Dear Short Answers: A friend of mine recently announced the death of a close relative on FaceBook. I was shocked and and thought it was, at the very least very inappropriate. Am I hopelessly old fashioned? Over 30 Dear O: Yes. You are hopelessly old fashioned. FB is many things but at minimum it is [...]

Social Accounting

Dear Short Answers: I am a newly single woman with many friends who are couples. They often ask me out to dinner.  I want to pay my own way but I don’t think it’s fair to “split it” when there are two of them. Am I right? Jayne Dear J: Do what is comfortable for [...]

A Cautionary Tale

Dear Short Answers: My childhood friend has decided to marry a guy I don’t like. I think he holds her back and discourages all attempts at independence she makes. I’ve told her many times what I think but now that they’re engaged, I’ve stopped complaining and try to be supportive. I was polite and very [...]

Mind Your Manners

Dear Short Answers: What do you say to a person whose mother recently passed away but you know that the person hadn’t seen or talked to his mother in years? In fact, I’m pretty sure that he disliked his mother a great deal. Do I send a condolence note or just ignore it? Confused Dear [...]

A Dickinsian Tale

Dear Short Answers: My boyfriend has been living in my home for the past 3 months and I just started to ask him to share some of the expenses. He gladly gave me 1/2 of what I requested and I am wondering how soon can I ask for the rest without appearing to be cheap? [...]

Just Don’t

Dear Short Answers: My husband has the very annoying habit of making me say things I don’t mean and then punishing me for it. For example, he decided that he didn’t want to have a big Thanksgiving dinner this year and wanted to go out to a restaurant instead. I argued with him but he [...]

Good Manners Cover a Multitude of Slips

Dear Short Answers: There is an older woman (in her 70s or 80s I would guess) who I see frequently at the grocery store and other places in town. She is always very well-dressed and seems pretty sharp. The odd thing is that she always introduces herself to me (even though we have met many [...]

Switch Hitting?

Dear Short Answers: I have always thought that I was gay and have been happily having sex with men for 20 years. Until recently. There is a new woman at work who I absolutely adore. I even have dreams about having sex with her. I’d love to ask her out and see what happens. Should [...]

It’s a Strategy

Dear Short Answers: I have had a crush on my yoga instructor for a long time but I always thought that he was gay. I just found out that he has a girlfriend! Now I am perplexed. Can I ask him out (I am female) even though he has a girl friend? We are both [...]

Whose Story Is It?

Dear Short Answers: My son has been heavily involved with drugs and is doing his best to kick the habit. He’s been in jail and in rehab which means that he “disappears” for long periods of time. Most of my friends think he’s working or in college and they ask how he’s doing. I never [...]

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