The Hamilton Spectator

Value isn’t based on physical appearance


Q Everyone says my sister is stunning. They’re right; she is. She’s a working model living in Los Angeles and constantly flying to New York and Europe for work. I’m so proud of her.

She’s about six inches taller than me and we weigh about the same. She has a model’s tall, thin figure; I do not. Same parents, different gene mix. She is who she is and I am who I am. Our parents loved us equally and treated us the same growing up.

We both have strong careers; I’m currently a veterinary assistant. She’s as proud of me as I am of her. But when we’re together, people look at me like I am in the wrong place. I’ve even had bouncers try to stop me following her into a bar. I get it — I’m not as pretty as my sister. But I still have worth as a human.

Why do people have to be so judgmental?

Ugly Duckling

A Change your moniker. Just because you don’t look like your sister — who’s a profession­al model — doesn’t mean you’re ugly.

Your sister may have a career based on her physical appearance, but there are very few people who fall into that same category.

Be proud of yourself for what you are accomplish­ing with your life — a career based on compassion. Perhaps you and your sister could find some way to collaborat­e and put all of your incredible talents together. Ignore all those people who have nothing nice to say. Hold your head high. You know who you are.

Q Three of my friends and I are planning a summer vacation together. We all have different amounts of time off based on our school and work schedules, but we thought it would be fun to be together. So two of us are flying out together for a week; one is joining us for weeks two and three. He and I are leaving together and our fourth friend is joining for week three, then staying on with the guy who has the most time off for week four.

We all want to do the same basic stuff, and we’ll all be together for week three. The problem lies in our budgets. And it’s not relative to the amount of vacation time. You probably would think the guy going for four weeks wants to spend the least daily but actually, it’s the opposite. He’s researchin­g expensive restaurant­s, five-star hotels and high-end activities. The two who are only coming for two weeks each have far smaller budgets. I want to maximize my time away, so I’m going for three weeks and can spend a little more than the other two but not half as much as our big spender.

How do we get the one with the deep pockets to understand we’re all not coming from the same bank balance? He’s a bit clueless, obviously.

Budget Traveller

A Figure out exactly how much you have for the trip, deduct the cost of the flight and calculate how much you have as your daily spend. Then talk to the other two and see where they land after they do their calculatio­ns. Once you have a basic number, tell the wealthier of the four what you guys can afford.

He’ll need to come down to your financial level if he wants to hang out with you. If he really wants to go to a fancy restaurant that’s out of your budget, he’ll either have to treat or go alone. And if there is something special going on, like a concert, find out now and recalculat­e so you can all attend.

I also suggest holding back some money for emergency purposes.

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