Dear Short Answers >> I know you can't answer this in time, but I'm confused about what to do. I accepted two different invitations for Thanksgiving dinner because one was at 2 p.m. and the other was at 6 p.m. I thought I could easily attend both dinners. I just found out this morning that in reality, they both start at 6 p.m. I can't have dinner at one and dessert at the other because they are miles apart. I think I'm going to tell them both that I'm sick and can't attend. I hate to miss Thanksgiving because it's my favorite holiday but I don't have another solution. Do you?

— Double Booked

DEAR DB >> You lucked out! You get to go to the one you prefer and not stress with back-to-back commitments. Tell the other one what you wish, but we strongly prefer the truth.


Dear Short Answers >> As I get older, it seems that the only thing my friends like to talk about is their failing health and medical procedures. I understand this is a normal part of aging, but it drives me crazy. I have things wrong with me, too, but I don't talk about it all the time. Without having to get all new friends, how do I get them to change the subject without seeming insensitive?

— Sick of Hearing About It

DEAR SICK >> Just say you are not in the mood for an "organ recital." Pretty clear.


Dear Short Answers >> I have had a crush on my yoga instructor for a long time, but I always thought he was gay. I just found out that he has a girlfriend! Now I am perplexed. Can I ask him out (I am female) even though he has a girl friend? We are both over 40 and I'm not sure about the rules these days.

— Single Fit Female

DEAR SFF >> The rules haven't changed that much. If you want to establish your interest, ask him out for coffee — then wait. He will let you know if his current relationship is a serious one.

Adjustment department

Dear Short Answers >> How do I convince my husband that since he is now retired, he needs to help me with the cooking, cleaning and other household chores? Frankly, I don't think it's fair that he gets to "retire," but I have to keep doing all the housework for the rest of my life. He feels that he has worked hard all his life and deserves this. What about me? Any advice?

— Alice

DEAR ALICE >> Helping you with your household chores is bound to be a non-starter. No one likes to go from a job with identity and all that goes with it to "mother's little helper." If you're sick of your job, you need to figure out a solution.

Foot work

Dear Short Answers >> How do I overcome the fear of looking for part-time work after retirement?

— Slightly Embarrassed

DEAR SLIGHTLY >> By doing it. Looking for work is always slightly humiliating.

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