BYH: To those who keep the Russia probe going. It is time to stop wasting money and time on this. Nothing has been...

Short Answers, July 1

Short Answers

Paula Forman and Jeff Johnson

Sunday, July 1, 2018


Dear Short Answers: After our third child was born, my wife decided that she wasn’t all that interested in sex anymore. She’s made it abundantly clear to me that it’s not my fault — she’s just not interested any more. There doesn’t seem to be anything that I can do to change her mind — and I’ve tried everything. Given her position, would it be wrong for me to fool around? And do you think I should tell her in advance? I don’t want it to sound like an ultimatum because I’m not planning on leaving her. I just don’t plan to be celibate for the rest of my life. — Horny Husband

Dear HH: Yes, you have a problem, but your solution makes it a car crash. She either has a physical or emotional issue that needs to be addressed. Start with her OB-GYN. If she is unwilling to discuss with her doctor then insist on counseling — for both of you.


Dear Short Answers: What do you think about taking a gap year between high school and college? My son wants to spend a year in Europe, which we can afford. But I’m afraid that he won’t eventually go to college if he stops going to school and enjoys himself too much. How do I give him this bit of freedom but make it miserable enough so that he goes back to school? — Nervous

Dear Nervous: For most kids, a gap year is a great growing up thing. And most parents share your fears. Our advice is to tell your son you have every confidence in him and that you respect his choices but you will provide modest living expenses for 12 months only. Then stick to both parts — modest and 12 months. Hopefully his college choice is squared away before his year abroad. So hard to assemble applications and so easy to miss deadlines while “traveling.”


Dear Short Answers: When is your child too old to bring into a public restroom of the opposite sex? I was in a men’s room yesterday and a man had brought his daughter with him who seemed to be about 5 or 6 years old. She was very inquisitive and asked very loudly “What are all these men doing?” Would I have been within my rights to ask the man to take his daughter someplace else? — Uncomfortable

Dear Uncomfortable: A little empathy please. And then a sense of humor. We can assume that there was no other reasonable choice and no person to leave her with — that’s the empathy part. And rather than ask the man to take his daughter elsewhere, you could have answered her question (that’s the humor part).


Dear Short Answers: I recently had some minor cosmetic surgery and all my friends have told me how great I look and ask me, “What’s your secret?” Should I tell them the truth or make something up? I hate to lie, but I don’t think it’s any of their business. — I Feel Pretty

Dear Pretty: Ain’t nobody’s business but your own. Say whatever … a good night’s sleep … or just smile.

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 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 06, 2019

In a year filled with heightened political vitriol, two deaths brought the nation together to remember men who represented a seemingly bygone era of U.S. politics.

George H.W. Bush was a president, vice president, congressman, CIA director and Navy pilot during World War II, where he flew 58…

YE Deaths

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…

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