The Way It Is

Dear Short Answers: What is to be done about ungrateful children? Disappointed Dear Dis: Give less. Like Unlike

The Joy of Giving

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

Self-Respect

Dear Short Answers: I work really hard at child care, elder care and service to my community. I serve on the Board of Education in my town which is endlessly time consuming. I really like what I do but because I don’t get a pay check, I feel like my friends think my responsibilities are [...]

Raw or Done?

Dear Short Answers: I want my ex back after a very ugly breakup but he’s been ignoring every attempt at contact for the past 4 days (since we broke up). Is the relationship really not salvageable or are his emotions still raw? Change of Heart Dear Change: The words “very ugly” and “4 days” have [...]

“I Want to Be Alone”

Dear Short Answers: I have a neighbor who is too encroaching. Now he says he’d like to start going to the gym with me. I want to be on good terms, but I’m not interested in this. I’d also like more privacy whenever I’m outside just going to and from my car. This is a [...]

Real Life with Real Wife

Dear Short Answers: Do you foresee a problem getting married to a woman I love but whose family I can’t stand? Groom-to-Be Dear Groom: If people married their in-laws … most wouldn’t. It is an issue, potentially a big one, that married people need to manage. Talk to your bride about her feelings and her [...]

The Power of Silence

Dear Short Answers: I share an office with a girl at work who used to be a fairly good friend but now I absolutely can’t stand to be around her. She talks to me all day long, bothers me when I’m trying to concentrate and is a general pain in the butt. I’ve talked to [...]

Stay Away From Drunks

Dear Short Answers: A couple years ago, I had a stalker. I took him to court. I didn’t win the court case so I don’t have a restraining order but he still left me alone after that. He never would do anything to physically harm me, but he would mentally harass me. Fast forward to [...]

Try a Little Tenderness

Dear Short Answers: One of my closest friends lost her husband last year. Ever since, she has turned into the rudest, meanest, most thoughtless person I know. For the first six months, we all ignored it and tried to sympathize with her loss. But I think enough is enough. Losing a spouse is a horrible [...]

When You’re Right, You’re Right

Dear Short Answers: Am I old-fashioned? I still expect thank you notes for gifts. I prefer a short handwritten card, but even an email will do if it’s prompt. A text only works to communicate immediate excitement but to me isn’t a real thank you. What do you think? Irritated Auntie Dear Auntie: We are [...]

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