Short Answers: Cheating by any other name ...


Life is complicated. Short Answers isn't.


Dear Short Answers: I spent most of my life in the pre-cell phone era when it was possible to be inaccessible. This was an option I appreciated and often enjoyed. Today, I have a cell phone, but I sometimes turn it off when I don't want to be disturbed. Some of my family members and friends say I am being selfish, making their lives more difficult when they "need" to get in touch with me. I consider that expectation to be selfish on their parts. Who's right?

-- Likes to Be Left Alone Sometimes

Dear Sometimes: Everyone deserves down time. Everyone needs to be accessible to family (most of all) and friends in Real Emergency situations. Make your preferences known. Email and phone settings allow for many options. WE PROBABLY ARE NUTS!

Dear Short Answers: Not a question but a comment to a response (to Wannabe Me) regarding should he or should he not get a tattoo because his wife hates them. Well, I HATE them and if my husband walked into the house and said "sorry but I got a tattoo anyhow" -- that would be a relationship killer. You must be nuts!

-- Tattoo Hater

Dear Hater: We presume (apparently, wrong in your case) that love is more than skin deep. Sorry sweetie.


Dear Short Answers: There is a guy in town that I would love to have sex with, but he's been married for over 20 years to a woman who happens to be a friend of mine -- so I figured it was never going to happen. However, I have recently found out that he's been fooling around with guys on the side, so I figured I might have a chance. Since he's already broken his marriage vows with other guys, would it be wrong for me to have sex with my friend's husband?

-- Still a Sista

Dear Sista: Yes, it would be wrong. What are you thinking?


Dear Short Answers: What is to be done about ungrateful children?

-- Disappointed

Dear Dis: Give less.

Send your questions anonymously on our website (www. or email them to Jeff Johnson has worked as a psychologist for New York State, New York City and the federal government as well as teaching at the graduate level. He is a Williams College alumnus and lives in Pownal, Vt. Paula Forman has worked as a professional "trend spotter" with high-profile clients such as Procter & Gamble. More recently, she taught sociology in the New York City university system. She lives and writes in Hudson, N.Y.


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