DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a military veteran, and I was able to go back to college at the age of 40 because of the GI Bill. I just finished my undergrad program a few weeks ago, and I will start my first month of grad school in February. I have not told my parents that I am starting my graduate program. They are expecting me to find a job and move out of the house shortly thereafter. I am taking advantage of the GI bill, and the military is going to pay for my education as long as I go to school. I do not know why I have not told my parents that I am going back to school to pursue further education. I need some help in telling them because I feel like I am doing something bad. Please help. – Master Veteran, Elizabeth, New Jersey

DEAR MASTER VETERAN: Given that you expect to continue living with your parents, you absolutely must tell them the truth immediately. Your trepidation may come as a result of wishing that you already had your life together. The good news is that you are taking positive steps to ensure that you will be attractive as an employee in your chosen area because of your pursuit of higher education.

Go to your parents. Tell them you need to talk to them. Reveal that you have been accepted into graduate school and that it starts in February. Apologize for not telling them sooner. Describe the schedule for this program and your timeframe for moving out of their house. Ask for their blessing. If they choose not to support this elongated stay, look for a roommate situation that you can afford.

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DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband is a foodie, and we go to some amazing restaurants in New York City on a regular basis. I love our dinner dates, but there is one thing that he does that is a bit strange for me to handle. My husband makes random noises when he eats his dinner. It is quite embarrassing because he does not realize that he making these sounds. How can I make my husband aware of the sound he makes during dinner without embarrassing him? – Bad Habits, West Orange, New Jersey

DEAR BAD HABITS: Your duty as your husband’s wife – in my way of thinking – is to let him know that he is doing something that seems off. Choose a time when you are at home and without distractions to bring up this sensitive topic. Ask your husband if he would be open to a bit of feedback. With his blessing, tell him about the sounds that he makes when you go out to eat and how uncomfortable it makes you. You might need to demonstrate the sounds so that he understands what you are talking about. Suggest that he tone down the sounds in public. Be prepared, however, to have to live with it. These noises may be his unique way of reflecting his pleasure during the meal. You may have to accept that they come with the territory.

— Lifestylist and author Harriette Cole is president and creative director of Harriette Cole Media. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.