Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
Now that Facebook has these automatic alerts, I keep getting birthday announcements in my calendar for people who have passed away. I don’t mind it because it is a reminder of the person and it always makes me stop and think for a few minutes about them.  But my husband thinks it’s morbid and that I should delete them all before my calendar is completely filled with dead people’s birthdays.  What do you think?
Carol Ann

Dear CA:
We think your husband should delete his dead, and that you should manage yours, as you see fit.


Dear Short Answers:
My daughter graduates from kindergarten next week. I am happy to celebrate the moment but the school she attends is having a full-blown “graduation” with cap & gown, diplomas, speeches — it’s crazy. And they are selling tickets to the event for $100 EACH!!!!! I don’t want to scar my daughter for life if I don’t play along — but isn’t this a bit much for kindergarten???
Old-fashioned Dad

Dear Dad:
It’s too late to bail this time but you really might want to re-consider your choice of schools. This is an indication of the values of the school and parent body. If you do not share them, get out ahead of the nightclub birthday parties which are coming your way.


Dear Short Answers:
I think that people at work are laughing at me behind my back but I can’t figure out why. How do I find out what’s going on?
Butt of Joke

Dear BOJ:
Either a) You are paranoid and they ARE NOT laughing at you, or b) They ARE laughing at you but there is some barrier to telling you about the situation. We remember a very hung-over young man in our Hong Kong office who walked out of the bathroom with the entire roll of toilet paper trailing behind him into a sea of giggling female Chinese associates. We imagine that the women didn’t tell him because they thought it was inappropriate. We didn’t tell him because we spoke no Chinese. Laugh along with them and wear a quizzical expression. Perhaps they will choose to communicate.


Dear Short Answers:
Two good friends of mine have recently separated after being married for many, many years. The wife has confided in me that she found out her husband was cheating on her. The husband denies it but can’t convince her that he has been faithful. I happen to know that the husband is right and his wife has been listening to gossip that is untrue. Should I talk to the wife and tell her what I know? Or hope that they will figure it out and eventually come to their senses?
Would Like to Help

Dear Short Answers:
Truth is a highly subjective matter. In affairs of the heart there is much that is not visible to non-participants. They will find their way to where they want to be without “help” from you.



Dear Short Answers:
What is the statute of limitations on keeping a secret?
Want to Talk

Dear Want:
You are bound by your promise until you are released by the person whose confidence you are keeping.

 Life is complicated. Short Answers isn’t.

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