you like to parent your child. The next step might be for you to go to her house and be there as well to see how it is there. But the fact that your child has made a bond with this kid, let that be — let them have your fun. People are always going to have different parenting styles, so having your child in an environment you can control better is a good first step.
Have a question about love, relationships or life for Sangita? Send it to [email protected] or submit it here.