Dear Short Answers: I was very sick last year to the point where I thought I might die. I didn’t but it did make me think about all the stuff I have accumulated in my life. Some of it means a lot to me but doesn’t have much financial value and I didn’t want it [...]

Brother’s Keeper

Dear Short Answers: Every Christmas my family always gets together.  No matter what happened during the year and who is pissed at who. This year, one of my brothers didn’t come.  It was the first time this ever happened. But he had a good reason. He was in jail for Breaking & Entering.  It was [...]

Calibrating Callowness

Dear Short Answers: Our daughter is a sophomore attending college over five hours away from home.  My husband and I learned that she goes on 3 to 4 hour long road trips (sometimes overnight) on weekends with her boyfriend or others without even giving us a heads-up as to her whereabouts.  Since we pay the [...]

Kids are People Too

Dear Short Answers: For the last 3-4 months our previously delightful 9-year old son has been a real pill.  Difficult, easily frustrated, just plain unpleasant. I never took the bait, which he was constantly throwing in my direction. Then, as if by magic, in the last 4 weeks he has completely re-engaged with me. Delightful. [...]


Dear Short Answers: I am 13 years old and my sister is two years older than me, and we always talk about everything. We are like best friends. The problem is, I have a boyfriend, but she doesn’t. So whenever I want to talk with her about how a date went or something that happened, [...]

Casseroles for the Crowd

Dear Short Answers: My husband and I have lived in the Berkshires for over 20 years and we’re about to start the fall season of GUESTS. We love showing off this area to old friends and relatives. But this year, neither of us are working and the budget is tight. In years past, we paid [...]

Spare the Rod; Spoil the Child

Dear Short Answers: My husband has been out of work for almost 2 years and I only work part-time at an insurance office. Unfortunately, this means that our two kids have had to go without a lot of things that other kids seems to have. I could live with that but lately they seem to [...]

Maybe, Maybe Not

Dear Short Answers: My husband and I are both professionals. He is a lawyer, I am a financial consultant. But both of our children (who are in their 20s) are happy in their blue collar jobs. I know that you will tell me that it’s THEIR life — not ours. But how do I convince [...]


Dear Short Answers: As I get older, I worry more and more about who will take care of me when I can’t live on my own. I am in my 70′s and my daughter lives with me. She never married and has some mental problems. And she is getting harder and harder to live with. [...]

Sounds Good

Dear Short Answers: Our son just graduated college and now has an unpaid internship with a literary agent in NYC. He loves it and is doing well but the agent is unable to pay him for three more months. We agreed to subsidize him for three months — he is in his second month. He [...]

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