Don’t Ask, Never Tell

Posted on | August 29, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I know that I shouldn’t have told him, but I admitted to my boy friend that I had sex with quite a few guys before I met him. Now, he can’t stop talking about it.  When we have sex, he asks me how he “rates.”  When we don’t have sex, he asks me if I had enough with my previous flames.  I’ve asked him several times that that part of my life is over but he won’t leave well enough alone.  Do you think he’ll get over it one day or is this a warning sign that we should break up now?

Dear Sorry:
When a new partner asks about past sex, the least information is always best. It is kind of like the “do I look fat?” question. Now that you’ve spilled the beans (and obviously made him insecure, devote a few weeks to restoring his confidence.

Importance of Being Equal

Posted on | August 29, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband’s mother comes from the old school where a wife was completely subservient to her husband.  So despite the fact that I make just as much money as my husband does, she treats me like a second-class person.  I wouldn’t mind this so much because we don’t see her very often but the problem is that my husband treats me the same way when his mother is around.  I’ve asked him nicely to stop but he swears he doesn’t act any different when she’s around (which is NOT TRUE!!!).  How do I get him to treat me like his equal even when his mother is in the room????
Equal Partner

Dear Equal:
He is obviously regressing to a childhood (and childish) pattern around his mom. Lighten up. Gentle teasing or perhaps a private signal when he lapses into disrespect might work.  And for the record, we think equal partnership is an entitlement that is not necessarily based on equal earnings.

1 person likes this post.

We Cry “Foul”

Posted on | August 29, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I do a lot of traveling and like to take my dog with me.  My dog is a little too big to stow under the seat on airplanes so I got a “Service Dog” certificate that lets me keep him at my feet without having to put him in a pet carrier.  Technically, I guess I don’t “need” to travel with my dog but my life is certainly a lot nicer when he’s along.  Since the doctor I went to for the certificate was quite willing to give it to me, I don’t think I’m “breaking the law.” But friends tell me that it’s wrong to do this since I’m not really mentally or physically disabled.  Are they right?
Love da Baby

Dear Love:
Perhaps you are not breaking the law (but perhaps your physician is) — it is about abuse of privledge and community.  Your dog on board means someone else’s dog (who may really be disabled) won’t be.  There are airlines that allow dogs in the cabin for a fee, and those that provide climate controlled accommodations (also for a fee).  We are very doggish and prefer traveling with ours as well, but claiming disability and free benefits that belong to others seems piggy, not doggish.

1 person likes this post.

Truth Time

Posted on | August 20, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers and we are all over 50.  Some of my siblings have made bad financial, career and education choices in their lives and are paying the price for it now.  Several of them have asked for major “loans” from me.  And when I say “major” I mean over $25,000.  I can afford to do it but afraid that “lending” them the money will make our sensitive relationship even worse.  Is it better to lend the money and risk never getting it back or should I force them to fend for themselves?
“Richie Rich”

Dear Rich:
We are hearing that” loans” are not “loans” they are GIFTS.  Now, how do you feel about it?  How do your sibs feel about it? Be clear with them — and with yourself.  GIFT not LOAN.  Get it?

Cents and Sensibility

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My daughter is turning 5 next month which is a very important event in my family (my parents were born in Japan).  We are going to Disney World to celebrate which is rather expensive for all of us but my parents want to pay for the trip.  I didn’t invite my in-laws because I know that they can’t afford it but they would come anyway and have huge bills to pay afterwards.  Do you think I’m doing the right thing by not inviting them?  I know they’ll be angry but I think that’s better than going into debt just to go to a birthday party.
Anxious Mom

Dear Mom:
It doesn’t feel right not to invite your in-laws on the presumption that they cannot afford it. This is the kind of thing some people never get over. Perhaps you can find a face-saving way to spare them some of the expense …. pay their airfare as an early Christmas present?  Rent a house that is large enough for everyone?

1 person likes this post.

The Less Said, the Better

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A good friend of mine recently passed away very suddenly and a bunch of his friends (including me) decided to go to a strip club to “celebrate” because we all knew that he went there often.  He even had a couple of favorite strippers who we tipped generously that night.  His wife, unfortunately, was appalled.  Apparently, she didn’t know that he frequented this place and she thought our behavior was disgusting.  Should I try to explain WHY we went there or just let her think we are all insensitive idiots?

Dear FOB:
Live with the “insensitive idiot” tag.  Explaining will only dig a deeper hole.

1 person likes this post.

Artful Negotiation

Posted on | August 19, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband is 68 years and in perfect health.  But he is obsessed with “not being a burden” to anybody when he gets older.  He has started to talk about moving into an assisted living facility so “we’re ready” when the time comes.  My philosophy is to wait as long as possible before giving up and moving to an old folks home.  Do you think it’s all just talk or should I be concerned?  He manages all the money so when he decides to move, I won’t have a choice

Dear Help:
Whether or not “he manages all the money,” you certainly “have a choice” in this matter.  This is a serious conversation about which there are many views. We urge you to give voice to yours.  (BTW, assisted living does not mean “giving up” nor is it respectful to your husband’s view to refer to it that way.  (Ditto “old folks home”)

Much Ado about Nothing

Posted on | August 17, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’ve been a friend of Mary Claire’s for 5 years now.  Her daughter is getting married and does not want any of her former coaches, doctors, or teachers present (my husband is one of them).  Mary Claire asked if I can attend as the guest of another friend (female) of ours who was invited alone.  She said she hopes my husband will understand, acknowledging that this is indeed awkward, yet making it clear that it is her daughter’s wedding and naturally, the bride rules.  Another friend  suggested that Mary Claire’s daughter is being highly immature, and that I should not feel pressured to attend under these circumstances.  I have been leaning toward not attending, however, my husband, a very sound person and not hurt by any of this, knows how immature the daughter is and feels I may disappoint Mary Claire if I do not attend the wedding as our friend’s guest.  While I understand Mary Claire’s good intentions, I am evaluating my comfort level in addressing innocent inquiries at the wedding as to why my husband is not present.  Way too much to think about here, and I’m not even the bride!  LOL!  So, my ask is this:  Go or not go and why?

Dear Betty:
Go to the wedding. If people ask where your husband is, say he wasn’t invited. Simple.

Hosting 101

Posted on | August 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
If you are having a party and you know for certain that one of the guests is going to bring a person that everyone HATES, is it appropriate to ask that guest in advance to bring someone else?  Or does an invitation to a party allow a guest to bring whoever they want?

Dear TT:
Yes, an invitation means that you gracefully receive what comes your way.

Immutable Law of Nature

Posted on | August 10, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I caught my friend cheating on his girlfriend, should I tell her?

Dear Pete:
No, she will find out in time. Everyone does.

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