Just Say NO

Posted on | July 22, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
There is a person in town that I know very casually who has invited me to her home for dinners and parties and brunches and just about every occasion you can think of.  I don’t really want to get to know her better so I have declined every invitation. I have made up all sorts of excuses but now I’m thinking I should just be honest and tell her to stop inviting me.  Do you think that honesty is the best policy in this situation?
Don’t Wanna Go

Dear Don’t:
We kicked this one around and came out here: no reason to be so blunt. Keep declining.  Eventually, she will get the message. However there is the chance you are making a mistake and going once to a group gathering doesn’t seem so risky either.

We Don’t Mind

Posted on | July 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’ve become obsessed with internet pornography.  Do you think this is a just a passing phase or something I should be concerned about?
Sticky Fingers

Dear Sticky:
Look, this is question only you can answer. It depends on what you mean by “obsessed” and whether it is absorbing emotional space that should be directed at other relationships or time that should go to other things.

1 person likes this post.

Nun Ya

Posted on | July 17, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a very good friend who is in a committed lesbian relationship.  They both want to have children and are both concerned about who the right biological father should be.  Apparently, they have decided that the “solution” to this problem is that each of their brothers will artificially inseminate the other partner.  This is a disaster waiting to happen.  These kids will grow up with a father who is also their uncle!!!  I respect their decision but how do I stop this from happening?
Very Concerned

Dear VC:
We do not agree that this is necessarily a problem and it surely is not YOUR problem.  Stay out of this.

1 person likes this post.

Whatever Works

Posted on | July 17, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Do you think a married couple should merge their finances or keep separate checking accounts?
Just Married

Dear Just:
In the long run, it probably doesn’t matter a bit.  However, we think it might be a good idea to keep things separate for awhile.

Uncomfortable, Unusual, Unconventional

Posted on | July 13, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
We invited guests to stay with us for the 4th of July weekend and when they showed up, they had their 16-year old son with them.  We only have one guest room but they said it wasn’t a problem because they could all sleep in the same bed!!!!  First, I was furious that they brought a third person with them.  But secondly, I was dumbfounded that a 16-year old boy sleeps in the same bed as his parents.  Don’t you find that really strange and perhaps a bit perverted?
Hostess with Issues

Dear Hostess:
We think that showing up with unexpected friends, children or pets is rude. However, once your friends arrived with a plus one, they had had no choice but to deal with available accommodation.

Consolation, Not Consultation

Posted on | July 13, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
When a person asks you for advice about getting a facelift, do you have to reassure them that they don’t need one?  Or can you tell them the truth and say that it would really, really be a good idea????

Dear RWD:
It is generally pretty clear whether a person is asking for encouragement/support for a decision they have already made, or a little help in getting through a bad hair day. These questions are not about truth, they are about friendship.

Let It Go

Posted on | July 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My boyfriend and I are planning to get married in the fall.  We are both Catholic, we both want kids and we agree on just about everything important.  There’s only one silly problem.  My boyfriend grew up in the city and I grew up in the suburbs.  I can’t imagine trying to raise a family in the city.  And I can’t imagine living in an apartment without a yard and neighbors.  Do I let him have his way for now and hope that he eventually changes his mind?  Or do we need to get this settled before we get married?
Bride  2 B

Dear 2B:
We smile at the thought that life issues “get settled” once and for all times — before or after you say “I do.”  Marriage is an adventure with many things you “can’t imagine” in store for you.  That’s the fun of it.  And maybe YOU will change your mind and find a house with a yard and neighbors in the middle of a metropolis. They exist.

Above Our Pay Grade

Posted on | July 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I think a friend of mine is a kleptomaniac.  Do I tell her that I know?  Do I ignore it?  But what if she gets arrested and I could have stopped her?  I’m totally confused about how to handle this. Help!!!!
Silent and Suffering

Dear S&S:
Come out with it: “Hey, what’s with the stealing?”   If you are correct in your diagnosis, this is way over your head, and ours, and requires professional intervention. Letting her know you are aware may open a door — but don’t be too surprised if she denies it — or is angry at you.

Becoming a 21st Century Lady

Posted on | July 6, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’m just getting back into dating after being married for over 20 years.  My husband was only the third man I ever slept with but I’m concerned that things are a bit looser today.  I’m not a prude but I don’t want to seem too eager either.  How many dates should I have with a man before having sex?

Dear Rusty:
Guess what? No more rules! It doesn’t make it easier — it makes it harder. And if you make a mistake that’s okay, too.  Just don’t apologize — or explain.

It’s Not Your Party

Posted on | July 6, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A very good friend is getting married in September. I just had a baby in June and she has said very clearly “no babies!” at the wedding. My baby will be only 3 months old and I don’t think this is fair! (I’m nursing,) What do you think?
Mama Bear

Dear mama:
Congratulations to you but this is not your show. The bride has every right to center stage and as you know, babies (and new moms) are notorious scene steelers. Get a sitter or stay home.

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