Family Matters

Dear Short Answers: I have a large family that I see rather infrequently (due to distance, not compatibility).  Every couple of years one of my siblings or cousins shows up at our house either “unannounced” or with only a day or two notice.  I used to find it extremely annoying and mentioned it to them [...]

What About a Day Job?

Dear Short Answers: One of my children desperately wants to be an actor and has worked very hard to be a success. But no matter what he does — classes, auditions, networking — he doesn’t get any paying jobs.  Which means that I continue to pay his rent so he doesn’t end up on the [...]

Glitter and Gold

Dear Short Answers: Through a hurtful set of circumstances, my brother’s wife got all my mother’s jewelry when my dad passed. I thought I could handle it but it comes up for me a lot — with enough bitterness to leave a bad taste. She never even met my mother! I don’t even care if [...]

Defer, Delay, Deflect

Dear Short Answers: Last summer, two other married couples joined my husband and I on a two week trip to France. It started out well but by the end of the trip none of us were speaking to each other. One of the couples is now suggesting that we do it again next summer in [...]

Antidote for Boredom

Dear Short Answers: Why is schooling important? Student Dear Student: If you mean education, it is important because it makes the world available to you: Arts, Travel, Adventure, Work Opportunity and perhaps most important, the expansive nature of your own mind. Like Unlike

Don’t Get Angry, Get Even

Dear Short Answers: I know for a fact that as a woman I make less money than the men at work who have exactly the same job. I have talked to HR but they deny that this is true and of course refuse to tell me what the other people make.  Should I keep complaining [...]

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 [...]

Measuring Up

Dear Short Answers: I’ve always liked really tall guys but I think I’m falling in love with a guy who is even shorter than I am. Is it possible to change one’s taste in men?  Or do you think this is just a short guy phase that I will grow out of?  I don’t want [...]

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 [...]

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