Truth Time

Posted on | August 20, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers and we are all over 50.  Some of my siblings have made bad financial, career and education choices in their lives and are paying the price for it now.  Several of them have asked for major “loans” from me.  And when I say “major” I mean over $25,000.  I can afford to do it but afraid that “lending” them the money will make our sensitive relationship even worse.  Is it better to lend the money and risk never getting it back or should I force them to fend for themselves?
“Richie Rich”

Dear Rich:
We are hearing that” loans” are not “loans” they are GIFTS.  Now, how do you feel about it?  How do your sibs feel about it? Be clear with them — and with yourself.  GIFT not LOAN.  Get it?

Cents and Sensibility

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My daughter is turning 5 next month which is a very important event in my family (my parents were born in Japan).  We are going to Disney World to celebrate which is rather expensive for all of us but my parents want to pay for the trip.  I didn’t invite my in-laws because I know that they can’t afford it but they would come anyway and have huge bills to pay afterwards.  Do you think I’m doing the right thing by not inviting them?  I know they’ll be angry but I think that’s better than going into debt just to go to a birthday party.
Anxious Mom

Dear Mom:
It doesn’t feel right not to invite your in-laws on the presumption that they cannot afford it. This is the kind of thing some people never get over. Perhaps you can find a face-saving way to spare them some of the expense …. pay their airfare as an early Christmas present?  Rent a house that is large enough for everyone?

The Less Said, the Better

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A good friend of mine recently passed away very suddenly and a bunch of his friends (including me) decided to go to a strip club to “celebrate” because we all knew that he went there often.  He even had a couple of favorite strippers who we tipped generously that night.  His wife, unfortunately, was appalled.  Apparently, she didn’t know that he frequented this place and she thought our behavior was disgusting.  Should I try to explain WHY we went there or just let her think we are all insensitive idiots?

Dear FOB:
Live with the “insensitive idiot” tag.  Explaining will only dig a deeper hole.

Artful Negotiation

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband is 68 years and in perfect health.  But he is obsessed with “not being a burden” to anybody when he gets older.  He has started to talk about moving into an assisted living facility so “we’re ready” when the time comes.  My philosophy is to wait as long as possible before giving up and moving to an old folks home.  Do you think it’s all just talk or should I be concerned?  He manages all the money so when he decides to move, I won’t have a choice

Dear Help:
Whether or not “he manages all the money,” you certainly “have a choice” in this matter.  This is a serious conversation about which there are many views. We urge you to give voice to yours.  (BTW, assisted living does not mean “giving up” nor is it respectful to your husband’s view to refer to it that way.  (Ditto “old folks home”)

Much Ado about Nothing

Posted on | August 17, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’ve been a friend of Mary Claire’s for 5 years now.  Her daughter is getting married and does not want any of her former coaches, doctors, or teachers present (my husband is one of them).  Mary Claire asked if I can attend as the guest of another friend (female) of ours who was invited alone.  She said she hopes my husband will understand, acknowledging that this is indeed awkward, yet making it clear that it is her daughter’s wedding and naturally, the bride rules.  Another friend  suggested that Mary Claire’s daughter is being highly immature, and that I should not feel pressured to attend under these circumstances.  I have been leaning toward not attending, however, my husband, a very sound person and not hurt by any of this, knows how immature the daughter is and feels I may disappoint Mary Claire if I do not attend the wedding as our friend’s guest.  While I understand Mary Claire’s good intentions, I am evaluating my comfort level in addressing innocent inquiries at the wedding as to why my husband is not present.  Way too much to think about here, and I’m not even the bride!  LOL!  So, my ask is this:  Go or not go and why?

Dear Betty:
Go to the wedding. If people ask where your husband is, say he wasn’t invited. Simple.

Hosting 101

Posted on | August 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
If you are having a party and you know for certain that one of the guests is going to bring a person that everyone HATES, is it appropriate to ask that guest in advance to bring someone else?  Or does an invitation to a party allow a guest to bring whoever they want?

Dear TT:
Yes, an invitation means that you gracefully receive what comes your way.

Immutable Law of Nature

Posted on | August 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I caught my friend cheating on his girlfriend, should I tell her?

Dear Pete:
No, she will find out in time. Everyone does.

Nothing Is Fair in Love or War

Posted on | August 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My girlfriend and I decided to get married and started to plan the wedding about a year ago. As soon as we set the date, we put down deposits on a room, a caterer, a band, etc. Neither of us has much money so we decided to split everything 50/50. About a month ago, she told me that she changed her mind and doesn’t want to marry me after all. She won’t return my phone calls so I’m left trying to cancel everything and get some of the money back. Since she was the one who changed her mind, I feel like I should get all my money back first and if there is anything left over, send it to her (if I can find her). Do you think that’s fair?

Dear KD:
Your solution smacks of revenge. So be it, if it makes you feel better but “fair” is hard to determine.

Yesterday’s News

Posted on | August 1, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Is there a statute of limitations on cheating on your wife? I had one single affair over 10 years ago and she still won’t let me forget it. Every time we have an argument, this affair somehow pops us as proof that I’m an asshole. Don’t you think it’s time she forgot about it?
Tired of It

Dear Tired:
We agree. At risk of raising the ante, tell her to let it go now … or you might be forced to provide her with fresh fuel for her fire.

Steer Clear

Posted on | August 1, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I got divorced over 20 years ago from a woman with whom I had a pretty rocky 10-year marriage. We still bump into each other (accidentally) from time to time and we’re cordial to each other. Last week, I received a packet of photos in the mail from her that had been taken during our marriage. Each one had her face cut out or the photo was cut in half so I assume she cut off the picture of herself. She included a note that said “Stop stalking me!!!!” Believe me, I have never stalked her and would avoid her completely if I could. Do you think I should call her and explain this or just ignore it and pretend she doesn’t exist if I ever bump into her again?

Dear Don:
No wonder you divorced her. Don’t speak to her. Ever.

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