Mixed or Matched

Dear Short Answers: What is the difference between “beneficiary” and “stackholder?” John Dear John: A “beneficiary” is a recipient of an advantage of some sort: it is generally financial but one can also benefit from gifts of other kinds such as privilege, honor or genetics. A “stackholder” is the one with all the pancakes. Like [...]

What if THEY Win?

Dear Short Answers: Is it wrong to “disown” your family over politics? My brother is a hate-spewing Trump supporter who plasters his Facebook page with bizarre lie-filled rants.  I try to avoid politics when I speak to him but it’s just not possible because he always brings it up.  We are both in our 60s [...]

$$$ and Sense

Dear Short Answers: A close friend of mine is very active in a local charity that has an annual big fund-raising drive. Every year I have given a token amount just because he is my friend.  This year I decided that was silly because I really don’t believe in their cause and it annoys me [...]

Don’t Get Mad, Handle It

Dear Short Answers: I am a single woman in my late 50s who decided that my career was more important than getting married or raising a family. There are times when I regret this decision but there’s not a lot I can do about it now.  The problem is that the younger people where I [...]

Full Disclosure

Dear Short Answers: About 6 months ago I moved to a new city and have been trying to get to know new people.  One of my co-workers must have thought I was gay (which I am not) because he invited me to a social event at the local gay and lesbian center.  I went anyway [...]

Reading Between the Lines

Dear Short Answers: Totally out of the blue, one of my oldest friends stopped talking to me and I have no idea why. I’ve asked her and she always says “nothing” but in that tone of voice that really means “something but I’m not telling you.”  We are both adults.  Do I just hope that [...]


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? [...]

Relationship Warantee

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? Eve Dear Eve: Sounds like you have more serious matters to attend to than wedding gifts. Yes, probably 20th century ettiquette recommends that [...]

Good Luck

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 [...]

It’s the Team, Stupid!

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. [...]

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