T-Day Emergency!!!

Posted on | November 26, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I know you can’t answer this in time, but I’m confused about what to do.  I accepted two different invitations for Thanksgiving dinner because one was at 2 PM and the other was at 6 PM.  I thought I could easily attend both dinners.  I just found out this morning that in reality, they both start at 6 PM.  I can’t have dinner at one and dessert at the other because they are miles apart.  I think I’m going to tell them both that I’m sick and can’t attend.  I hate to miss Thanksgiving because it’s my favorite holiday but I don’t have another solution. Do you?
Double Booked

Dear DB:
You lucked out! You get to go to the one you prefer and not stress with back-to-back commitments. Tell the other one what you wish but we strongly prefer the truth.

1 person likes this post.

Rolling Smoothly into the Holidays

Posted on | November 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How do you handle relatives who don’t use email?  It makes it nearly impossible to plan family get-togethers when a few “older members” take 2 or 3 days to respond to any question (whenever they get around to listening to their messages on the ancient answering machines).  Do I just forget about them in the planning stage and tell them when the event is going to be and they can just show up or not?
Thoroughly Modern Mel

Dear Mel:
Family get-togethers present many challenges and we suggest that you don’t get your knickers in a twist right out of the gate. We assume you want them all to come — old and dotty, young and irritating. That’s what makes families a joy.  Resign yourself to calling everyone several times.  Or even better, delegate it to another family member — and you concentrate on planning the party!

1 person likes this post.


Posted on | November 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a friend who is very needy of my time.   She calls nearly every day and if I don’t answer will keep calling or texting until I pick up.   She then proceeds to tell me every detail of her life.   I can’t completely cut her off as we run in the same social circles and are also on a community board together.   She’s a good person with a warm heart but I just can’t give her the time and attention she needs.   She’s also very sensitive so I don’t wish to hurt her feelings.   I just need a bit of distance.
Pamela Needs Space

Dear Pamela:
We hear you, maybe she will, too.  First, try not to engage so fully when she tells you her story.  Say “Gee, I wish I could help” or simply “I feel you” and say no more. If she doesn’t back off, go to plan B which might go like this:  ”My own life is about all I can handle right now, sorry.” Offer no advice. Or suggest Short Answers!

It’s an Addiction

Posted on | November 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a close friend who is often in financial trouble. She owes more money than I can even imagine. When she tells me about her debts I want to throw up! I sense she wants to borrow money but I know this is NOT the answer. But what should I do?

Dear Peggy:
Don’t throw up and don’t lend her money. Only she can solve this problem and it will require a drastic rehabilitation of her way of thinking about the role of money in her life.  It won’t be easy — so don’t expect miracles.

Conditions Variable

Posted on | November 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How important is sex in a relationship?
On My Mind

Dear OMM:
Intimacy is always important. Sometimes sex is an expression of intimacy — and sometimes it is just fun.

Foul Weather Friend

Posted on | November 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a friend who I love dearly, but he is a moody bastard and when he is troubled, it is all about him … and frankly, he never listens. I would like to help but his habit of intensity around what he thinks is a crisis — then radio silence when he feels better — is getting on my nerves. Help!

Dear Peter:
You seem to understand the drill.  He is unlikely to change. You can either change your behavior –  or how you feel about his.

1 person likes this post.

Adjustment Department

Posted on | November 14, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How do I convince my husband that since he is now retired, he needs to help me with the cooking, cleaning and other household chores.  Frankly, I don’t think it’s fair that he gets to “retire” but I have to keep doing all the housework for the rest of my life.  He feels that he has worked hard all his life and deserves this.  What about me?  Any advice?

Dear Alice:
Helping you with your household chores is bound to be a non-starter. No one likes to go from a job with identity and all that goes with it to “mother’s little helper.” If you’re sick of your job,you need to figure out a solution.


Posted on | November 10, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
As I get older, it seems that the only thing my friends like to talk about is their failing health and medical procedures.  I understand that this is a normal part of aging but it drives me crazy.  I have things wrong with me, too, but I don’t talk about it all the time.  Without having to get all new friends, how do I get them to change the subject without seeming insensitive?
Sick of Hearing About It

Dear Sick:
Just say you are not in the mood for an “organ recital.” Pretty clear.

Buyer Beware

Posted on | November 10, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A close friend of mine asked me to contribute to a charity that she is very involved with.  It wasn’t something that I was personally interested in but I made a contribution as a personal favor to my friend.  Shortly after I sent the money, I heard that the charity had gone out of business due to financial problems.  I asked my friend if I could get my money back and she said that my contribution went to pay for debts that the charity had incurred.  I am beyond furious. Don’t you think my friend should pay me back the $1,000 that I sent to HER charity?
Pissed Off

Dear Pissed:
We get it, but ultimately, the choice to contribute was yours. Sorry.

You’re a Big Boy Now

Posted on | November 8, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
There is a woman at work who has (I am positive) an unnaturally strong crush on me.  She doesn’t say anything to me but tells everyone else how much she likes me and how much she hopes that I’ll ask her out.  A number of my co-workers have told me how insistent she is.  It makes me uncomfortable around her but as I said, she hasn’t talked to me, just other people.  Should I just ignore this or am I justified in telling her to stop talking about me to other people and that I am NEVER asking her out.

Dear Mac:
This is high school stuff. Relax, its just noise in the system.

1 person likes this post.

keep looking »