Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
My girlfriend and I rented an apartment together and put both of our names on the lease. We’ve recently split up and she wants me to move out.  But the apartment is a terrific deal and it doesn’t bother me if we live in the same place since it’s got two bedrooms.  If it bothers her, then she should move out.  She thinks it’s easier for a man to find a new apartment than a woman. (I have no idea why she believes this.) Should I go or should I stay?
Dan the Man

Dear Dan:
Flip a coin. Loser moves.


Dear Short Answers:
My family has been planning a reunion for almost a year. All of us from out of town have purchased plane tickets and made hotel reservations. When finalizing the plans, I found out that my sister and her husband decided to take a vacation during that time and will only attend our final dinner. I’m incensed but don’t know how to handle it. Do I confront her and ask for an explanation? Ignore it and scratch her off my Christmas List? Or cancel the whole reunion and blame her for the inconvenience she has caused?

Dear P:
We totally get your anger and frustration but the reunion is not about your sister. Hopefully the rest of you will have a wonderful time together and make real effort to avoid discussion of HER. You can’t legislate or demand that all members of a family feel the same way about family. She has made a choice — and has chosen not to share her reasons with you. We advise you to focus on those who are attending but we don’t mind if you scratch her off your Christmas List.


Dear Short Answer:
Is it possible to drink a lot and still lose weight?

Dear Hoping:
Look at it another way — you will certainly lose more weight if you drink “a lot less” (all other things remaining equal).


Dear Short Answers:
My partner has never learned that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Consequently, he yells at waiters, argues with front desk clerks, and complains (loudly) to the vet that she is charging too much. A) It’s embarrassing and B) I think it hurts us both in the end. Most people don’t respond well to being yelled at and I think the service you get is worse, not better. How do I fix this? Or do I tell him to wait in the car until I’ve handled everything first?

Dear Nice:
A leopard doesn’t change its spots. Make him wait in the car.


Dear Short Answers:
It has always seemed to me that women are just much nicer than men. Is that true?
Looking at It

Dear Looking:
We have seen great acts of kindness from men and women. Our culture tends to reward women for compassion (niceness) and men for strength (toughness) but we expect BOTH from men and women.

 Life is complicated. Short Answers isn’t.

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