Free to Be You and Me

Dear Short Answers: When you’re having a big dinner party with several different tables, is it proper to split up married couples or should married couples sit together at the same table? Party Coming Dear Party: We tend split up couples … seems to work well. Everyone gets to tell their own story — without […]

Seasonal Greetings

Dear Short Answers: If your cleaning person is a Jehovah’s Witness, is it still appropriate to give her a Christmas tip? Megg Dear Megg: Sure. It is always appropriate to say thank you — and not necessary to call it a Christmas gift. Like Unlike

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 […]

Shelve It

Dear Short Answers: My husband’s family is visiting for a whole week. I really knocked myself out this year with holiday preparations but I don’t think they really appreciate it. I feel resentful — any advice? Trying to Be Good Dear Trying: Try harder. You’ve already committed — don’t blow it in the 9th. Like […]

Behavior Modification

Dear Short Answers: A certain family member never gives gifts but seems to expect them from me. I just don’t feel like it this year. He will probably be miffed but I’m not in the mood.  Is that okay? Not Feeling It Dear Not feeling: Of course it’s okay! Sounds like you’ve trained one selfish […]

Gossip, Plain and Simple

Dear Short Answers: I have two reasonably good friends who have been dating for the past 6 months. When they broke up a few weeks ago, Tracy told me that she didn’t want to give me details but that Brandon had done things to her that were so horrible that no one should go near […]

Some Call It Slander

Dear Short Answers: A new vet recently moved to town and everybody seems to love him.  Unfortunately, I happen to know about some serious “indiscretions” that occurred in the last town he lived in.  These were of a sexual nature and had nothing to do with his skills as a vet.  I’m torn between letting […]

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 […]

Special Christmas Recipe

Dear Short Answers: I will be visiting my married children and their very young kids this holiday. Any advice? Granny Dear Granny: Gratitude is the best drug for anything that bothers you — focus on it and otherwise comment little. Except to lavishly praise all. 1 person likes this post. Unlike

Easy One

Dear Short Answers: Do I have to bring a gift to every damn holiday party? Bah Humbug Dear Bah: You don’t HAVE to — but it’s better to bring something small (a Christmas ornament, a jar of honey) than waste time worrying about it. Like Unlike

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