Dear Harlan,

I met a girl through some friends and we had a great conversation. She gave me her number. I want to call, but don’t know how long I should wait to call or text a girl after I get her number. I don’t want to get in touch too soon, but I don’t want to wait too long. What’s the right amount of time?


Dear Waiting,

What if some other guy calls or texts her? If you like this girl, show her attention. Email or text her as soon as you want. If she thinks it’s too soon, then move on to someone else. Here’s the bigger problem — once you start worrying about one text, you will start worrying about other things. Then you’ll start analyzing every word she says and every move she makes. Do what feels natural. Listen to your instincts. Stay busy. The more you have going on, the less you’ll worry about when to call or text. Women like attention, not games.

Dear Harlan,


I am going to begin my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison soon and I’m a bit nervous about my roommate. I come from a small town and I know not a single soul up in Madison. I joined my school’s class of 2015 page on Facebook and eventually agreed to being roommates with a guy I met through there. At first I was excited, but I am noticing more and more often that he is drawing drama to himself via his political views and social actions. I know he’s a nice guy, but is there a way I could help him out with his social blunders?

Fearful Freshman

Dear Fearful,

You’re not his mom or dad (right?). You’re only his roommate. It’s not your place to educate him on being cool. Besides, anyone who is this busy stirring up controversy might not be too open to your feedback. It could be too controversial. Besides, his Facebook shenanigans might just be about looking for attention. Once you get to know him better, and understand him, you can decide if you need to approach him. Until then, spend less time worrying about him and more time meeting less-controversial friends.

Dear Harlan,

I need to disagree with you on C-section moms. I was a neonatal and OB nurse for 25-plus years. Moms who have C-sections are not invalids (why would they need a night nurse?). They stay four days in the hospital, and when stitches are out, they are up and about, which they should be. They are told to rest during the day when the baby rests, and participate in no strenuous activity — otherwise increase activity as tolerated. My daughter had three C-sections and she didn’t need a night nurse. Now, if it was a man that gave birth, I guarantee he’d have a night nurse — and a day one. Otherwise, I love your column.


Lynne in Minnesota

Hi Lynne,

No, no — C-section moms are not invalids. But a man needs to plan for all contingencies. I interviewed a lot of dads for my expectant-father book who had to do more than they expected the first few weeks. While a vast majority of C-section moms recover quickly, there are some who have long recoveries. Better to plan for the worst than to plan for the best and not be able to support a wife.

Harlan is the author of “The Happiest Kid On Campus: A Parent’s Guide to the Very Best College Experience (for You and Your Child)” (Sourcebooks). Write Harlan at [email protected] or visit online: All letters submitted become property of the author. Send paper to Help Me, Harlan! 2506 N. Clark St., Ste. 223, Chicago, IL 60614.

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