Posted on | June 12, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you think of this whole transgender bathroom issue? I have been to a lot of places like restaurants that have only one bathroom and it’s used by both men and women. And you know what, the bathroom in my home is used by men and women.  What’s the big deal?
Not So Worried

Dear Not:
We are not at all concerned either. It is however, quite interesting, that battles over civil rights inevitably end up in the bathroom. Apparently FEAR lives there.

Relationship Warantee

Posted on | June 12, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband and I are getting separated after only 6 months of marriage. Is there a rule about returning wedding presents if the marriage lasts less than a year?

Dear Eve:
Sounds like you have more serious matters to attend to than wedding gifts. Yes, probably 20th century ettiquette recommends that significant gifts be returned, but we would not concern ourselves with this unless someone demands a refund

Good Luck

Posted on | June 11, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My parents caught my older brother drinking beer and now they have grounded BOTH of us which is completely unfair. How can I convince them that HE is the evil one and not me?  I should not be punished for his behavior!
Sad Sib

Dear Sad:
Ask them if you get a pass when you get caught drinking beer since you’ve already done your time. Or point out that it is customary to pay for a crime of any sort after it has been committed, not in anticipation of an infraction to come.

It’s the Team, Stupid!

Posted on | June 11, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I recently started a new job and one of my co-workers likes to take credit for everything that I do and every idea that I have. I’ve tried to make it clear to my boss that these are my ideas but this guy is an expert at sucking up to the boss.  I’m afraid that when raises and promotions are handed out that I will be at the end of the line.  Do I keep trying to get my well-deserved credit or do I just give up and look for another job?


Dear G:
Unless your boss is a moron, he knows everything you know. Suck ups out themselves. Do your work and stop wasting energy on who gets credit.

A Good Question

Posted on | June 8, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How is married life a sort of business?
Just Starting Out

Dear Just Starting:
Marriage is like a business in that you make deposits and withdrawals — of emotional energy, kindness and attention. There are times when one partner makes many withdrawals — just make sure you don’t exceed your deposits.

If It Feels Creepy, It Is Creepy

Posted on | May 29, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A friend has secretly confided in me that she is planning to leave her husband.  I don’t really know either of them very well but she has come to me for help in getting a job (we work in similar businesses) and a temporary apartment.  Normally, I would be glad to help a friend find a job but I feel very dishonest given the circumstances.  Should I tell her I don’t want to do this?  Or that I will only help if she tells her husband first?  This whole situation makes me feel uncomfortable.

Dear Norah:
It is not your place to deliver an ultimatum  about how she deals with her husband but it is your right, in fact obligation, to refuse to participate in a “situation”.

What’s It to Ya?

Posted on | May 29, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A friend of mine’s mother recently passed away after a very long illness. My friend is understandably saddened by this even though he did not have a very close relationship with his mom over the past 10 years. He’s now decided, however, to sell his house and quit his job and move into the house that he just inherited which is hundreds of miles from where he lives now.  I have begged him to wait at least a year to see how he feels then but he insists that this is the right thing to do.  How do I stop him from potentially making a huge mistake that he cannot easily fix?
Very Concerned

Dear Very Concerned:
Has it occurred to you that perhaps you are unaware of all the thought your friend has devoted to making this decision? Or do you just assume that because it is different from the one you might have made, it’s the wrong one?  Either way, it isn’t cool to be so sure about another person’s choices.

This Ain’t Baseball

Posted on | May 29, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How many times do you let someone schedule a lunch date and then cancel at the last minute? I think once is acceptable, twice is rude and three times in a row means you clearly don’t want to have lunch with me.  Am I justified in simply ignoring future lunch invitations from this person?
So Annoyed

Dear Annoyed:
We think your take on this  is more than generous. After cancellation #2, we would not offer another chance.

Philosophical Differences

Posted on | May 29, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
On a lark, I went to a one-day seminar on “How to Be Happy.” I didn’t expect much but it was LIFE CHANGING!  I realized for the first time that being happy is a personal decision.  One that I have to make every day.  Now when I wake up in the morning, I say to myself “this is going to be a great day.” It isn’t always perfect, but it’s way better than it used to be.  The problem is that I seem to have surrounded myself with people who wake up every day and say this is going to be a TERRIBLE day.  Starting with my husband. I’ve tried to communicate some of my new philosophy to all of them but they don’t want to listen.  I don’t think this is good for me.  Should I just start to eliminate them from my life?  I’m not sure that I can do it any other way.  HELP!!!
Slap Happy

Dear Slap:
We are delighted for you and your new insight, however we do not share your missionary zeal. You have a right to expect others to be tolerant of your happiness and optimism but they are entitled to the same respect for their world view. If  you must surround yourself only with true believers, so be it, but we would find that tiresome.

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.

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