Dear Short Answers >> I am not an alcoholic. At least I don't think so. And no one has told me that I drink too much. My problem is that I go out with friends or go to a party and once I start drinking I can't stop. My friends might have two or three drinks and then say they've had enough. Once I've had two or three drinks, I have no will power and keep drinking until I'm clearly drunk and hung over the next day. Do you have any advice on how I can get some will power?
— One Too Many, Once Too Often
DEAR ONE TOO >> It's not about will power. Call it what you want, but not being able to stop when you have had enough signals a problem. You can try limiting yourself to one drink, but if you can't do that consistently, you had better quit. Sounds harsh? That's what an alcoholic says.
Yackity yack, bow wow
Dear Short Answers >> We live in a neighborhood where there are 20-plus dogs who yip, yap, yelp and bark constantly. We get no peace trying to enjoy our deck and yard. The neighbors show no respect for taking their dogs in when they start barking. Some even leave for the day and leave the dogs outside. We bought a dog silencer, but that doesn't help. Any advice other than to move?
DEAR MAD >> Send your dog owning neighbors a firm, but polite, note stating your problem and ask for their cooperation. If you do not get a satisfactory response you should enlist a higher authority: either local police (most towns have noise ordinances) or your local animal control organization.
Dear Short Answers >> I recently was having trouble in my lesbian relationship, which ended in a nasty break-up. My girlfriend got a new group of friends then started smoking weed, drinking more frequently, hanging out all night and then lying about her whereabouts. Her best friend (who has hit on me in the past, by the way) was a large contributor in her decision to break up with me. She also needs a lot of attention and had her house key taken away from her by her mother for bringing weed into her house. She broke up with me on Monday and since then has not stopped texting me about how much I hurt her. Why won't she just go away?
— So Annoyed
DEAR ANNOYED >> If she won't go away, then why don't you? Stay away, don't answer, hang up.
Yes or no
Dear Short Answers >> Is it polite to go out with boys you don't really like just to be nice? Or is it mean to waste their money if you're not really into them?
— Girl Trying to Do the Right Thing
DEAR GIRL >> You should value your own time, not just their money. If you are not at all interested in spending your time with someone, then politely decline their invitation.
Power of positive
Dear Short Answers >> My 95-year-old dad thinks he is 60. What should I do?
— Concerned Son
DEAR SON >> Live and learn. And support him as much as seems reasonable (and safe) to you.