Three Is Crowded

Posted on | May 21, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a female friend who is in her early 70s, very attractive and in excellent health. We try to have lunch together at least once a week. She recently decided however that she wants to find a “boyfriend.”  I think this is great (for her) but she has started to bring her “dates” with her when we have lunch.  She says she feels more relaxed than if she had to go on a date by herself.  I am happy for her but I have to tell you, some of these dates are total losers and they completely spoil what used to be a very nice weekly lunch with a friend.  Should I flatly refuse to let some loser ruin our lunch together or should I let this whim of hers burn out on its own?
Out of Patience

Dear Patience:
Tell her that if she is old enough to date, she is old enough to do it unchaperoned.

Over and Out

Posted on | May 21, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I recently discovered that several people who I thought were good friends turned out not to be. They have gossiped and lied about me behind my back and have made some pretty hateful comments. Do I confront them and try to “clear the air” or do I chalk this up to experience and and keep my distance from them in the future?
Hurt and Angry

Dear H&A:
Sounds like these folks are a waste of time. You made a mistake in choosing them — don’t make it worse by investing more.

Happy Mother’s Day

Posted on | May 8, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’m 28 years old and getting smothered by my mother. She calls me every day and asks a million questions.  She makes surprise visits where I work and brings cookies to my co-workers.  She sends me so many emails that I haven’t even read most of them.  I’ve tried to have a heart-to-heart talk with her but it always ends in tears (on her part).  I don’t want this to be the basis of our relationship for the rest of my life.  How do I get her to stop?
Can’t Breathe

Dear CB:
This is a toxic system. Obviously you don’t see how you enable it, but it takes two to do this tango. Probably both of you should see a counselor — together. This is a time bomb — disable it now. There is an independent life out there for you and for her.

What a Wonderful World It Could Be

Posted on | April 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Why is it important to have respect?
James

Dear James:
It is important to have the respect for others because it contributes to your own sense of self-esteem. However, we think it is even more important to show respect to others, because it is the basis of our social contract.

The Department of Yuck

Posted on | April 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband probably has the most disgusting habit I’ve ever seen but there is nothing I can do to stop him. Frank has a great deal of nose and ear hair and he is constantly “plucking” it out even in public.  I’ve begged him to do this ONLY in the privacy of his bathroom but he tells that it’s no different than combing your hair or putting on lipstick in public.  I disagree but I am getting NOWHERE!!  How do I make him stop?
The Mrs.

Dear Mrs:
For us, this would be a deal breaker. Disgusting. If you are not ready to leave him, then leave the table, the restaurant or the room whenever he goes at it.

Keeping It Simple

Posted on | April 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have several friends who have more than one email address. It’s confusing to me which address they use for which purpose so I usually just send an email to both addresses. I understand the business/personal rule that some people have.  But some of my friends have bizarre email rules like “please send anything that involves a specific date to my work address so that my assistant can enter it into my calendar.”  Or “please send anything that involves both my husband and me to our shared email address.”  Really??? I am supposed to keep track of all this nonsense???  What is the proper etiquette for this kind of thing?
Annoyed

Dear Annoyed:
Their “housekeeping” is their problem. Send one email to whatever address is handy and let them sort it out.

Color Bind

Posted on | April 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Why don’t they make black ballet shoes for black dancers? I am African-American and a professional dancer and I must continually apply make-up or polish to my shoes before performances.
Not Pink

Dear Pink:
Of course you are correct. Try contacting the manufacturer.  Or better yet suggest to the business manager of your troupe that he insist — or find another supplier.

First World Problem

Posted on | April 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’m finding it very difficult to navigate this new era of “sexual” correctness. I grew up in an era when  it was perfectly acceptable to compliment a man or a woman on how they looked and a simple hug was not considered sexual harassment.  Is there an easy way to figure this out or should I just stay at home and avoid anyone under 40.
Endangered Species

Dear Endangered:
Most people know the difference between a compliment and a come on. Similarly, most often a hug is just a hug.  People who cannot tell the difference should stay home.  You should continue to express yourself as you see fit.

Not Joined at the Hip

Posted on | April 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I don’t want to ask a question. I want to comment on your answer to Sister Sal whose husband did not want to go to her family reunion. You gave him a free pass to be a selfish, inconsiderate jerk towards his wife and her family. That’s what is wrong with couples nowadays. You must make concessions sometimes for the person you love. People are different, their families are different, but you took a vow of “for better or for worse.” Stop encouraging selfishness and instead encourage the love and caring that brought these two people together. My husband and I have been married 30 years and all of our closest friends have been married for that long or longer. Marriage included two people, not just one. You really dropped the ball on this one.
Disappointed

Dear Disappointed:
Sorry, but we stand by our answer. We think that insisting on participation of a obviously unwilling spouse is a losers game.  Nobody wins. We think that respecting the others choice is both loving and most likely to produce a happy outcome for all.

Rude Questions Deserve No Answers

Posted on | April 17, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I am a recovering alcoholic and have been doing quite well. But even after TWO YEARS, some people continue to urge me to have “just one”  – or worse, demand an explanation for why I no longer drink. Do I owe an explanation?
Sober and Smiling

Dear S&S:
First, we would like to offer our hearty congratulations. Those who urge you to have “just one” either have a problem themselves, or are just plain hostile. Feel free to out them on either count. Concerning an explanation — you owe none. You might ask them why it matters.

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