Emotion on Demand?

Posted on | January 12, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Both of my parents recently passed away at the age of 92 and 96. They had wonderful lives, weren’t too sick and raised a large and pretty normal family. I didn’t make a big deal of their passing but I’ve mentioned it to a few people who are appalled that I seem to be taking this so calmly. First, there ain’t nothing I can do about this. And second, we’re all going to die and I can only hope that my passing is as easy as my parents. Is there a snappy retort that I can give to the people who seem to think that I must be an uncaring, selfish lout if I don’t break down into tears when I talk about my parents’ deaths?
Not Grieving

Dear Not:
We think you have remarkable perspective. You owe no one tears nor explanation. Perhaps you can say something benign like ” what is, is….”

Closed Mouths Don’t Get Fed

Posted on | January 12, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What’s the best way to handle a neighbor who parks all over your property during holidays, inconveniencing your visitors, and what should his response be when notified?
Irritated

Dear Irritated:
A firm but polite note to your neighbor right now seems appropriate. As to his response…we can hardly wait!

Say What?

Posted on | January 12, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
For the past 25 years I have pretty much spent all my time (and money) raising my three kids.  I certainly don’t regret it for a minute but I’m definitely glad that they are grown up and on their own. So I was surprised when my oldest daughter told me that she was pregnant and that she “expected” me to help raise her child (she is not married although she is living with the father).  I’m not sure what this means but I definitely do not plan to be an on-call, 24-hour a day baby sitter.  I’ve tried to explain this to my daughter but she gets hysterical and claims that raising grandkids is just as much my responsibility as raising kids.  I don’t know where she got this idea but I’m not sure what to do.  Do I need to make my position clearer NOW or should I just wait until the baby is born and make sure that I’m not available to help “raise” her child?
Grandma-to-Be

Dear Grandma:
Tell her frequently and often and right NOW that you are no longer on duty and that you will visit only as the spirit moves you.

Universal Truth

Posted on | January 3, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How is marriage like a business?
Keeping Track

Dear Track:
Keep your budget balanced — don’t let withdrawals get ahead of deposits.

It’s About Values

Posted on | January 3, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you do if you and your best friend both like the same guy? Is dating a guy worth losing your best friend over?
Jane

Dear Jane:
Best friends are hard to come by. Talk to her and we think you two will come up with the right thing to do.

Addicts and the People Who Love Them

Posted on | January 3, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have a really close friend who is dating a drug addict. In fact, they are living together. My friend keeps asking me what to do and I try not to give advice because I don’t want to get into the middle of their very bad relationship. At least it seems pretty bad to me. Should I support my friend and help him dump his drug addict boyfriend? Or should I stay out of it and let them figure it out for themselves?
Concerned

Dear Concerned:
Your friend is 50% owner of this relationship. He got in in it for reasons you may not understand and he will have to find his way out — if he wants to.

1 person likes this post.

Silver and Gold

Posted on | January 3, 2015 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
As I get older, I feel like I shouldn’t have to be friends with annoying, stupid people any more. But then I think that I’m probably getting too old to make new friends and I should be nice to the ones I have (even if I don’t like them very much). Which alternative do you think is the right one?
GFD

Dear GFD:
Old Friends — those you have kept for decades, can never be replaced. There just isn’t time. So discard with care. AND we are always in favor of making new ones.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Posted on | December 21, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How much time should a husband and wife have to spend together? Other than sleeping and going to work, my wife expects me to spend every minute of every day with her. I love her, but it’s driving me crazy.
Too Much

Dear Too:
You need to talk to her about this. First you need to reassure her that giving one another space is not about getting away from each other, it is about providing the opportunity to refresh and grow and that your expectation is that some separation will likely bring greater excitement and depth to your relationship.

If It Feels Freaky, It Is Freaky

Posted on | December 14, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Last year my daughter was a foreign exchange student in Norway so this year, as part of the program, we have taken in a student from Venezuela. She’s a lovely girl and my daughter and her have become great friends. The problem is my husband who I fear has become infatuated with her. He tries to spend as much time with her as possible. Even more time than he spends with his own daughter. I’ve talked to him about this but he claims that he’s only being a good “host parent.” I don’t want to go to the host committee that is sponsoring this exchange because I don’t want them to think that something strange might be going on (which I absolutely don’t think it is). But it’s starting to freak me out and I’m not sure what do to.

Mom

Dear Mom:
Tell him he is making you uncomfortable and he is only to spend time with the visiting student when accompanied by your daughter! Mean what you say and make other living arrangements for the girl if he does not agree.

Wait This Out

Posted on | December 14, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My son was caught smoking at school and was suspended for a week. First of all, getting suspended is one of the stupidest punishments ever but that’s not my question. He was smoking with a friend of his who didn’t happen to get caught. Would it be helpful if I told his friend’s parents about this? Or is this none of my business and I should just let them find out when their son is the one who gets caught?
Doesn’t Seem Fair

Dear Fair:
Fair or not, your kid is the one who got caught. Hers didn’t … at least not yet. Bide your time.

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