The Way It Is

Posted on | April 20, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What is to be done about ungrateful children?

Dear Dis:
Give less.

The Joy of Giving

Posted on | April 20, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
It’s that time of year, any ideas for a high school graduation present?

Dear Auntie:
We pondered this all week. We dislike obligatory gifting because it is rarely appreciated — yet there are occasions that seem to require something. In principle, if you know someone well, you will know what they would enjoy and if you don’t know them well enough to know, we would love to just skip it. Having said that, we understand that is difficult, so how about a donation in honor of the graduate to the cause about which they care ? If they don’t have one — donate to your favorite.


Posted on | April 20, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Has the world given up on reading?
An Ancient Reader

Dear Reader:
It certainly appears so. And yet, we see a lot of adults buying books for kids. Unlikely that the kids will develop the appetite if mom and dad are in the glow of one screen or another.

Agnostic by a Hair

Posted on | April 20, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What is the right thing to do if you find a hair in your food at a restaurant? Even if the food is cooked so probably not harmful? I say just ignore it but my girl friend freaks out and demands a refund. What do you think?

Dear SJW:
We agree it is kind of gross. Just send the food back to the kitchen. No need for a meltdown.

What Grown Ups Do

Posted on | April 13, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I am gay and have recently started dating a very nice man. I only found out through other people, not him, that he had been married to a woman. I’m not surprised, because he isn’t as interested (or as good at) sex as all my previous boyfriends.  I’m thinking that maybe he isn’t really gay but just trying this out because he had such an unhappy marriage.  Is there any way I can find out if he’s “just experimenting.” I don’t want to waste my time if he is.
Not Interested in Test Driving

Dear Test Drive:
This seems like the right time for a good old-fashioned conversation.
Tell him exactly how you feel. He will either convince you, or he won’t. Either way, there should be no hurt feelings nor bitterness.

Just Do It

Posted on | April 13, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My wife and I are both in our 40s and have had a great marriage for the past 12 years. I recently decided that I wanted to get a tattoo. I can’t explain why, I just do. The problem is that my wife hates tattoos and refuses to allow me to get one. I’m torn between doing what I want (I’m a grown man for goodness sake) and respecting my wife’s wishes. Where does one draw the line in a relationship? Is she being overly controlling? Or I am being inconsiderate and selfish?
Wannabe Me

Dear Wanna:
Sometimes it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

Ambiguity Breeds Contempt

Posted on | April 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I am working with a non-profit group in my town that is driving me batty. I believe in the work that the group does, but I can’t stand the politics, the meetings, the bickering and indecisiveness. Is this common in non-profit organizations or is this one especially dysfunctional?
Getting Crazy

Dear Crazy:
The thing about For-Profit companies is that their goals are relatively unambiguous.  The thing about Not-For-Profits, in our experience, is that there is ambiguity under every rock. Dysfunctional? Organizations are like families. To paraphrase Tolstoy, “Functional organizations are functional in the same ways — dysfunctional ones are all quite unique.”

In a Word

Posted on | April 7, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
There is a guy in town that I would love to have sex with but he’s been married for over 20 years to a woman who happens to be a friend of mine — so I figured it was never going to happen. HOWEVER — I have recently found out that he’s been fooling around with guys on the side so I figured I might have a chance. Since he’s already broken his marriage vows with other guys, would it be wrong for me to have sex with my friend’s husband?
Still a Sista

Dear Sista:
Yes, it would be wrong.  What are you thinking?

1 person likes this post.

Bad Karma

Posted on | April 7, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I recently got engaged and am planning my wedding for May 2015. The guest list hasn’t been determined and we don’t really even know how many people we will invite. The other day, a co-worker asked me if I was going to invite her (which seemed rude and premature) and that if I wasn’t, would it be okay if she came and she would pay whatever the per person cost would be for her and her boyfriend. I was a bit dumbfounded and kind of stammered “yes” because I didn’t know what to say. Now I regret saying that and I’m not sure what to do. Do I have to officially “dis-invite” her or should I just ignore her when the invitations go out. And one more question — isn’t this a bit weird? Have you ever heard of such a thing?
What’s Happening?

Dear What:
We don’t know how these things got so “transactional” but it needs to stop. It’s weird and you should invite who you want to invite

Like It or Leave

Posted on | April 7, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I meet a woman in my neighborhood for breakfast occasionally.  I’ve seen others roll their eyes when this woman’s name is mentioned and I never understood why. Now I get it– she is a name dropper like I’ve never seen before. It’s so annoying and gauche, talking about events to which others were not invited.  I don’t even know how to respond except to say “sounds fun.” I  wonder if this is deliberate or completely thoughtless.  When I bump in to her around town now, I want to reverse course and run. Why do people do this?  What is a polite way to respond?
Not Interested

Dear Not:
People do this to make themselves appear important.  Respond politely — all other options are decidedly NOT.

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