Dec. 31 Short Answers
Paula Forman and Jeff Johnson
Sunday, December 31, 2017
SARTORIALLY SPLENDID (NOT!)
Dear Short Answers: Can you settle an argument that I am having with my wife? I like to wear old clothes around the house and I admit that some of them are a bit ratty. They’re clean but a stain here or there. My wife thinks I should try to look nice all the time even when nobody else is around. I think that’s stupid and a waste of time. Who’s right? — Mr. Natural
Dear Mr. Natural: Sounds like she is saying you should look nice for her. We couldn’t agree more. Wake up before she walks off.
Dear Short Answers: My husband recently decided to change jobs without even discussing this with me. It’s in the same city so we don’t need to move or anything like that. And he will be making a little bit more money so that won’t change anything. But I was just shocked that he would make a major life decision without talking it over with me. Isn’t that what being married is all about? Perhaps this is a signal that I should wake up and smell the coffee. — Miffed
Dear Miffed: Perhaps this is a signal that he doesn’t think you are interested.
THE DRINK OF WATER THEORY
Dear Short Answers: Why are women so insistent their husbands and boyfriends only have sex with them. It’s not like sex is a big deal to most men. Wouldn’t most marriages be a lot happier if men could fool around on the side? — Looking for More
Dear Looking: When we were young and students of history and “free love,” we were told that in communist societies the satisfaction of sexual desire was as easy and inconsequential as a drink of water. The idea was that ubiquity was the cure for romantic love. Perhaps drinking water out of a toilet or a puddle might provide you with the insight you seek.
TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL
Dear Short Answers: How do you get your children to eat properly when you’re not around to monitor their behavior? — Mom
Dear Mom: Teach them to make good choices and expect that it probably isn’t going to happen whenever they can get away with it. Sorry.
SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, JOHN
Dear Short Answers: My best friend, Matt, is madly in love with another man who just happens to still be married to a woman. Matt tells everyone how much they are in love with each other and how this was a “match made in heaven,” etc. etc. etc. The new boyfriend has asked me (confidentially) to please tell Matt that he’s not ready for love and definitely not ready for a gay commitment. I feel caught in the middle. I know I should stay out of their relationship, but knowing what I know, I also want to keep Matt from getting hurt too badly. What should I do? — Matt’s BF
Dear MBF: Tell your friend that you will not be the go-between. There are about 9,000 scenarios that might occur as a result of such cowardice. None of them are good.
Dear Short Answers: Are things really as bad as they seem? — Worried
Dear Worried: Yes.
Life is complicated. “Short Answers” isn’t. Send a question about whatever is bothering you to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.shortanswers.net and a psychologist and sociologist will answer. A selection of the best questions will be printed every Sunday in The Daily Reflector.