Dear Short Answers >> Last month my wife and I had planned to go on a cruise. At the last minute, our dog got very sick and needed to spend a few days at the vet.
We had no idea when our dog would be returning home and we didn't want to leave him at the vet. On the other hand, it didn't seem to be a life-threatening illness and certainly did not require that we both stay home. The cruise company refused to refund our money and would not allow us to give our tickets away to another couple.
I suggested to my wife that we draw straws so at least one of us could go and one of us could stay at home. She was appalled at this idea and said we would either both go (and worry about our dog every minute) or both stay at home. We stayed at home, but I am still furious about the wasted money. Which one of us was right? Our dog, by the way, recovered fully and is just fine.
DEAR NEED >> There is no right or wrong in these things, but for you to continue to be angry after the fact seems mean-spirited. Let it go or figure out what else is bothering you.
Dear Short Answers >> Even though the holidays have been over for a long time, I am still angry about the eight pounds that I gained because people kept pushing me to eat and drink too much.
When I say that I am dieting or I only allow myself one drink per day, I get chastised for being a "Grinch." "This isn't the season to diet!" "One cookie won't hurt you!!" "I made this dessert especially for you!!"
Are these people idiots? I feel better when I don't eat a lot of sugar or drink too much alcohol. I have 10 months to prepare for next holiday season. How do I make them stop harassing me?
DEAR SLIM >> Keep your cool; smile politely, and say "no thanks." Explanations like the ones you have provided invite more pressure. You are a grown up. No one can make you eat or drink anything you do not wish. Remember that.
Ask the English
Dear Short Answers >> Three years ago, I felt a change in my sexuality. I'm not full-blown gay, but I have fallen into cross-dressing — which turns me on now at this advanced age. I am enjoying it, and that is what's puzzling to me. How and what happened to my body's system? Is this normal?
DEAR W >> People change throughout their lives — and this is good news! We don't know why you have developed this new interest, but we see no reason not to embrace it. And BTW — a taste for cross-dressing doesn't necessarily mean you are gay.
Dear Short Answers >> Why do they make the lights on computers so bright? When I go to bed at night, I need to put towels over my computer, printer, TV, scanner, modem, router and phone. Even when they're turned off, the lights are bright enough to land a plane. Is this really necessary?
DEAR NUTS >> We do not experience this, but if we did, we would wear a sleep mask.