BYH, there are a lot of people having anxiety attacks as more and more are awakening to the possibility that we have a...

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.


July 22, 2018

Q Our son committed a felony 2½ years ago. It was a horrific shock and he has been receiving the best possible treatment. It was not a crime against people.

Since that time, our other children (with one exception) will not allow us to have their children at our home unless they are…

Carolyn Hax

July 22, 2018


Dear Short Answers: I recently sent out invitations for a dinner party that I was planning, and I just didn’t feel like getting into the hassle of everybody’s ridiculous dietary restrictions these days. So I included a note…

Short Answers

July 22, 2018

I call it “psychological thinking,” referring to the tendency among parents of the last 50 years or so to attribute bad behavior on the part of a child to so-called “issues” that are thought to be causing emotional tensions of one sort or another. That is, in fact, precisely…


July 21, 2018

Not all trees are created equal. While most trees that cover our landscapes provide us with aesthetic and ecological benefits, there are a few that probably do not belong here. Some trees can be invasive, some are insect and disease prone, and others may not grow well in our eastern North Carolina…

Eric Derstine

July 21, 2018


■ Anderson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, 4352 Anderson Chapel Road, will host men’s day at 11 a.m. Aug. 5. Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland “Clee” Atkinson, Jr. will be guest speaker. Music will be by The Shades of Harmony.

■ Burney’s Chapel Free Will Baptist…

July 20, 2018

What is winning?

Most would say coming out victorious — being the best.

But Celestine Davis, director of the Down East Flick Fest, says there is much more to winning than being the best — and that’s the point of the film festival that kicks off today at Whirligig Stage…


July 20, 2018

5TH STREET DISTILLERY AND ANNEX: 120 and 122 E. Fifth St. 757-3034.

A.J. MCMURPHY’S: 1914 Turnbury Drive. 355-7956. Today: Teg. Saturday: The Carolina Beach Club. Monday: Cards Against Humanity. Wednesday: Sports trivia. July 29: Will Stovall. 


July 20, 2018


Film festival

The Down East Flick Fest will be held from 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. today-Saturday at Whirligig Stage, 628 S. Pitt St. The event will showcase works by filmmakers from across the state, along with some international entries. Free, but registration is recommended. Seating is limited.…


July 20, 2018

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

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP — As Scott Lang balances being both a superhero and a father, Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym present an urgent new mission that finds the Ant-Man fighting alongside The Wasp to uncover…


July 20, 2018


“Revisiting Cornerstones: The Louis Orr Etchings of North Carolina,” will be on exhibit through Oct. 7 in the West Wing Gallery.

NC Civil will present “To the Core,” a journey through the history, identity and expression of the West Greenville Community, through Sept. 2.…

287 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
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