Let It Go

Posted on | July 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My boyfriend and I are planning to get married in the fall.  We are both Catholic, we both want kids and we agree on just about everything important.  There’s only one silly problem.  My boyfriend grew up in the city and I grew up in the suburbs.  I can’t imagine trying to raise a family in the city.  And I can’t imagine living in an apartment without a yard and neighbors.  Do I let him have his way for now and hope that he eventually changes his mind?  Or do we need to get this settled before we get married?
Bride  2 B

Dear 2B:
We smile at the thought that life issues “get settled” once and for all times — before or after you say “I do.”  Marriage is an adventure with many things you “can’t imagine” in store for you.  That’s the fun of it.  And maybe YOU will change your mind and find a house with a yard and neighbors in the middle of a metropolis. They exist.

Above Our Pay Grade

Posted on | July 8, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I think a friend of mine is a kleptomaniac.  Do I tell her that I know?  Do I ignore it?  But what if she gets arrested and I could have stopped her?  I’m totally confused about how to handle this. Help!!!!
Silent and Suffering

Dear S&S:
Come out with it: “Hey, what’s with the stealing?”   If you are correct in your diagnosis, this is way over your head, and ours, and requires professional intervention. Letting her know you are aware may open a door — but don’t be too surprised if she denies it — or is angry at you.

Becoming a 21st Century Lady

Posted on | July 6, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I’m just getting back into dating after being married for over 20 years.  My husband was only the third man I ever slept with but I’m concerned that things are a bit looser today.  I’m not a prude but I don’t want to seem too eager either.  How many dates should I have with a man before having sex?

Dear Rusty:
Guess what? No more rules! It doesn’t make it easier — it makes it harder. And if you make a mistake that’s okay, too.  Just don’t apologize — or explain.

It’s Not Your Party

Posted on | July 6, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A very good friend is getting married in September. I just had a baby in June and she has said very clearly “no babies!” at the wedding. My baby will be only 3 months old and I don’t think this is fair! (I’m nursing,) What do you think?
Mama Bear

Dear mama:
Congratulations to you but this is not your show. The bride has every right to center stage and as you know, babies (and new moms) are notorious scene steelers. Get a sitter or stay home.

Department of Over-Think

Posted on | July 2, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
How do you tactfully invite some of your co-workers to your wedding and not others?  Should I include a message at the bottom of the invitation that says “please keep this invitation confidential?”  If I do that it sounds like we are getting married in secret.  That’s not the case, I just don’t want to offend anybody I work with (especially my bosses).
In a Tizzy

Dear Tizzy:
Relax. No need for confidentiality agreement. At about puberty, most folks have learned to accept the other fact of life: Everyone doesn’t get invited to everything.

Damn the Torpedoes?

Posted on | July 2, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My boss has made some very flirtatious remarks to me and has come very close to asking me out on a date.  But every time I think he’s going to do it, he stops himself and says “of course I can’t ask you on a date because we have rules about that sort of thing here.”  I’d be happy to go out with him but not sure how to handle.  Is he waiting for me to say it’s okay?  Or is he just teasing me?
Ready to Roll

Dear Ready:
Are you sure it is a brilliant idea to date your boss?  If so, let him know you are undeterred by popular wisdom or company rules.

A Little Give and Take

Posted on | June 29, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I don’t want to get too gross here, but my boyfriend only likes certain kinds of sex (the kinkier kinds) and refuses to indulge me when I ask about the more normal stuff — he says it’s boring and it doesn’t get him turned on.  I’m worried, first of all, that we can never have children (because that’s one kind of sex he doesn’t like). I’m happy to experiment but not sure I want to give up just plain old regular sex.  Do you think he might not be the right guy for me?  He says that years from now, I will thank him for this.
Not So Happy

Dear Not So:
Your willingness to explore outside your comfort zone is commendable and his unwillingness to engage in what you like is concerning. We presume he means you will “thank him later” for his inventiveness, but you would like to be able to thank him now for being more attuned to your wishes.

Who Said It Would Be Easy?

Posted on | June 28, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I know that it’s tough for a kid, even a college graduate, to get a job these days.  But is it better to let your kid live at home after college so they can “find themselves” or should I kick the little birds out of the nest?
Mama Bird

Dear Mama:
Yes, encourage flight. Kicking them out of the nest  does not presume a soft landing  but it is the way of the world.


Posted on | June 15, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
When I go out to dinner with friends and we are splitting the check,  I am very sensitive about the price of the wine that I select.  But sometimes, there just isn’t a wine for under $20 that I would drink. So I pick something in the $40-50 range.  Is it wrong to make the other couple pay for half the wine if I know that they don’t really appreciate it and wouldn’t spend that much normally?
Wine Enthusiast

Dear Enthusiast:
We think the wine’s on you.

Use It or Lose It

Posted on | June 15, 2014 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
A very good friend of mine is in her fifties and has had a string of health problems — from diabetes to arthritis.  Years ago, she used to try to be active but little by little she has gotten lazier and lazier. Some days, the furthest she walks is from the bed to her bathroom.  I feel bad for her but how do I make her understand that giving up is not the answer and that the more active she is, the better she will feel?  I am afraid that she will just waste away if I don’t do something to help her.
Want to Help

Dear Want To:
A good conversation may be in order.  But judgements like “lazier and lazier” or “giving up” are bound to undermine your good intentions.

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