Pinings — Advice by Sherry Hughes

At The Women's Expo...

Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to spend the day at the Womenís Expo in Manchester in the Hippo booth, meeting our readers and handing out papers. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and said hello; truly, I had a blast.

When the publisher asked me to attend, the purpose was to meet with readers, but also to give out advice to anyone who asked. Although only a few people asked for advice, several asked how I come up with the answers I give readers. If you arenít a longtime Hippo reader, you just may wonder about my qualifications for the column. I thought this might be a good time to cover that territory again; in a way, to reintroduce myself to you.

When this column was first proposed, it was going to be a sex column. Although Iím not shy about sex, I wasnít sure I wanted to write about that exclusively. Relationship advice, ahhhhhhhh ó that was right up my alley. I donít always know what a relationship should look like, but Iím always sure what it shouldnít look like.

The bottom line is that Iíve been around the block ó my block and yours, most likely. Iíve been in lots of relationships ó with men and with women. Iíve been in happy ones and very dysfunctional ones. Thereís been abuse in my life in all of its sordid forms. Iíve pined for those I loved who didnít love me back and Iíve been the one to leave someone behind. Iíve never done any stalking, but Iíve been plenty angry, plenty hurt and at a loss as to how to deal with it. And I managed to live through it.

I was an active alcoholic and drug addict for most of my teens, all of my 20s and the first couple of years of my 30s, so if thatís an issue for you, I might be of some help ó Iíve been clean for almost 12 years.

Iíve lived in New Hampshire all of my life so far and I grew up in a home that was different from all of them around me ó my mother is black and my father is white. I grew up knowing prejudice. Sadly, I still know it pretty well.

So, I have some life experience to bring to the table, and Iím a chatty sort, so this works out well. Iíll always tell you what I think ó even if it stings a little ó and I always refer folks to the professionals if the situation warrants.

Iím also a good cook, so if you are looking for a good recipe or ideas for a potluck, you can write to me about that as well.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Reach her at

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