No BYH to Trump voters, you elected a bulldozer to our norms, institutions and very stability. and whatever happens...

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.


January 18, 2019

AYDEN — Rudy Robinson was a builder in life.

He built and rebuilt homes. He restored buildings and put businesses in them.

He operated several businesses that brought him and his family financial success. He rented to others, both commercially and residentially. He was adept at it. He worked…


January 16, 2019

Q I form oxalate stones. The only advice I had been given was to drink lots of water and I do drink about a gallon a day. A friend told me I should pay attention to the oxalate content of food. I really like grain products but have been told they might be giving me troubles. What do I need to know?…

Kolasa, Kathy

January 13, 2019

While I have been traveling up and down North Carolina’s roads in search of local eateries, UNC Law School professor Gene Nichol has been traveling the same roads looking for something else.

I was gathering material for my book, “North Carolina’s Roadside Eateries,” and…


January 13, 2019

The first mistake was opening the refrigerator door. I opened it silently, but it emits a silent sound unknown to science that only cats can hear. From under the bedcovers at the other end of the house. And they do not need to walk or run to the refrigerator to inspect what I'm doing. One second,…


January 11, 2019

As I write this review, it’s still up in the air whether Kevin Hart will host this year’s Academy Awards. He was picked because he’s funny, he’s a performer of color, and his star was on the ascendance.

But someone dug up old comments by Hart that were homophobic. The…


January 11, 2019

ARBA — Sybil Thomas is not your average “little old lady.”

Rather than bemoaning the aging process, she has walked right up to it, looked it dead in the eye and given it an impish wink.

Thomas celebrated her 100th birthday Dec. 30, surrounded by friends and family at Hull Road…


January 09, 2019


Q: I don’t think my mom ever used anything other than salt, pepper, and cinnamon to flavor food. She said it was silly and expensive to a container and then use only ¼ teaspoon. I am intrigued by the possibility that some herbs might be helpful in controlling inflammation. Can…

Kolasa, Kathy

January 06, 2019

It was in 1983 that parents told leaders of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, west of New Orleans, that Father Gilbert Gauthe had molested their sons.

Dominos started falling. The bishop offered secret settlements to nine families — but one refused to remain silent.

The rest is a long,…

Terry Mattingly

January 06, 2019

What really happened to Virginia Dare, the first child of English parents born in the New World? The same Virginia Dare whom I suggested recently belonged on “The World Almanac’s” list of famous North Carolinians.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Sir Walter Raleigh’s…


January 05, 2019

For to make chireseye, tak chiryes at þe feast of Seynt Iohn þe Baptist, & do awey þe stonys …

— Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early…

122 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 13
        Next Page»   Last Page»