Too Much of a Good Thing

Posted on | December 21, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How much time should a husband and wife have to spend together? Other than sleeping and going to work, my wife expects me to spend every minute of every day with her. I love her, but it’s driving me crazy.
Too Much

Dear Too:
You need to talk to her about this. First you need to reassure her that giving one another space is not about getting away from each other, it is about providing the opportunity to refresh and grow and that your expectation is that some separation will likely bring greater excitement and depth to your relationship.

If It Feels Freaky, It Is Freaky

Posted on | December 14, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Last year my daughter was a foreign exchange student in Norway so this year, as part of the program, we have taken in a student from Venezuela. She’s a lovely girl and my daughter and her have become great friends. The problem is my husband who I fear has become infatuated with her. He tries to spend as much time with her as possible. Even more time than he spends with his own daughter. I’ve talked to him about this but he claims that he’s only being a good “host parent.” I don’t want to go to the host committee that is sponsoring this exchange because I don’t want them to think that something strange might be going on (which I absolutely don’t think it is). But it’s starting to freak me out and I’m not sure what do to.


Dear Mom:
Tell him he is making you uncomfortable and he is only to spend time with the visiting student when accompanied by your daughter! Mean what you say and make other living arrangements for the girl if he does not agree.

Wait This Out

Posted on | December 14, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My son was caught smoking at school and was suspended for a week. First of all, getting suspended is one of the stupidest punishments ever but that’s not my question. He was smoking with a friend of his who didn’t happen to get caught. Would it be helpful if I told his friend’s parents about this? Or is this none of my business and I should just let them find out when their son is the one who gets caught?
Doesn’t Seem Fair

Dear Fair:
Fair or not, your kid is the one who got caught. Hers didn’t … at least not yet. Bide your time.

When Silence Is Poison

Posted on | December 14, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My wife and I have been together for over 3 years. We have one child and have been married for a little over a year. Our relationship has been great but recently, she decided to become Facebook friends with her ex. I haven’t said anything to her about this but it really bothers me. Do you think I might be reading too much into this? Should I say something or just let it go?

Dear Nervous:
You may well be reading too much into this.  But if it bothers you, IT BOTHERS YOU and you should definitely tell her so.

We Are Not the Waltons

Posted on | December 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
It’s getting close to Christmas and I’m already dreading the obligatory family get-togethers.  Do you have any secrets to getting through the holidays without killing yourself or your family?

Dear Apprehensive:
We have found that giving up celluloid fantasies about what family life is supposed to be, appreciating others for what they are and not who you wished they were, and not drinking too much really helps a lot. Good Luck.

Not a Hard One

Posted on | December 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
There is a regular group in the neighborhood that walks their dogs together every night around the same time.  We don’t really know each other well but we enjoy the time together and it’s a relaxing way to spend a half an hour or so.  A few months ago, one of the dogs was diagnosed with cancer and we all chipped in to help with the treatments because the dog’s owner wasn’t currently employed. Unfortunately, the dog died rather suddenly and the owner immediately bought a new puppy (a long-haired dachshund).  I feel sorry for the owner’s loss, but if the owner had enough money for a new puppy, he had enough money for medical care for his dog.  Or maybe he used the money we all gave him to buy a new puppy.  I feel taken advantage of but also uncomfortable asking for more information. Should I keep my mouth shut and fume?  Or ask the owner outright what happened to the money we gave him?
A Villager

Dear Villager:
Yeah, SHUT UP and fume.

Tidings of Comfort and Joy — No Restrictions Apply

Posted on | December 7, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Is it wrong to celebrate Christmas if you don’t believe in god?

Dear Charles:
We never think its a bad idea to celebrate ANYTHING!

1 person likes this post.

My Own (Air) Space

Posted on | November 30, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
When you sit next to a complete stranger on an airplane (or anywhere for that matter) and they start telling you all their problems — some of which are pretty serious and sad — how to get them to stop without being rude?

Dear Jean:
Feel free to to interrupt the saga, and tell your seatmate that you are sorry for their troubles but you can’t help and need some space.

The Message, Not the Medium

Posted on | November 30, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Because of some problems I have with arthritis, I have very poor handwriting.  As a result, I tend to type everything including thank-you notes and even sympathy cards.  I have a very easy program on my computer that prints my message right on the card and then I sign it by hand (which I try to make as legible as possible).  It has gotten back to me that some people find a typewritten card to be very rude.  I understand their feelings but I think I have found the best solution.  Do you think I should add a note to all my cards that explains my condition and why it’s typed and not handwritten?

Dear JPK:
Absolutely NOT! No need to apologize or explain!

1 person likes this post.

Becoming “We”

Posted on | November 30, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have come to the conclusion that my boyfriend has no sense of style whatsoever.  I have even bought nice clothes for him but he still looks like a total slob.  Last week his shirt had so many food stains on it that I made him stop at The Gap to buy a new one before I would go out with him in public.  Since my own personal appearance is very important to me, do you think this will be a deal-breaker in the future of our relationship?

Dear Betsy:
Try telling him in a very serious but NON-INSULTING way, why his appearance is important to you. This discussion should help you decide if you have a future.

keep looking »