When You’re Right, You’re Right

Dear Short Answers: Am I old-fashioned? I still expect thank you notes for gifts. I prefer a short handwritten card, but even an email will do if it’s prompt. A text only works to communicate immediate excitement but to me isn’t a real thank you. What do you think? Irritated Auntie Dear Auntie: We are [...]

It’s Complicated

Dear Short Answers: Are young people ruder today than they used to be? Often Offended Dear OO: What is considered “rude” is controlled by many things.  It is cultural, generational, and as variable as fashion. Young people probably  aren’t ruder, but you  are definitely older than you used to be. Like Unlike

Multiple Choice

Dear Short Answers: Appropriate response or action is needed to handle a 50-year old brother-in-law who deliberately and graphically burps and passes gas in front of others while at family dinners. He’s the only one finding this amusing and nobody wants to eat around him, including children. I’m sure this jerk can’t be reasoned with, [...]

Keeping It Light

Dear Short Answers: My senior director at work (to whom I report) is intelligent, personable, and well-respected. She often employs an incorrect word when speaking at meetings. For instance, when it is clear she means to say “semantics” she says “schematics” which are clearly different. She also says “Orientals” instead of “Asians.” Looking for advice [...]

Why Wait?

Dear Short Answers: How long can you wait to write a thank you note? Always Late Dear Late: It is never too late to say “thank you” –  however time is not on your side. People expect to be thanked promptly and warmly. When they are not thanked promptly, they become irritated. When they are [...]

Clothes Maketh the Man

Dear Short Answers: A friend of mine’s husband recently passed away. He was very stylish and had a great many wonderful clothes (which I often commented on). I’m sure that my friend remembered because she has given my husband boxes and boxes of her husband’s old clothes. The problem is that they aren’t the nice [...]

Strange New World

Dear Short Answers: I don’t use Facebook and I don’t want to start. But it seems that lately, people are making their big life announcements on Facebook instead of telling you in person or sending personal notes. I was the last person to find out that a good friend had a grandchild because she announced [...]

Make It Stop!

Dear Short Answers: Since airlines have stopped serving meals more people seem to be boarding with steaming, smelly cartons of airport junk food. I actually saw a woman spill hot coffee on a seated passenger as she struggled with her carry on and what appeared to be a 5-course meal. HELP Weary Road Warrior Dear [...]


Dear Short Answers: I have a friend who goes out to lunch with me and after her meal, she takes out a toothpick or a floss stick and begins to pick at her teeth. It turns my stomach as I sit across from her. Am I wrong to be grossed out? Totally Nauseated Dear TN: [...]

New Rules

Dear Short Answers: A good friend’s son just got married.  It was a small, impromptu family-only event.  Am I obligated to send a gift? Uninvited Dear Un: You are certainly NOT obligated to send a gift.  However, if you are fond of the groom and/or know him personally, a note to the couple is a [...]

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