BYH to the one responding to my plea for beef ribs, saying I had to leave eastern NC or even 'cross the border' to get...

Short Answers, April 15

Short Answers

Paula Forman and Jeff Johnson

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Dear Short Answers: My mother claims to have fallen in love with an elderly gentleman (they are both in their 70s) she met socially at a party. Both of them lost their spouses within the last year, and both seem genuinely happy to be together. Even though they’ve only known each other for about three months, they are planning to get married!

I got a little suspicious and investigated this guy, and it turns out he has never worked, never had a job and never earned a dime in his life. He has lived off two women (his first and second wives) and now, it seems, he is planning to live off a third (my mother is pretty well off). I’ve tried to talk her into not getting married but only “living together,” but she says that she’s much too old-fashioned for that. How do I stop her from making a big and permanent mistake? — Dubious Daughter

Dear DD: People in their 70s can match, mate and marry on whatever terms seem appropriate to them. In our experience, adult children tend to be suspicious of these liaisons and often non-supportive. You may be right that he is a serial gold digger, but he obviously has other redeeming characteristics.

You might suggest a prenuptial agreement, which is not unusual in these circumstances. Your mom is then free to enjoy her new husband and pay for all the trips, gifts and lifestyle enhancements she desires — but she maintains the control. If she agrees, and even if she doesn’t, you have done all you can do. Try to celebrate her happiness.


Dear Short Answers: My husband has started to take this whole environmental consciousness thing too far. He refuses to use plastic wrap. He saves every scrap of aluminum foil and reuses it dozens of times (until I throw it out because it’s gotten go gross). He flushes the toilet once a day (it’s disgusting). He shuts off every light in the house except one — but I still feel like I’m sitting in the dark. I don’t want to discourage his good intentions — but enough is enough! — Help Me

Dear Help: These decisions can’t be unilateral — on either side. Sit down and have a respectful negotiation.


Dear Short Answers: I have a neighbor who is way too encroaching. He stops by all the time and now he says he’d like to start going to the gym with me. I want to be on good terms, but I’m not interested in this. I’d also like more privacy whenever I’m outside just going to and from my car. This is a tricky situation. How do I avoid causing a problem? — Not that Social

Dear Not: Tell your neighbor in the nicest possible way that you would like a bit more “space.” Explain that it isn’t personal but you are not the buddy type. When in transit, wave and keep walking.


Dear Short Answers: How do I know if I am a poor mother? Someone sarcastically told me I was running for “Mother of the Year.” — Discouraged

Dear Discouraged: Do the best you can, like all the rest of us. Tell your sarcastic friend to stuff it.

Life is complicated. “Short Answers” isn’t. Send a question about whatever is bothering you to reflector@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 Sunday in The Daily Reflector.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


April 25, 2018 - 59 minutes ago

Q: My family recently celebrated our son’s birthday. We had a number of guests RSVP “yes” to our invitation who not only didn’t show, but also didn’t even have the decency to contact us to let us know. It’s been a week since the party.

This left us with far…

Carolyn Hax

April 25, 2018 - 59 minutes ago

The Leroy James Farmers Market vendor of the week is Bill Burke of Burke’s Nursery.

“At first I sold vegetables, but with so much competition it wasn’t easy,” Burke said. “My son, Joseph, suggested we sell vegetable plants, herbs and maybe flowers. This worked out…


April 25, 2018 - 59 minutes ago

First, a shout-out to the Brody medical students and all the contributors to the Marathon Food Drive. A total of 4,371 pounds of healthy foods was collected for our healthy food pantry. A special shout-out to members of the Family Medicine department who challenged each other and brought in 1,658.…


April 25, 2018 - 59 minutes ago

Whether you want to take the family for dinner, meet some friends for drinks, meet the guys for beers and a game or host an office party, Kickback Jack’s, 420 Red Banks Road, fits the bill. There is a combination of high-top tables, roomy booths, 50 HD TVs as well as several 90-inch TVs,…


April 25, 2018 - 59 minutes ago

It’s easy to be greedy at this time of year when fresh spring produce clutters the farmers market tables. I can’t resist buying a rotation of asparagus, sweet peas and early strawberries, which pass through our kitchen to the dining table on a daily basis. You’d think that we…


April 22, 2018

I’m stuck with a hoarder’s memory.

My brain — my attic, if you will — is entirely too full of random stuff. Entire passages of books I’ve read. Minor details of geography. Lyrics of Broadway show tunes. Odd bits of trivia with little apparent use or connectivity.


Bob Garner

April 22, 2018


Dear Short Answers: My girlfriend has become obsessed about the way she looks, and I think it might be the end of our relationship. Every day she asks me questions about her hair and her dress and her makeup, and honestly, I don’t know and I don’t care.…

Short Answers

April 20, 2018

The 14th Community Youth Arts Festival will bring 150 visual and performing artists to Greenville on Sunday, leaving some people to wonder how on earth they had never heard of this before.

The newly named festival is actually two celebrations in one. The event combines the ECU Youth Arts Festival…


April 20, 2018

“I Feel Pretty” suffers from a fatal flaw: its premise. Built around the notion that there’s something inherently hilarious — even crazy — about a woman not supermodel-thin or -gorgeous behaving with the confidence of one who is, the comedy treats its star, Amy Schumer,…


April 20, 2018

Capsules of movies playing locally. New releases are indicated with an asterisk.

BLOCKERS — Three parents try to stop their daughters from having sex on prom night. (1 hour, 42 minutes) Rated R.

BLUMHOUSE’S TRUTH OR DARE — A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends…

338 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
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