Lack­ing in de­tails

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - — Faye in Youngstown, Ohio Write to Heloise at P.O. Box 795001, San An­to­nio, TX 78279-5000; Fax 210-HELOISE; or email [email protected] Heloise.com.

DEAR READ­ERS >> To­day’s SOUND OFF is about the lack of in­for­ma­tion and in­struc­tions with new gad­gets:

“Dear Heloise: I re­cently bought an ap­pli­ance for my kitchen, but it came with­out in­struc­tions on how to use and clean it. The same thing hap­pened when I bought a new cell­phone. Have man­u­fac­tur­ers stopped send­ing in­for­ma­tion on their prod­ucts? I know they’re cut­ting cor­ners to save on ex­penses, but this is NOT help­ful to the con­sumer.”

— Colleen E. in Chicago

DEAR COLLEEN E. >> Colleen, I’m sorry to hear about this sit­u­a­tion, but you might try look­ing on the in­ter­net to find out what it says about your new ap­pli­ance and cell­phone. You also might want to find the cor­po­rate phone num­bers and call for a book­let or in­struc­tion sheet.

DEAR READ­ERS >> Here are some new thoughts on home decor:

• Choose col­ors that you like and that make you feel good.

• A dark ac­cent wall will ap­pear to re­cede, giv­ing your space a roomier feel­ing.

• Hang drapes close to the ceil­ing, not at the top of the win­dow.

But above all, re­mem­ber that your home is your sanc­tu­ary, so in­cor­po­rate the things you love the most.

DEAR READ­ERS >>

Have you re­ceived calls from peo­ple claim­ing to be with the So­cial Se­cu­rity of­fice? Some of the calls might sound threat­en­ing, but some­times they seem friendly. How­ever, So­cial Se­cu­rity would first send you a let­ter, not just call and ask you for per­sonal or fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion. If you think you have been a vic­tim of a scam call from So­cial Se­cu­rity, call 800269-0271, or re­port this to the Of­fice of the In­spec­tor Gen­eral at OIG.ssa. gov/re­port.

DEAR HELOISE >> How do I put a stop to this pa­rade of co-work­ers and friends who keep ask­ing me if I’m OK now that my di­vorce is fi­nal? We parted as friends and get along bet­ter now than we did when we were mar­ried. There were no chil­dren, and we split ev­ery­thing down the mid­dle and went our sep­a­rate ways. The only dis­agree­ment we had at the end was over the dogs (I got them). Still, peo­ple won’t be­lieve me when I say I’m fine and not un­happy. Ev­ery­one is cer­tain that I’m stuff­ing my feel­ings deep in­side. Be­lieve me, I feel lib­er­ated.

— Lisa in Mas­sachusetts

DEAR LISA >> Lisa, I know well-mean­ing peo­ple worry about us when we go through a ma­jor life change, but a change does not al­ways mean it’s un­wel­come or even un­pleas­ant. When some­one asks about how you’re hold­ing up, just tell them you’re fine, and be sure to smile. You don’t have to ex­plain why you and your spouse de­cided on a di­vorce, and re­ally, it’s no one’s busi­ness. This will stop in time, but for now, do some­thing for you, such as a new hair­style or new out­fits, or re­dec­o­rate your place for the new you!

DEAR HELOISE >> No let­ter opener? Use a plas­tic knife from take­out food. It works!

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