Law of the Jungle

Posted on | June 28, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I just started working for a new person and I already can’t stand her.  I try to pretend that I like her but I’m sure she has figured out that everything she does annoys me.  What is the secret for working for a person you hate?
New Kid

Dear Kid:
Start loving her — or move on! That’s the secret.

The “Are You Kidding?” Department

Posted on | June 26, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a good friend who is in the middle of a very nasty divorce and she has decided to share all the intimate details of her marriage with me and all her other friends.  Including photos of her husband’s private parts.  Although I sympathize with her emotional distress, I think she is behaving horrendously and possibly illegally by divulging such private and personal information.  Should I tell her to stop talking about her soon-to-be-ex-husband or do we all sit still and listen and hope that she’ll get it out of her system soon?
A Listener

Dear listener:
Tell her in every way you can that this is no way to behave.  And most importantly, STOP LISTENING!

Apples and Oranges

Posted on | June 26, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you think of all this “identify confusion” that seems to be going around?  Bruce Jenner thinks he’s a girl and some white woman from Spokane thinks she’s Black.  Why can’t people just be happy with the way they were born?
RWT

Dear RWT:
These two examples are not the same — and neither of them is confused. Transgender behavior, meaning acts that depart from a binary set of norms associated with the gender to which an individual was born, are NOT acts of confusion. It is quite the opposite — it is an act of conviction.  We are less familiar with transracial identity. Why can’t everyone be happy? We continue to ponder.

Grow Up!

Posted on | June 20, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I started working over a year ago at a PR firm.  It was truly an entry level position and my responsibilities are mostly answering the phone and making the senior executives travel arrangements.  There doesn’t seem to be any possibility of advancement here (I’ve already asked).  The problem is that I LOVE the people I work with.  Everybody at the agency is smart and funny and we all get along great.  I’m concerned that if I go somewhere else, I won’t have nearly as much fun.  Should I stay at a place that I love but might take years to get anywhere?  Or do I move to a less fun job with more chance for advancement???
Betsy

Dear Betsy:
Please act like a grown-up working woman and move on.  Advancement doesn’t mean less fun, it means more fun.

Family Mini-Series

Posted on | June 20, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I recently found out from my sister that my father was a closeted homosexual.  Even though he had four children!  My sister swore me to secrecy and claims that she is the only one in the family who knows.  I agreed that I wouldn’t say anything but now I am having second thoughts.  First, I don’t think a family should have secrets like this from each other.  Second, I’m beginning to wonder if my sister was telling me the truth.  Maybe she made it up or was simply mistaken.  Do I break my word and talk to my brothers and my mom (my dad passed away many years ago) or do I just forget she ever said anything and hope she doesn’t bring it up again?
Frantic Sis

Dear Sis:
Your sister has no right to ask you to keep this confidence — silence only fires a drama that may or may not be a drama at all! Tell her that, and get your gang together and share your thoughts and feelings.

Brave New Easy World

Posted on | June 20, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
When you ask a girl out on a date, should I expect to pay for everything?  Or do girls these days expect to pay their share?
Cyrus

Dear Cyrus:
In general every one pays for themselves, unless, or until, another arrangement is agreed to.

It’s a Zillion Dollar Business

Posted on | June 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I am getting married next summer and trying to figure out my budget for the wedding.  Is there a general rule of thumb about how much these things should cost?  This is especially important since I’ll probably have to pay for the whole thing myself.
ZN

Dear ZN:
Our rule of thumb is that weddings shouldn’t cost more than you can afford. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your parents — have a great party but remember, it’s the marriage, not the wedding that is most important.

Your Call

Posted on | June 12, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I am 24 years old but very inexperienced sexually.  My boyfriend is trying to get me to try all sorts of different things but I don’t think I’m really ready.  He says that I won’t know what I really like until I try different things.  Am I being a prude?  Or do think he’s right and I should experiment more?
Urgent

Dear Urgent:
Nobody gets to pressure you into doing things that you aren’t comfortable with.  Tell him to back off and that you will let him know when you are ready to experiment. If  that’s not good enough for him… perhaps he isn’t right for you.

Getting Real

Posted on | June 12, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Last week, I had a dinner party at my home for 10 people.  So far, I have not received a single thank you note.  Not even an email.  Should I assume that my party was a disaster?  Or are my friends thankless ingrates?
Still Waiting

Dear Waiting:
We are so with you on the expectation that hospitality should be acknowledged, but it seems that not all agree. Many of our guests feel that a heartfelt thank you as they depart suffices.  This is no reflection on your party and probably if you like them enough to ask them to dinner, you should just get over it.

Alert the Media?

Posted on | June 7, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a good friend who finds it necessary to describe every nuance of her health to me — when she has a headache, when her arthritis is acting up, when she’s constipated — pretty much everything.  Obviously, there is nothing I can do about her aches and pains so I just smile and nod.  How do I tell her that I really do value her friendship but I also don’t care when she had her last bowel movement??
A Friend

Dear Friend:
You could tell that you just don’t care. Or you could consider whether everything you say is “newsworthy.”

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