Getting Even

Dear Short Answers: I am a new widow and my married friends insist on paying for me when we go out to dinner. I am uncomfortable with this and have said so — to no avail. What do you suggest? Want to be Fair Dear Fair: There are many ways to compensate your friends.  If [...]

After The Fact

Dear Short Answers: My mother died over a year ago and her cremated ashes were sent to my brother (who is the oldest sibling in the family).  We were supposed to have a memorial service last summer when the whole family could be there but nothing was ever scheduled.  When I bring it up, he [...]

The right to privacy

Dear Short Answers: I have a very good friend whose mother is 97 years old and is suddenly extremely ill.  I imagine that she won’t live more than a few weeks.  My friend refuses to talk about this and pretends that nothing is wrong.  My own parents died in their 90s and we have many [...]

Just Do it!

Dear Short Answers: I should have written a condolence note two months ago, but I didn’t . Now I feel like I need to cross the street every time I see the person. What should I do? Apologize? Mortified Dear M: Trust us, the person is still grieving — write the note. Don’t apologize, it [...]

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 [...]

Who Are You? J. Edgar Hoover?

Dear Short Answers: Last week, the husband of a good friend of mine passed away. He was in his early 60s and it was a big surprise to most people. I knew, however, that “Bill” was heavily into drugs and alcohol and I think that was at least partially the cause of his death. In [...]

The Time and Manner Will Present Itself

Dear Short Answers: My partner of many years died 3 years ago from lung cancer. It was a painful, painful experience that I am just now getting over. I am a cancer survivor myself but it could reappear any time. I am just starting to date again and don’t want to put anyone through what [...]