Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman

IF YOU ARE GONNA TELL THE TRUTH, TELL IT ALL

Dear Short Answers:
I went on a business trip a couple of weeks ago to a city that I’ve always wanted to visit. I decided to extend my stay by a day so that I could sightsee but I knew that my wife would be jealous and upset so I didn’t tell her that I had done that.  Now that I’m back, I’m feeling guiltier and guiltier about lying to her (although I didn’t really lie, I just didn’t tell her the whole truth).  Should I tell her what happened or just forget about it and move on?
Pete

Dear P:
Tell her the whole story and include that you wish you could have called and said “hey honey, I’m staying an extra day.”  Tell her you didn’t because you thought she would be unenthusiastic — so you took the low road.  THAT is the problem, not the extra day.

THE PROBLEM OF STUFF

Dear Short Answers:
My mother is getting to that age (she’s in her 90s) when she is starting to give away all of her possessions to her family and friends.  I understand her need to do this and appreciate the small items like jewelry and personal mementos that I have received. But she is now starting to give away furniture and other large items that I neither want nor have room for. Plus, they are a pain to move since I have to hire people to do it. How should I handle her requests that I take a bed or a bureau or a dining table?  Should I take them and give them to Goodwill? Or a rent a storage room in case she ever wants them back? Or tell her the truth?
Daughter with Enough Stuff

Dear Daughter:
Tell your mother that you think it best that she keep her house and things intact until she passes.  Ask her to list or put stickies on things she wants specific people to have and that you will take care of it when the time comes.

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

Dear Short Answers:
I am very happy with the job I currently have but I often get calls from recruiters. Is it wrong to go on job interviews if I’m really not interested?
GAP

Dear GAP:
It doesn’t hurt to talk and you may stumble on something interesting or meet someone who could be useful at another time.  Our only caution is keep your game face on.  Nothing is more irritating to an interviewer than an interviewee who is arrogant or indifferent.

GET CRACKING OR GET GOING

Dear Short Answers:
I never feel secure when I am around a certain group. I try to reassure myself, trying to tell myself that everyone has their own weaknesses and strengths, but I just can’t. Deep down, I really feel that those people are always, no matter what, better than me.
Feeling Inferior

Dear Inferior:
Better according to what standards?  Get a grip — if you admire these others for good reasons (you endorse their values) then get cracking!  If you don’t share their values, find other people to hang with!

Life is complicated. Short Answers isn’t.

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