Short Answers, Sept. 2
Paula Forman and Jeff Johnson
Sunday, September 2, 2018
SO MUCH FOR FRIENDSHIP
Dear Short Answers: A woman at work is getting married next year and has been asking me for a lot of advice about her wedding plans since I recently got married myself. I planned my wedding for almost two years and it was amazing. So I don’t feel like I should give away all of my hard work for free. Would it be rude of me to ask for a wedding consultant fee? I know she can afford it. — Recently Wed
Dear RW: Yes, it would be incredibly rude to ask for a fee. If you don’t want to share your experience, then suggest she hire a professional planner.
A HOME NOT A HOTHOUSE
Dear Short Answers: A number of my friends have started using those new electronic cigarettes. I realize that they don’t emit any smoke and are safe for other people to be around. But I still find them annoying and don’t want my children to think that they’re OK to use since they still, as far as I know, have nicotine in them and can cause cancer. So I don’t allow anyone to “smoke” them in my home. Most friends comply, but I have one friend who makes a big fuss and thinks I’m crazy. It’s my home. Can’t I make the rules? — MY House
Dear MY: Yes, it’s your house, and yes, you get to make the rules, but we think you’re crazy, too. If you want to share your home with others, you have to give them some breathing room. Your kids are going to see this elsewhere — why don’t you use this as an opportunity for a teaching moment?
Dear Short Answers: Is there a statute of limitations on cheating on your wife? I had one single affair over 10 years ago and she still won’t let me forget it. Every time we have an argument, this affair somehow pops us as proof that I’m an asshole. Don’t you think it’s time she forgot about it? — Tired of It
Dear Tired: We agree. It’s time for her to let it go.
CENTS AND SENSIBILITY
Dear Short Answers: My daughter is turning 5 next month which is a very important event in my family (my parents were born in Japan). We are going to Disney World to celebrate, which is rather expensive for all of us, but my parents want to pay for the trip. I didn’t invite my in-laws because I know that they can’t afford it, but they would come anyway and have huge bills to pay afterward. Do you think I’m doing the right thing by not inviting them? I know they’ll be angry, but I think that’s better than going into debt just to go to a birthday party. — Anxious Mom
Dear Mom: It doesn’t feel right not to invite your in-laws on the presumption that they cannot afford it. This is the kind of thing some people never get over. Perhaps you can find a face-saving way to spare them some of the expense. Pay their airfare as an early Christmas present? Rent a house that is large enough for everyone? Whatever you decide to do, you cannot ignore them or their feelings.
Dear Short Answers: I absolutely hate Facebook and refuse to be on it. Is there any reason why I need to be? — LKS
Dear LKS: No.
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.