Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Posted on | March 15, 2017 | Comments Off

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 I do. Confront? Ignore? Send off my own stink bomb?
Much Maligned

Dear MM:
Bide your time. The time and manner will present itself.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Posted on | March 15, 2017 | Comments Off

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 than 6 months later, he wrote me a catch-up email. But I don’t think I want to have a relationship with someone who shelves me until it’s convenient.  Do I say so? Or just not answer?
Never Liked Leftovers

Dear Leftover:
Couldn’t agree more. One is well within their rights to propose a friendship hiatus, but there are risks in doing so. Human beings rarely enjoy being put in moth balls — and are generally less forthcoming after such an experience. He sent you an email? Really? You can explain or not. We wouldn’t.

The Work of Friendship

Posted on | March 15, 2017 | Comments Off

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 will happen again. Is it worth it?
Meg

Dear Meg:
YES, it is worth it. For all the reasons you already know and understand.

It’s Your Money and Your Vote

Posted on | March 1, 2017 | Comments Off

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 I give to the big ones that are likely to stay in business?  Or do I give to the small ones who might suffer the most but might also collapse whether or not I donate?  What’s the best policy in your opinion?
Big Heart, Small Bank Account

Dear Big/Small:
This is above our pay grade — but that never stops us! Our philosophy is: #1 — Stay Local. #2 — Do your homework on the organizations you care about.  Are they 501c3 corporations? Do you agree with their mission? Do you know any of the people involved? Have they demonstrated sustainability in the past? Once you’ve answered these questions, the most deserving organizations should rise to the top.


Fashion Forward

Posted on | March 1, 2017 | Comments Off

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 consultant comes highly recommended by friends (and my friends all say that I look terrific) but I’m just not sure if high fashion is the right thing for me.  Should I stick with it a bit longer or should I throw in the towel and go back to my old closet of pants and blouses?
Not AbFab

Dear Not:
We applaud your commitment to a personal re-stage! It takes courage.  However, it is not surprising that after years as a sparrow you feel uncomfortable as a peacock. These are early days. Tell you consultant to dial it back a bit and talk to us again in June.

1 person likes this post.

Sensitive

Posted on | March 1, 2017 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A friend bought me an expensive micro-dermabrasion device for my birthday that she saw on TV. I tried it and my whole face broke out in a rash.  My face cleared up by the time I saw my friend next and she asked me if I “loved” my new device.  I didn’t know what to say so I just thanked her again.  Should I tell her the truth or just let this go?
Delicate Skin

Dear Delicate:
If it comes up again, tell the truth. Lies beget lies.


Sick

Posted on | February 24, 2017 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
It seems like I have a lot of friends who are getting serious illnesses these days.  (Maybe it’s because we’re all getting older!)  They post regular updates on Facebook but I never know what to say other than “get well soon” or “sending love in your direction!”  That seems too weak a response to someone who just announced that they have cancer or need a lung transplant.  Can you think of something more sensitive sounding?
Response Challenge

Dear Response:
O
ur view is that if you have an empathetic, caring reaction to someone’s trouble, of any kind, FB is not the place to share that feeling. Try a phone call or an email or a private message.  Nothing wrong with “sending love” or likes but the vehicle is not personal.

3 people like this post.

Friends Don’t Let Friends

Posted on | February 24, 2017 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My friend and I were shopping last week at the mall and went we got home I found out that she had stolen a bra from one of the stores we were at.  I was shocked but she explained to me that she bought a lot of clothes there and that they have made a lot of money off her so this was her “reward” for being a good customer.  I’m not sure what to say and what to do.  If I report her to the store she might get in real trouble but if I do nothing it’s like I’m agreeing with her strange point of view.  Advice?
Witness to the Crime

Dear Witness:
This isn’t Sherwood forest and she isn’t Robin Hood. Tell her that here on planet earth, stealing is still stealing, and that you don’t like it.

1 person likes this post.

And Don’t Tell Me to Take a Chill Pill

Posted on | February 13, 2017 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Why is everyone so angry?
We the People

Dear People:
Seriously, we think some people are angry because they feel very vulnerable right here in the USA. Others are angry because they have great empathy for those who are vulnerable. And some are angry because the current environment supports anger and does not place a high value on civility.

1 person likes this post.

Defer, Delay, Deflect

Posted on | February 10, 2017 | Comments Off

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 Italy. My husband and I have avoided the topic whenever it comes up but now it’s getting awkward. They clearly must remember the trip differently than we do. Should we continue to deflect their invitations? Or do we simply tell them that we will never ever under any circumstances go on a trip with them again?
Feeling Pressured

Dear Pressured:
No reason to tell all — just tell them you want to vacation alone this year.

1 person likes this post.

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