Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
I was invited to a dinner party last week at the home of someone who does not drink. They never mentioned this to me, I just heard it from other people. I like to have wine with dinner so I brought a couple of bottles with me just in case they didn’t have any wine on hand for their guests and, of course, I thought that other people would like some as well. When I handed them the bottles at their front door, they were aghast and told me to take the wine back to my car because liquor was NEVER allowed in their house. I was very embarrassed and had a miserable time — and of course, I didn’t even got a glass of wine!!! Was I wrong to bring wine? Shouldn’t they have said something in advance? After all, it was a dinner party!!!

Dear Thirsty:
Yes, they certainly should have told you theirs was a dry house. And their behavior was certainly less than welcoming — so you decide if you want to continue the relationship or if it presents too many complications.


Dear Short Answers:
A couple I know quite well is in the midst of a very bitter divorce. The wife is suing for half of his assets, alimony and child support. I happen to know for a fact that she has been cheating on him for the past 2 years. I hate to see the husband get taken for a ride. Should I call and tell him? Should I contact his attorney (I don’t know who it is but I could probably find out)? I feel obligated to do something.
Can’t Stand By

Dear Can’t:
We understand the instinct to come forward, but these things are often more complicated than they appear to bystanders. If you must, tell your friend that you will help him in any way you can, but wait before revealing any information that he may be unprepared to hear.


Dear Short Answers:
I recently started going to a new dentist who was recommended by a good friend (who is also female and about my age, mid-40s). At my first visit I was shocked at how “friendly” he was. He is a very handsome man (about 35 I would guess) so, on the one hand, I didn’t mind. But it seemed inappropriate in a medical setting. And I worry that perhaps my friend knew what she was doing when she recommended him. As long as it doesn’t go too far — is it okay to flirt with your dentist? Or should I stop this right now? It does make it a bit nicer to go to the dentist!
Ruthy T

Dear Ruthy:
What’s friendly? What’s appropriate? What’s too far? Sorry, but it is you who must draw this line. Hint: do you want a relationship — or a dentist? About your friend — easy answer. Ask her if this was a set-up.


Dear Short Answers:
If I see someone at an office party snorting cocaine, do I have an obligation to report him to HR?
An Employee

Dear E:


Life is complicated. Short Answers isn’t.

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