Short Answers: Accept defeat and sit far away
Dear Short Answers >> My husband has the worst table manners I have ever seen. Most of the things he does I try to ignore (like tucking his napkin into his collar or slurping his soup). But there is one thing that drives me crazy. He pushes his food around on his plate with his fingers!
I have tried to explain (nicely) that a normal person pushes his food against his knife, so as not to get his hands covered in sauce or butter or mashed potatoes. But he refuses to listen to me and does what he wants. Then, of course, he licks his fingers which is disgusting.
We have been married for over 25 years, so I know he's not going to change. Should I stop taking him to restaurants or dinner parties? Should I sit as far away from him as possible and just ignore it? I know that everyone else notices because I can see the looks on their faces.
DEAR EM >> We like your idea of sitting as far away from him as possible. Offer no explanation. He will figure it out — or not.
Bystander at the break-up
Dear Short Answers >> Two friends, who I've known for a very long time, have recently had a very contentious break-up. I don't really know who's right and who's wrong because I intend to stay friendly with both of them.
One of them, however, has decided to throw a "break up" party to celebrate their split. I have very mixed feelings about going to such an event. If I go, am I siding with one person over the other? If I don't go, am I insulting the person who is throwing the party? Which way would you go?
DEAR CONSIDERING >> We would go where the fun is. Their contentious break-up does not require that you join in the hostilities. Be mindful about not talking to either one about the other, and it should be fine.
Dear Short Answers >> My dad decided to leave his second marriage at the age of 75 after failing to convince his second wife to join him in a three-some. The new woman is homosexual and 25 years younger then him. It seems a little precarious and I am not sure how to handle it. Please help.
DEAR CONCERNED >> We understand your "reservations," but unless you think this is serious dementia — hold back. It is likely this is a last attempt at a randy adventure and he will soon be home dragging his tail. We think his wife should take a lovely trip (on his dime) and fix him a strong drink when she returns — he will surely need it!
Whose party is it?
Dear Short Answers >> I recently got engaged and I'm quickly finding out that planning a wedding is as much about satisfying family members' desires as it is your own. How do I say "no" to them?
DEAR 2B >> You can't please all the people all the time. Decide now — is this your wedding or theirs? Either decision is fine but trying to accommodate everyone is unlikely to please anyone.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.