Independent Studies

Dear Short Answers: My daughter is graduating from college in June and she desperately wants to go to Europe for 2 months with a group of her friends. All of the other parents are paying for their kids to go (at least that’s what my daughter tells me) but I don’t feel good about spending [...]

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 [...]

Slippery Slope

Dear Short Answers: I am 28 and I  just got engaged and I love my girl but she keeps telling me I drink too much. Doesn’t she understand that drinking is part of who I am? Should I tell her to love it or leave it alone? Gonna Be the Groom Dear Groom: It is [...]

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 [...]

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Dear Short Answers: I have recently become aware of some unfriendly gossip about me. It’s a small town.  I do understand why I am the target of this kind of hostility — I am very different from those who are amusing themselves at my expense but it is hurtful and potentially damaging to the work [...]

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Dear Short Answers: I used to be really close to this guy — we were good friends for years. For a variety of reasons, some having to do with me and mostly not, he told me that he had to put our relationship on hold for a little while. I agreed at the time.  More [...]

The Work of Friendship

Dear Short Answers: A friend of mine should have had my back — and didn’t.  I’m sure she didn’t see it that way and it will be hard to get her to understand. It makes me tired just thinking about the conversation. But I’m afraid that if I don’t talk to her about it, it [...]

It’s Your Money and Your Vote

Dear Short Answers: Now that the government is planning to eliminate all funding to the arts, I have been getting a lot of urgent requests from local arts organizations to donate. I cannot possibly afford to give to all of them.  How do I decide how to allocate the limited funds that I have? Do [...]

Fashion Forward

Dear Short Answers: I’ve never been a particularly fashionable person but my 2017 New Year’s Resolution was to try harder this year. So I hired a fashion “consultant” to help me pick out clothes that were a bit trendier.  Unfortunately, I am starting to feel ridiculous — like the two women on “Absolutely Fabulous.”  This [...]

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