Dear Short Answers >> As my parents have gotten older (they are both in their late 70s), they have gotten more and more philanthropic and seem to give money away to just about any charity that asks. Since their money is my inheritance, shouldn't I be consulted? They always promised that when they go, I will get everything. And that is something I have counted on. Is there a nice way to get them to slow down a bit?

— Andrew

DEAR ANDREW >> It may be your inheritance, but it is still their money, and likely to be their money for another decade at least. We suggest you concentrate on managing your own money, and perhaps you will be less concerned about theirs.

Dear Short Answers >> I just starting dating an older woman who is coming off two very unfortunate relationships. And by that I mean her last two partners died. Her husband passed away after a long illness. Then her next lover died suddenly from a heart attack. I know she had nothing to do with either of these deaths, but I can't help feeling that "bad things come in threes" and if I hook up with this woman, I might be the third to go. Is it worth trying to get over this superstitious feeling or should I try to find a woman with less negative karma???

— A Worried Man

DEAR WORRIED >> Leaving the past behind is part of starting a new relationship. So is hope for the future. We hope you can get there, because the worries you express seem like a drag on everyone.


A new deal

Dear Short Answers >> How do I get my husband to cheer loudly with appreciation when I finish preparing our taxes? Perhaps he feels it's a slight to his masculinity that he can't do this sort of thing, but I resent the lack of a hurrah.

— Tax-y Lady

DEAR TAX-Y >> Tell him how much it would cost to have an accountant do it. If that doesn't get the desired response, buy yourself a present for said amount and call it even.

Dear Short Answers >> I have an older friend (she is in her 70s) who I suspect is abusing prescription drugs. She was prescribed painkillers for a serious knee injury a couple of years ago. And now, she seems to have several different doctors, all of whom prescribe different painkillers. I only found this out when I saw all these pills from different doctors in her bathroom (okay, I was snooping). Do I say something? Do I call her doctor? She doesn't seem drugged or incoherent, but I worry about her just the same.

— Snoopy

DEAR SNOOP >> When you stick your nose where it doesn't belong — you are bound to get a snootful! This is none of your business. And BTW, doctors and pharmacists are likely to be as smart as you are when it comes to controlled substances.

Dear Short Answers >> What is politics?


DEAR J >> Politics is skillful manipulation of others in service of your own agenda.

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