Truth and Consequences

Dear Short Answers: It’s already New Year’s Eve and I have not received a single thank you note or phone call from any of my 7 nieces and nephews who I bought significant Christmas gifts for.  Should I just keep waiting?  Or complain to their parents? Uncle Dear Uncle: Cool your jets. Talk to us [...]

We Hope You Feel Better

Dear Short Answers: In my lifetime, Christmas has always been more commercial than spiritual, but from where I sit, we have reached a tipping point. It is so commercial that when I wish someone a Merry Christmas I don’t even know what I mean.  I feel like asking everyone who says it to me what [...]

Writer’s Rule

Dear Short Answers: What is the proper procedure to list  relatives when a 92-year old mother passes away?In my husband’s mother’s obituary, his name as son was listed, then after his name, the name of his first wife (deceased), then my name.  He was DIVORCED from his first wife in 1994 and then, she died 6 [...]

Matter of Life and Death

Dear Short Answers: I am so afraid that my niece is into seriously heavy drugs but my sister (her mother) refuses to listen to me. Is there anything else I should be doing to try to help or do I just need to stay out of this horrible situation? Scared Auntie Dear Scared: We think [...]

A Brave Old World

Dear Short Answers: What’s the deal with baby showers? Until this summer I never heard of them. Do I have to go? Janey Dear Janey: It seems to be a millennial thing — like big weddings and social media. Maybe they feel the need to connect after all that texting.  No, you don’t have to [...]

Uncertain Future

Dear Short Answers: As my parents have gotten older (they are both in their late 70s), they have gotten more and more philanthropic and seem to give money away to just about any charity that asks. Since their money is MY inheritance, shouldn’t I be consulted?  They always promised that when they go, I will [...]

Get Over It

Dear Short Answers: Last month my wife and I had planned to go on a cruise. At the last minute, our dog got very sick and needed to spend a few days at the vet.  We had no idea when our dog would be returning home and we didn’t want to leave him at the [...]

Easier Said than Done

Dear Short Answers: I have my daughter under lock and key — no dating, drugs or alcohol.  But she will be 18 this month. Now what? Dad Dear Dad: Lock and Key is not necessarily what we recommend for teaching teens about responsible choice-making. That said, tell her you are proud of her and that [...]

A Very Good Thing

Dear Short Answers: Why did Mahatma Gandhi want to teach children handicrafts? Joe P Dear Joe: Same reason we like to teach kids crafts.  It develops manual dexterity, a sense of pride when the task is completed, the possibility of sale if they do them well, a prideful connection with their own traditions — and [...]

Equality Is a Fine Concept

Dear Short Answers: I have three sons of adult age.  Two of them have successful business careers but my youngest son is trying to be a professional musician and has had a difficult time making a living.  Consequently, I have given my youngest child a lot more financial help than the other two.  Apparently, my [...]

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