Ask Coog:Halloween about more than scares

Dear Coog,

Help! It’s Halloween and my friends and I had planned to get dressed up and go to a couple of parties, but now they have changed their minds and want to hit a lot of the haunted houses. There is no way I can tell them I am terrified of going to haunted houses. The whole concept of them creeps me out so much that I am considering faking illness. The worst part of it is that every one of my friends will be going, so I don’t even have alternate plans. What should I do?


Haunted by Houses

Dear Haunted,

On Halloween that is one predicament to avoid. You did not mention what the basis is for your fears. Regardless, if you feel that strongly, then don’t go. Is one of your friends from the group close enough to you that you can confide in him or her about your fears? If so, then that is the route to take, but if you are unsure, I would recommend that you just tell them that you don’t want to go because of the cost. The fact they want to go to multiple sites means it could get expensive.

Houston offers so many alternatives to celebrate Halloween other than haunted houses. Find a few and present the most exciting ones to your friends. Maybe you’ll get lucky and there will be a split, and everyone will opt to do something other than hopping haunted houses.

Get dressed up, go out and have fun. You don’t need to be scared senseless to have a good time..


Dear Coog,

I am a freshman attending school fulltime and working a part-time job. I live at home so I can help take care of my special-needs brother. My parents work, but rely on me to help care for my brother. My older sister does nothing to help and says it’s not her responsibility.

I don’t know if there is anything I can do to make my sister understand how important it is for her to help us all care for each other. We have always had a great family relationship in the past, but now that my sister has moved and is involved with her friends and her work, she could care less.

I need to say something to open her eyes so she will start putting some effort into our family, but what?

Anything is appreciated,

A Family-Loving Freshman

Dear Freshman,

First of all, let me commend you on your wonderful efforts to help your family! What a great thing you are doing – by helping your parents, you are providing time to bond with your brother, that’s great! I am sorry you have so much on your plate at such a point in your life. You should feel very proud of yourself for managing all that you do.

I am sorry your sister does not share in your belief that family comes first. Perhaps she feels she would be inadequate as a caretaker, or maybe she thinks you don’t need her help.

The most important thing you can do is sit down and talk with her. Let her know how important it is for her to pitch in sometime. Talk to her about how happy your brother would be if given a chance to spend time with her. Let her know she doesn’t have to commit a lot of her time and that any little bit would be great.

If she still doesn’t budge, then don’t press the issue any further. Continue with what you are doing and know that you are doing great things for your family.

Best of luck to you!


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