Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
I hate wearing costumes. But it seems like every party I get invited to these days is a “costume event.”  In the past month, I’ve been invited to a Wild West Party, a Roaring 20s Party, a Movie Star Look-a-like Party and a Dress-Like-Your-Mother Party.  Should I keep saying “no” to all these events or should I attend in street clothes and risk being a downer?

Dear Downer:
Wardrobe change unleashes the tiger.  Dressing like your mother, has some amusing psychosexual possibilities, as does movie star look alike! What’s the problem? Don’t have the wardrobe? Try the thrift shop.


Dear Short Answers:
Everybody at work seems to think I’m gay even though I am not. The women ask me advice on clothes and hair and the men roll their eyes and change the subject when I try to talk about sports. It’s just not funny anymore and it makes me uncomfortable. How do I convince them that I am straight?
John Doe

Dear John:
Respect for your fashion sense and disrespect for your sports commentary has little to do with sexuality except in mass audience sit-coms. You are on the wrong page. This isn’t about “convincing” — it’s about relaxing.


Dear Short Answers:
I just got a new boss at work who runs the entire department of about 75 people. She announced at her VERY FIRST meeting, that it was her policy to re-interview EVERY PERSON in the department every 3 years to make sure that they were not getting lazy and that they were the best possible person for the job. So anyone who has held their current job for 3 years or more was put on automatic notice and would be “re-interviewed.” I have done a great job for 12 years at this company and I am beyond angry. So is everyone else. I spoke to HR but they don’t seem to care. Have you ever heard of such a crazy thing? Should we all quit?
So Angry

Dear Angry:
We completely understand why you and your co-workers are upset, nonetheless, something about the idea is very appealing.  We don’t know what business you are in, or how clear the performance standards are for your job, but this could be an opportunity for improvement, invigoration and innovation.  Get over being angry and work with her and others to come up with transparent goals and benchmarks.  Maybe she shouldn’t be the only interviewer — and maybe she should submit to the same evaluation procedures.


Dear Short Answers:
For the past 10 years, I have had a big 4th of July barbecue at my house and invited just about everyone I know. This year, I’ve decided to take a year off from all the work. Unfortunately, I’ve heard a couple of people tell me how much they are looking forward to the barbecue again and are planning to attend. Would it be weird to send out a note and tell people that I am NOT having a party? I’m just afraid that some people might just show up and be disappointed (and maybe even angry).

Dear Tired:
Yes it is weird to send out a NO PARTY note. We don’t think people will just “show up” and if they are disappointed, we imagine they will recover. Angry? Oh, please.

Life is complicated. Short Answers isn’t.

Send a question about whatever is bothering you to or go to and a psychologist and sociologist will answer. A selection of the best questions will be printed every week in KonkLife.