DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I am an expatriate Pittsburgher who longs to move back to the Steel City. I love all that the city has to offer, and my family ties to the area are strong.
My adult work life has been entirely outside of the metro area, though. My career and reputation are established in my current city in my chosen field. If I plan to continue to work in this field, I believe that I will have to stay in my current geographic area and abandon my dreams of returning to the 'Burgh. My work can be rewarding but also can be very draining intellectually and emotionally. The pay is average but low for someone with my education and experience. I would not mind a change of careers but have no idea how to go about such a thing.
Should I give up my dreams of returning to Pittsburgh? Or should I throw caution to the wind, move back and see what opportunity arises?
-- DREAMING OF THE THREE RIVERS
DEAR DREAMING: Spend time with your friend the yellow note pad. Write down your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, your vision for your future. This exercise will help you formulate a plan that may include a move and a career change. Longing to relocate to Pittsburgh is being fueled by job frustration and Technicolor family memories. Postpone packing the van and hitting the road. You could be suffering from burnout. Once you have a defined goal, start to network and investigate new employment opportunities. Never abandon your dreams, but also don't confine yourself to one rose-colored geographic location.
DEAR STEEL ADVICE: I recently hosted a party at my home. I provided a vast array of food, soda pop, beer, wine and booze. All the people invited were told they did not need to bring anything. About a third of the guests brought something anyway. The items brought included flowers, dessert, wine and liquor. One of the guests who brought a bottle of liquor to the party took the partially consumed bottle home with him when he left. This surprised me. I could not help viewing this guest as a cheapskate. Was taking the bottle home a breach of party etiquette, or is this normal acceptable behavior?
-- PARTY GIVER
DEAR PARTY GIVER: Unexpected social patterns can be shockers. Think of your guest as a label man and not a cheapskate. He may be fussy about his alcohol. He carried his preferred brand of hooch with him to your party fully expecting to take his bottle home at the end of the evening. He may never have intended this beverage to be a host or hostess gift or to be left behind. At casual gatherings friends frequently take home party food and drinks in care packages. As long as this guest didn't take the silver, I believe you should overlook his behavior.
Need some Steel Advice? Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Mary Ann Wellener, Steel Advice Column, c/o Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Follow Mary Ann on Twitter at @PGSteelAdvice. First Published July 16, 2013 4:00 AM