Different Strokes

Posted on | April 2, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you think of this trend for massive “over-sharing” on social media like Facebook? People talk about the most personal things in their lives.  I try to ignore them but I find that the next time I run into such a person at the store or at a party, they expect me to know that they are getting a divorce, their dog died or they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Aren’t some things best shared (and discussed) on an individual face-to-face basis?
Voting for Real Time Conversation

Dear Voting:
We don’t judge — at least not about this. Many folks find it easier to announce news this way BECAUSE it avoids potentially emotional personal exchanges.

Sometimes, Timing Is Everything

Posted on | April 2, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I recently went to a dinner party that started at 7 PM. I assumed there would be a cocktail hour before dinner but by 9 PM there was no sight of any food except for a bowl of nuts.  I told the host (nicely) that I was starving and asked if we were going to eat soon.  She laughed and said that we were having such fun chatting that we probably wouldn’t eat for another half hour or so.  I smiled and said in that case, I am going to get a pizza.  So I left and got a pizza on my way home.  I know it was rude of me to do that.  But was it unjustified?
Unbelievably Hungry

Dear Hungry:
Well, your reaction was a bit intense, but we feel you.  If the cocktail hour is prolonged, there certainly should be more than a bowl of nuts to sustain one’s guests and mitigate drunkeness.

Your House, Your Rules

Posted on | March 30, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you do about friends who have dogs and bring them EVERYWHERE!! I love dogs but it just strikes me as a bit weird that some people can’t be separated from their pets for a minute.  They take them shopping, they take them on vacation, and if possible, they take them to work.  I’m hesitant to invite these people over for dinner because I know that the dog will come along, too.  And if I tell them to leave their dog at home, it makes me feel like the bad guy and I don’t think I am.  How should I handle this?

Dear Joe:
Just tell them to leave their dog at home — no apologies, no excuses, no explanation required.

Office Manners Circa 2016

Posted on | March 27, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I recently started a new job at a tech firm and everything is going great except for one thing. The person I share an office with is in a wheelchair and needs a lot of additional help.  I completely understand that it takes him longer to do everyday tasks like get coffee or go to the printer.  But I feel like he treats me as if I was his personal assistant.  He is constantly asking me to run little errands for him or do him a “favor.”  In theory, I don’t mind, but I have a job of my own and I don’t want to screw it up by spending too much time helping him do HIS job.  How do I manage this without seeming like I am prejudiced and heartless?
Helping Mate

Dear Mate:
If your company has an HR department, consult them.  If not, discuss openly with your office mate — perhaps agreeing to do his errands once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Ridiculous Question

Posted on | March 27, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I have three friends who are all named “Shawn” and all three of them are gay. Do you think they became gay because they were named Shawn?  Or do you think their parents knew they were going to be gay before they were even born?
Would Love to Know

Dear Know:
We require a bit more information.  Are all spelled “Shawn”, or is there a “Sean” in the group?

Being There

Posted on | March 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I finally convinced my husband to join me at a family reunion this spring in Vermont where many of my current family members live. One of my concessions was that we would stay in a hotel rather than with my brother.  Unfortunately, my husband is also planning to eat out at restaurants rather than with my family and is probably thinking that we will go hiking and biking on our own.  I’m starting to think that it would be better if I went alone and spent the weekend with family instead of “hiding out” with my husband.  Although my whole family is looking forward to his being there.  Should I encourage him to come and hope that he changes his mind about “family time?”  Or is he doing this intentionally so that I dis-invite him?
Sister Sal

Dear Sal:
Leave him home. He clearly doesn’t want to play. Oh — and have a great time!

1 person likes this post.

Carpe Diem

Posted on | March 24, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
My husband and I have always wanted to live in Europe.  When we were working, that wasn’t possible but now that we are retired, we have been looking at potential cities and apartments that we can rent.  Unfortunately, before we could actually pull the trigger and go, my husband developed a serious illness that prohibits him from traveling too far from his medical care. Would it be horrible for me to go to Europe without him?  I could certainly return  if I had to.  Next year, he might be too sick for me to leave. What would you do?
Traveling pants

Dear Pants:
Make sure his condition REALLY prohibits travel. Perhaps his treatment can be postponed, or can it be delivered in a European City? Perhaps you both can go for a shorter time. Traveling separately at this time seems problematic.

Conspicuously Absent

Posted on | March 13, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
Have you noticed that even in this 24/7 campaign coverage, education is barely mentioned?
A Citizen

Dear Citizen:
Yes, we have noticed. Bernie’s promise of free college notwithstanding, there seems to be very little discussion of how we get  our primary and secondary education competitive in the world market. Too difficult a problem for provocative sound bites?

You’re Kidding, Right?

Posted on | March 13, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
I think that my wife should not disagree with me in public. She thinks that is old-fashioned.  Who is right?
Insistent Hubby

Dear insistent:
She is. We can’t even imagine that your brand of sexism was ever acceptable.

Hang onto Your Wallet

Posted on | March 5, 2016 | Comments Off

Dear Short Answers:
What do you think of this new trend to raise money on sites like Kickstarter for personal vacations and weddings? I’ve gotten a half dozen of these requests over the past couple of months.  Since when did it become MY responsibility to pay for YOUR vacation.  This takes a lot of nerve don’t you think?
Frankly Appalled

Dear Frank:
Yes, we do find it pretty strange but we don’t worry too much.  We just don’t contribute to requests of this kind.

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